Distressed Wooden Sign

I am super excited with how this project turned out.  It was one of those delightful moments where something turned out even better than I had envisioned.  I just couldn't stop looking at my rustic Western sign.

The goal:  My sister threw an amazing cowboy hoe-down party for my nephew's 3rd birthday on Saturday.  I will be sharing some details of the party later on because it was rip-roarin' fun!  She asked me to make a rustic sign that said, "Anderson Ranch" to hang up on a tree in the back yard.  Here are bits and pieces of my journey:

I was able to walk out of Home Depot with this piece of wood for FREE!  Great start!

The only problem was that my piece of wood was silky smooth, and I needed it to look rustic.  Can you believe that I have never ever distressed something before?!  I had so much fun with my mallet, screw, and screwdriver that I am having visions of distressing every piece of furniture in my home!  This was excellent anger management!!!  I went to town on my wood until I realized that the opposite side of the wood was actually much more naturally distressed.  It had a fabulous knot in it and was already a bit more rough.  I didn't even mind the extra distressing... I seriously LOVED it!  (What does that say about me?)
I started out by giving the distressed wood a good coat of brown spray paint.  See that fabulous knot?  

Next, I applied my vinyl on top of the brown coat.  I used a fun Western font called "Playbill."  I was so tickled with how Western it looked!

Now I gave my sign a good coat of Heirloom White.  I sprayed right over the top of my vinyl.  I loved how all of my distressing really showed up after this coat.  Check it out...

At first, I was a little disappointed because I found that my vinyl peeled up around some of the edges, so some letters were a bit blurred.  I contemplated fixing them up... and then I realized it simply added to the rustic look!  Oopsey turned into a daisy!  I even took it to the next step by sanding the edges of the letters so the brown would blend into the white.  Of course I sanded the sign's edges too.

I realized I didn't have any wire strong enough to hang this bad boy... but I came up with a frugal solution!!  I untwisted a wire hanger and used my big muscles and rusty wire cutters to fashion the wire into a sign hanger!  It was nice to find an easy solution around the house!

And here is the lovely finished product, hanging on the tree:

Deliciously rustic, don't you think??  

PS My friend Kelsey from Tattered & Inked was my paint distressing consultant on this project!!  I seriously e-mailed her to ask her advice.  She knows her paint!!  If you haven't checked out her blog, swing by and say hello!
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  1. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} says

    This is adorable, Alison! Seriously rustic. I don't know what it is about beating the crap out of a piece of wood that is so therapeutic… but it really is a lot of fun! Great project!

  2. That is just sooo rustic and fab!! Way to go Allison!! BTW, did you ever email me about my giveaway you won?

  3. Nana's Fun Stuff says

    Oh Alison you did a fantastic job!! It looks like it's been there for years!! Great way to take stress out 😉

  4. oh my gosh! It looks AMAZING. I absolutely love it!!!!! You didn't need my advice at all… you had it in the bag 🙂

    (Oh and I always wondered if you could distress the vinyl… it really looks great… I learned something new too!)

  5. It added so much to the party. I can't wait to hang it up in my house somewhere.

  6. The Autocrat: Haley says

    Oh love it!! Looks fabulous!!

  7. Tara@JustDevineStyle says

    I think it looks great! I like having the horseshoe in the corner.

  8. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House says

    Oh how cute! I feel like maybe I should move to a ranch just so I can copy that sign! It turned out fabulous!!

  9. I total agree with the title, it really is!! Great sign!

  10. Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com says

    Very cute! I usually vacuum to relieve stress, but distressing sounds like a fun way to do it too!

    So cute!


  11. Such a cute sign…my little boy has a cowboy room…this would be perfect with his name!! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Today's Creative Blog!

  12. This is just the most adorable sign! I loooove the rustic/vintage signs and it is sooo much fun giving them the worn/aged look! Perfect job!! I'm visiting from NFF and just wanted to say I'm happy to be your newest follower! I'd love new friends..so be sure to check me out!
    Best day to you!
    ~Terrell @ FrouFrouDecor~

  13. Elisabeth says

    Beautiful. I really like rustic.

    Elisabeth @ Treasuring the Moments

  14. Becky@whatslifewithoutwhimsy says

    That's really great I am a big fan of the rustic look!

    visiting from someday crafts

  15. Quilted Cupcake says

    This turned out great – nice tutorial, too!

  16. Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy says

    I love it! It's aged perfectly, even the blurred lettering! Thanks for linking up! I love seeing what you create! I need comment more instead of just lurking!

  17. Ann @ makethebestofthings says

    Very clever. This reminds me of the signs at Knotts Berry Farm in California. It looks VERY authentic.

  18. How cure! I love the "Wanted" pictures. 🙂

  19. Its A Blog Party says

    I love it! I'm really into antiques and this idea is great.

  20. Room to Inspire says

    What a great sign – I have been meaning to try this technique. I really like how the letters are imperfect…it adds a little more character. Thanks for linking up to Be Inspired this month.


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