Spending last week in sunny Las Vegas and then returning home to sub-zero temps reminded me … winter isn’t over yet. At least not here in Minnesota. We still have plenty of winter left.
I don’t know about you, but I’m usually at a loss when it comes to decorating after the holidays are over. As much as I’d like to jump right into gardening season, it just isn’t reflective of our weather reality in a northern climate.
So when I saw the Skate Rental stencil while perusing the Wallcutz website, I decided that although it’s listed in the Christmas stencils section, it’s really more ‘winter’ than ‘Christmas’. It would be perfect for the part of winter that comes after Christmas, but before spring really arrives (which seems to last about six months in Minnesota).
My next task was finding something to put the stencil on. I was super happy with how my Rudolph & Co. foot board sign turned out, so when I saw a headboard/foot board combo for sale on Facebook Marketplace I jumped at it.
I snagged this set for $35. The seller didn’t have the side rails, and I suspect that’s why she’d priced it low. So for a mere $17.50 each, I had the raw materials for two signs. I think I’m going to hang onto that foot board for another Rudolph & Co sign, but the headboard was perfect for a Skate Rental sign.
As a bonus, the nice people at Wallcutz agreed to sponsor this post by sending me the stencil free of charge. So I measured the headboard to determine what size would be best and sent in my request for the largest version of the stencil, 26″ high by 18″ wide. One of my favorite things about Wallcutz is that you can order their stencils in a variety of sizes to suit your particular project.
I started by painting the headboard in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, my favorite warm white. Then I started stenciling. I knew that I wanted to use more than one color to give my ‘sign’ a more custom look. I also knew that I was going to be hanging it on my dark olive green house, so I wanted to work with that color.
So I began by taping off various sections and stenciling them. Most of the wording is done using Dixie Belle’s Caviar, except for “Pine Mountain” which is stenciled in the Juniper from Suzanne’s Fall Colors collection. The pine boughs are also stenciled in Juniper, naturally 😉
Taking a cue from the example of this stencil on the Wallcutz website, I decided to paint in a block of the Juniper and then stencil the “Old-Fashioned Family Fun” over that in Drop Cloth at the bottom of the design. I simply used the stencil as a guide to mark the area where I wanted my block, then taped it off and painted it in with two coats of Juniper.
Once dry, I removed the tape …
and then I put the stencil back in place and stenciled the wording over it.
The blades of the skates were stenciled using Dixie Belle’s Gemstone Mousse in Diamond.
The skates themselves were stenciled using DB’s Farmhouse Green. The laces are a separate stencil, and I added them once the Farmhouse Green was dry using DB’s Cotton.
I wanted a whiter white for the laces, so that’s why I went with the Cotton instead of Drop Cloth.
One last thing to note, I often fill in the bridges with a fine artist brush when stenciling.
Today’s q tip: if you want a stencil to look like a hand-lettered sign, fill in the bridges. If you want a more industrial, stenciled look, don’t fill in the bridges.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, bridges are the gaps in a letter (or other design element) that are necessary to hold the stencil together.
It’s fairly easy to fill those in with a small artist brush, and I think it makes a big difference to the end result.
Since I’m keeping this sign for myself, I’m being way less cautious (ie. more lazy) than I would be if I was selling it. I just gave it a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s spray on wax to seal it. For maximum durability, I probably should have used a clear poly sealer … but hey, whatever. If it doesn’t hold up, no worries. I’ll just re-do it.
I have the perfect spot to hang this on the side of my house next to the door.
This is the door that we use on a regular basis (rather than our front door), so I get to admire the sign every time I go in and out (which isn’t all that often in this cold!).
What do you think?
If you have any favorite decorations for this part of winter, be sure to leave a comment and share your ideas with all of us.
Thank you to Wallcutz for providing the stencil, and to Dixie Belle Paint Co. for providing the paint used for this project.