Highchair Tray to Shabby Chic Sign

While scouting around taking photos of abused farmland a couple of months ago I found this plastic highchair tray next to a truck highway.

hazel-sign-1

Tire marks all over it… and normally I don’t like working with plastic, but I did love the shape and thought it had sign potential. I just had to figure out a way to disguise the plastic aspect.

So I applied two coats of thick homemade chalk paint, which gave it a nice plaster kind of feeling.

hazel-sign-2 Then I tore up a scrap  of wallpaper I rescued from behind a paint and wallpaper store. I applied it with a generous coat Modge Podge (although not so generous around the edges).

Several of the strips were bent over the edge of the surface with the aim of creating the effect that the entire piece had once been covered.

hazel-sign-3

The sign is going to be for a little girl’s bedroom. I used my home computer to choose the font and size I want and printed it off. Then used artist’s tracing paper (carbon paper or graphite paper) to trace the lettering onto the sign.

Because some parts of the lettering are very narrow and I have rapidly aging eyes, I used a fine point Sharpie to fill in the letters.

hazel-sign-3b

Then it was time to sand to further the aged & distressed look. Mostly I used a sanding block, but on the edges of the sign I used the dull edge of a butter knife – and selectively.

The sanding block was old and kinda grubby – which gave the paper edges a more convincing aged look.  Notice in some places I left the edges of the paper curled – again, to look more convincingly aged.

The lettering didn’t sand effectively- an important different between ink and  paint, I guess. Note to self.

hazel-sign-4

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Thanksgiving Sign from Repurposed Antique Mirror

  I bought this antique mirror from a neighbour’s moving sale. The frame is quite badly damaged. That was great. I would have no regrets about painting it.

 I wanted to make a sign, so I painted the whole thing, not just the frame. I used white homemade chalk paint. The Plaster of Paris helps the paint adhere well even to the glass. Two coats did the job.

  I used this paper on a birdhouse I refinished and loved the result. And since I have so much of it, I hauled it again.

 I tore off strips of the paper and modge podged them onto the sign, both glass and frame.

  I distressed the sign (did I mention that I lettered onto the glass the words Give thanks). I distressed the paper heavily using coarse sand paper.  Frequently sanding right through the paper, giving the look age would produce.

Thanksgiving Sign

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

Thanksgiving Sign from Antique Mirror

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