May 17, 2010

"California" Wall Hangings

I heart California.

Let's just open with that.
I fell in love with San Diego on a youth choir trip and still am enamored by it today.

It's beautiful... it's beachy... it's sunny... it's peaceful.
Coronado Beach is my favorite place to be in the world.
Cayman Islands are a close second.

But there is something about that California Beach.

So when our friend Chris moved into his beautiful, first brand new house, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a house-warming present.

He's a native Cali and loves it with all his heart.

He's from Orange County/Laguna area so thus my idea was born.

He needed something to hang on his bare walls other than bachelor Corona posters. Ick.

And I had these:

(Don't know why some of these turned sideways... sorry)

But I found these lovelies in my favorite place...on the side of the road.
Which means FREE.
Love that.
(But you can pick up scrap pieces of lumber anywhere...check your local hardware store)

I mean, they're awesome...why throw them out?
Yes...they're rough and scraggly but soooooo?

I grabbed my amazing little mouse sander:

Can you see the difference?
One- scraggly. Other- smooth and purty.

Next, I decided to do a light layer of color on each... I chose to paint them in the color opposite of what I wanted the top coat to be in the end.
So the one I wanted brown, I used blue in this layer and so on:

After I lightly sprayed them down, I let them dry.
Then put their top coats on:

Pretty and vibrant, huh?
But a little TOO pretty and vibrant... they are going in a guys house after all.

So my mouse sander did it again:

All I did was lightly sand and the bottom layer popped right out!
Makes it look all vintage-y and beat up.
I love how the brown turned out:

Then I used Word to get the fonts I wanted
(Sure Cuts a Lot software would make this so much easier, huh??)
But I went old-school and cut out (yes, handcut!) each word:

I decided on "California", "Laguna" and "San Diego"
His three favorite places.

Then they each got their fab word painted on:

Love this yellow and brown combo!

Didn't they turn out pretty?

I sanded the letters a little too... just cuz.

I love them.

My favorite is this one:

I am so in love and so jealous that I don't have a reason to sport California words...

maybe I just don't have to have a reason :)

So they were stacked up, packaged (manly of course) and given away:

He loved them.

And I love that :)


This post was featured here:


Thank you so much, Rachelle!
She has a fantabulous blog...check her out and all the other fabulous things she featured!

Also featured here:

Beyond The Picket Fence


Linking too:


  1. They are beautiful Thank you very much Kelsey! Now you have to help me decide on where to put them. Or should I say which Corona poster to replace... lol

  2. These are great! I still can't believe you hand cut everything. Someone needs to get you a cricut for Christmas or birthday or just because!

  3. Wow, these are so great. I am california dreamin'. I went there for my b-day last year(Orange County, LA, Santa Barbara) dreamy! I am so glad your friend liked them but who wouldn't!

  4. I am 98% sure you can use SCAL with your cricut. Here is a link I found

    At the bottom of the page under system requirements it says you can use with the Cricut Personal, Expression or Create!! I bought the Cricut Design Studio after I got mine, I like it but I am still limited by the carts I have. I was waiting until my warranty ran out to buy the SCAL, but I think I might have to break down and buy it sooner. Let me know if you get it!

  5. I forgot to tell you I'm pretty sure the link above is the cheapest I have found. $59.95, says it's a limited time offer!

  6. I want them!! Those are great. I may have to copy...

  7. Wow, so easy and so cute. I love 'em.

  8. kelsey, these are so chic and so cute!!!

  9. Check out my blog for an award for you! :) Have a great day!

  10. These turned out great! I love the rustic wood and the colors you used. Very cool!

  11. Great technique! You took something found FREE and gave it purpose and beauty. Yeah!

  12. Those are super cute! You did a great job, fab idea!

  13. Those are super cute! You did a great job, fab idea!

  14. Love these. Your finishing technique is fabulous! Thanks for joining The Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  15. I love these. Love doesn't really cut it. I adore the colors. I'm considering doing kind of a beachy room for my 8 year old...and this might be the answer to my decorating dilema. Thanks! ('re blog rocks!)

  16. I love these so much--the colors are great and I love the textures!

  17. Love Love Love!!! I am a so cal girl and I love the beach :) I will be stealing this Idea for sure. Could you tell me what fonts you used and the colors of paint. I also do all of my lettering old school. Thanks

  18. Ugh! I love them! I need some.. maybe not Cali themed though :-D

  19. These are amazing!!! What an awesome idea! We have lived in so many cities and this would be a great way to feature that in our home. I'll give you mad props if I copy! Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. These are amazing!!! What an awesome idea! We have lived in so many cities and this would be a great way to feature that in our home. I'll give you mad props if I copy! Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. This is so cute, makes me wanna be in cali! I love the colors you've used too! Thanks so much for linking this fab idea up with us!!

  22. Oh my goodness, these are just the cutest ever! I don't know how I came upon your blog but I am so happy I did. I never find anything on the side of the road...guess I'd better pay more attention when I'm out and about. Oh, and not to rub it in, but I was born and raised in San Diego and still live here currently. It truly is a blessing from God to be able to live here. =) I just might have to steal your idea too since my hubby is from Orange County too.

  23. Love, love, love these signs...especially since I am and always will be a California Girl!

  24. This is such a clever and creative project. Well done!

  25. BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the Laguna one. Great job!

  26. I love the color combinations!!! You have spoken to this CA native!!!!

  27. I was born in Pasadena, and Laguna is my favorite beach in the world (so far). I recently had to move away to live in the midwest...(bought a house).
    I miss it so much...I miss the water...

    I think I will make something similar to give myself happy memories...

    Luckily I get to go back and visit often...

    You are very talented.


  28. I love the color combination's and the fonts you chose. Nice job!

    Saw this on The CSI Project

  29. So beachy and fun! What a great summer statement!

    Thanks so much for linking up to The CSI Project's hardware Store Challenge! We hope you will come back next week for the Martha Stewart-inspired challenge -- The MS Craft Department are our guest judges!!!


  30. Oh, I love these! I think I'm going to have to make some now. Thank you so much for posting!!

  31. These signs are so wonderful! They look great and the colors are fabulous! Thanks for sharing and I will be linking to your wonderful signs.

  32. I totally dig your style and creativity, Kelsey. I am browsing the CSI project links and I continue to click on your work (not even knowing it!!) will see once you notice all of my comments LOL!

    Anyway, great job AGAIN!! Love these signs!!

  33. I've never been a huge fan of yellow, but oh man, love that brown and yellow combo!

    New follower, love your blog and your work! ;)

    -Ann Marie

  34. they look great, what font did you use for california?

  35. just saw this via csi project.

    had to stop over to say i gasped when i saw your wall hangings.

    i live in tennessee now. but was born & raised in california.

    i *heart* laguna. i miss it so very much. i was even going there when i was in the womb. ;)

    have a great week. great project!


  36. This was son leaves for cali tomorrow...goes every week! You did a great job on the project and the blog tutorial. Thanks...

  37. I love these signs, they're so beautiful! I actually grew up in Laguna beach (my favorite place on earth), and currently live a few miles down the road in dana Point. Maybe I know your friend, it's kind of a small town :) I love your blog - I'm your newest follower :)


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