When I heard about the Handmade Holidays Blog Hop, I immediately knew that what I wanted to make. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but hadn’t gotten around to yet: a sign for my dad! His “man cave” is his music room, where he keeps his collection of musical instruments, and I wanted to make a “Dick’s Music Room” sign for him. He’s one of those impossible-to-shop-for, already-has-everything kind of guys, so this gift will be far better than anything I could have found in a store! I envision it sitting on top of a little half-wall at the entrance to his room, where it will look absolutely perfect!
Every guy’s man cave is a little different – some are shrines to a favorite sport or team, some are movie or video game inspired, some are more like a private pub – so you can use this idea to create a personalized sign that is perfect for your guy’s specific interests.
When you finish looking at this project, make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom, because you won’t want to miss the HUGE giveaway associated with this hop, plus a TON of other great DIY holiday gift ideas!
- DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish Paints (everlasting and new life)
- Computer and printer
- Carbon paper
- Masking tape
The wood I used for my sign is a piece I picked up from a yard sale last summer. I got two identical pieces, each for $1. I’m not sure what kind of wood they are, but they are definitely very heavy. And I’m not certain what they were originally used for, but they came to me very grubby and also covered in deep gouges in the shape of screws and bent nails, so they definitely had a rough life. Which also gave them a great, pre-distressed look!
I cleaned one of them up a bit and you can see the difference – they were really grimy!
I started with a couple coats of DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish Paint in a shade of white called Everlasting. Don’t worry about being too perfect – since you’ll be distressing this project, imperfections are actually a plus!
After the paint dried, I roughed up the edges with some sandpaper to bring out the dark wood. It really highlights the details of this piece of salvaged wood!
I created the lettering for my sign on the computer and printed it out. I wanted my sign to have a vintage-inspired look, so I chose a font pairing that reminded me of old advertising. Print the lettering at the exact size you want it on the finished sign. (I put my lettering together on a free photo editing site called PicMonkey!)
Layer the printout with a piece of carbon paper (make sure the shiny side of the carbon paper is facing down!) and tape it in place on the piece of wood where the lettering should go. Trace the printed lettering with a pencil or ball point ink pen; when you remove the paper, the outline will be transferred to the wood and ready for painting!
To keep with the vintage-inspired theme, I used another shade of Americana Chalky Finish, a nice green called New Life. I think it’ll look great in my dad’s room! Use a small, fine paintbrush to color in the outline with paint. I gave my lettering a couple of coats of paint to get complete, even coverage.
I think my dad is going to LOVE his finished sign! I can’t wait to see his face when he unwraps it at Christmas!
Looking for more handmade gift inspiration?