Christmas In July | It’s A Sign



I love vintage things. I’m an old soul art heart. I grew up on a farm with a rich history and many saved items of those years.

So I had this idea to make a home decor item that fit the ‘old sign’ category. But I took it one step farther. If I was going to make a large sign, I didn’t just want it for Christmas, I wanted something that could be kept up in my home for fall and Christmas. A two-fer, if you will.

I found a large wooden tray at Hobby Lobby that was 20×13. It was exactly what I was looking for. Something already stained so that I didn’t have to mess with it. I would link you to it, but they don’t have it on their website. When I inquired with the store about ordering more for another project, she informed me they  have to order them in a stacking set of three–so there are two sizes smaller than this one. You purchase them individually in the store, but if they order some, they have to order the threesome. I’m not sure what the medium size is, ut the small one is 17.28×11.77.

I’m sure there are many surfaces you can use. But I loved the look of this one.

Let’s take a look at how I put the Christmas one together first:

sign sleigh ride web
Nice staining, yes? Didn’t even have to do it. ;)

The first step is to size it for your tray and cut it in vinyl. Weed away the positive space to create a stencil.

sign sleigh ride prep1 web
Be very careful of the itty bitties. I did lose a couple letter centers and just chalked it up to a ‘look’. ;) You could always cut just the centers out again, but I was too lazy to worry about it. (haha)

Once you get everything weeded, place your transfer tape on top. I like to only peel back a small portion, lay it down, and then carefully pull away the backing as I lay down the tape. That way you’re not trying to ‘tape’ the whole image.

sign sleigh ride prep2 web
After you get it up on the tape, lay it down on your surface and carefully pull it away. Because I was working with wood, the surface isn’t as smooth and the vinyl has a tendency to pull. This project does take a little TLC while making it. You could choose to do the positive space and put it on a different surface, but I wanted the painted look and opted for the negative space to create my stencil.
sign sleigh ride prep3 web

I used Delta paint with a foam brush, but didn’t load up the brush much. I dabbed around on the letters and then carefully wiped it horizontally, so as not to make it bleed. I did still have some issues where the wood was rougher than others. So be aware of that as well.

sign sleigh ride prep4 web
I decided to do two light coats just to make sure I had a good painted image. I then removed the vinyl before it got too dry so that it wouldn’t peel any paint with it.

sign sleigh ride prep5 web
And voila! It was beautimous!

sign sleigh ride prep6 web
I loved the results! It wasn’t perfect. But what old sign is?

On the backside of the tray, the surface was unfinished. I decided that for the Pumpkin version that I’d rather have it white with black letters, so I painted it.

sign pumpkins prep web


Now remember, this is the back side. It is unfinished, shows nail holes, and is a bit rough. So what. ;) It just added to the ambiance. It was a little more difficult to work with, but it all worked out in the end.

sign pumpkins web

Two things happened when I did this. First, there was a groove where where the top line was, so it bled into the groove. Oh well. Second, when puling up the last bit of vinyl…it pulled up the paint. I may have done a little cursing, but then chalked it up to serendipitous distressing. I could have touched it up, but decided to leave it. It also ‘distressed’ a bit when pulling out the centers of the letters too. The wood is pretty soft and, well….cheap. So, it is what it is. It’s all part of the art. :) I may sand the edges too, but haven’t decided.

One other part to the art was a rectangle border. Because I was working with soft, unteven wood and placing vinyl wasn’t a smooth process, I opted to not try and make those straight lines. I thought about masking off the lines, but….not sure if I want to do that. We’ll see as time goes.

Those of you that follow me on social media probably saw a little different pumpkin being made. The more ‘delicate’ style is included in the kit–because really, they are my favorite–but they didn’t work so well when cutting in vinyl for a stencil. So there is a version with a bit of a more ‘hearty’ pumpkin to withstand the stencil need.

So there ya go! You can find the Holiday Signs kit in the store now.


And now for the winner of yesterday’s giveaway?

That would be: b soohoo and friend Lynn

Congratulations! Email me at and we’ll get ya all set!

2017-05-09T20:05:35+00:00July 22nd, 2016|projects|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Dolly July 23, 2016 at 8:13 am

    that is just gorgeous Kerri! I think they would make lovely Christmas gifts…I may just have to do just that! :D TFS

Leave A Comment