January 03, 2011

Distressed Family 'cafe' sign

This break is flying by.
And I'm quite sad about it.
I have a little over a week left... and there's just not enough time for all the things I want to do :/

I have about a million projects I want to show you plus a million in the works... and I'm falling terribly behind on posting.
Sorry 'bout that.

I'm currently working on getting the house over 'christmas' and back to normal.
Which meant giving the mantel an overhaul of course.
Cant' wait to show you pictures!!

This is a project that was actually a Christmas present for my father-in-law but I figured I could show you since it isn't actually Christmas-sy at all.
Plus I'm quite proud of it :)

One of my husband's favorite memories growing up was going out to eat at the 'hall cafe'.
Any time him or his siblings asked to go to a restaurant, his dad would reply, "We are going out. To the Hall cafe" which of course meant...home.

We thought it would make a fun sign to have in their house to make it official and all.

I started with a piece of plywood I got from Habitat:

It was the perfect size I needed and just needed a (really) good sanding...

Then I brushed some black paint all around the edges and a little onto the middle...

After I brushed the black on and let it dry, I put on a good coat of my new love: vintage white.
I'm having serious issues with the fact that it's not really 'spraypaint weather'.
So my acrylic paints are coming back into play.

After I painted the wood... I started playing around on the computer.
I found the fonts I liked and made them the size I wanted on Word then printed them out.
I also found a cute graphic on google that had little people figures.
I went onto and arranged them the way I liked.
I had to cut and paste the different figures to get the amount of boys/girls I needed.
I also adjusted their sizes to go along with all the kids...

Then I printed those out as well.
I found a cute spoon and fork graphic and that was printed as well...

I laid them out to see how they'd fit on the board, then I started cutting with my exacto knife.
(I'm pretty sure I was watching a Christmas movie while doing it)

Use your cricut or silhouette if you have one, it'd go faster.
My cricut didn't have the fonts or shapes I needed... but I don't mind :)

After they were all cut, I used my 'stencils' to start painting them on.

I did the people first, then "The Hall Cafe' lettering and last, the utensils.

Here are the cute people...

This is what I ended up with after all my stenciling...

Maybe you noticed that the font isn't what I originally started with... I really did paint the other one on but really hated it.
I spent a night or two thinking about it and then changed the font by brushing more white over the original font and then stenciling the new one over it.
I actually love having the old font peeking through.
Tres Vintage... :)

But the finish was too...nice looking.
So I pulled out my trusty mouse sander and gave it a good rub :)

Much better.

I adore the vintage feel and rough-looking texture.

Can you see the old text peeking through?
Adds perfectly to the character I was going for.
Yay for mistakes (sometimes)

Does it look like an old weathered sign that's been around forever?

One last time...

I'm thinking about making one for our house... but don't know about just having three little people.
I actually like the idea of doing a long skinny version with just the people :)

Now they can eat 'out' officially :)

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  1. OMGosh! I'm in love!!! I SOOO could do this project!!! And I plan on it!! Once I find the wood. :) Thanks so much for the tutorial!!!!


  2. I love the sign! What an amazing gift for your father-in-law! I'm sure he LOVED it!!

  3. This is AWESEOME! I just got a cricut for Xmas and am dying to start making fun vintage looking signs. WELL DONE!

  4. this is too cute!! it also happens to be my last name so i know exactly what mine would look like ha! I think I may have to try this one out! thanks for sharing. =)

  5. So adorable!!
    I am your newest follower and I just sent you a message about the cookbook holder you won : )

  6. I'm inspired! I hope you'll come share this idea at the craft catwalk today!

  7. Kelsey, this is just so cute. Very good instructions. Terry

  8. awesome...I love the final distressed look to it. I'm yearning for spring/summer too...spray paint outside weather, right?!

  9. Okay...after this & the burlap letter project I am totally your newest follower and going to have to recreate a project like this as well! You are so talented! Thanks for sharing...again!

  10. That is such a sweet project! Turned out fantastic! Thanks for linking it up as well.

  11. OMG! This is too cute too! I'm following you now. I love your ieas!

  12. I *love* this!! I wish my apartment had more wall space for something like this!

  13. This is too cute, I love it! I saw your link @ Tatertots and Jello. Check out my new weekend link party @

  14. This is great! i have made a few signs to and usually stain after but I love the way it looks with painting in the black first. Very cool!

  15. You did a lovely job! I really want to add some signs to my house, but I never can decide what to say.
    love the idea of 3 people, you can always add:)

  16. Thanks for sharing at the craft catwalk! Hope to see you there again!

  17. What a great gift & sign! I found your project through Tatertot's and Jello's weekend wrap up party.

    I featured your sign in today's post!

    Thanks for sharing,


  18. Love it!!! You did a great job! Would love for you to come visit me at Sew Chatty and link up to Made With Love Monday! The party will be open all week if you'd like to link up multiple projects. Have a great day!

  19. What a great gift for your FIL! I love the sign, the weathered look is my favorite. Great idea!

  20. This turned out so great. You also can't beat a personalized gift. Love the story behind it too. Fantastic!!
    Amy @

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  23. A very good sign for your new café. It look you spend a lot of time or effort to make this great sign. Thanks for sharing this article. Now it's time to avail 1 litre water bottle for more information.


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