Our friends’ wedding was this past weekend. Since I’m crazy about throwing parties, I couldn’t help but pitch in with some wedding projects. The wedding took place at a winery in NY state and the overall feel of the day is to be rustic vintage. I’m unclear where the initial idea was sparked for the wooden sign, but between the bride and I, it was destined to happen. It may have started with a single sign to point to the ceremony and reception. I realized that the materials were pretty simple for this project. And with the rustic theme, it certainly did not have to be highly finished. It only seemed right to expand the small sign to include their honeymoon destinations as well.
I decided we would source our wood from free wooden palates. Giving us plenty of wood planks to cover all the directionals. I mocked up the sign in Photoshop using the couple’s wedding font used on their invites. The bride supplied me with their honeymoon locations and the distances to include. We all started to be on the lookout for palates. Which is a lot harder than one would think in these days of palate pintrest projects overtaking my feeds. We were lucky and found a few palates and Brett got to cutting.
I made a few more revisions to the mockup as I waited for the wood to be cut. I wanted to personalize the sign a bit more for the couple. Being Jeep enthusiasts, I knew they would appreciate a few Jeeps appearing to be off roading amongst the letters. I also ended up coming across some 70-90 year old wood flooring that was super aged and rustic. I knew this would be perfect for the wedding theme.
Back to cutting for Brett again. I printed out my designs in reverse and transferred the outline on the wood. I laid the paper print side down on the wood, dampened the paper until the ink slightly released from the paper, then varnished the letters with the top of my sharpie. I did one or two letters at a time, then followed up by tracing the faint lines with the black sharpie. The technique wasn’t the best, but it got the job done.
Then we fired up the wood burning tool to finish them off. We found that working on the underside of the flooring worked better since there was no finish on that side. I’ll tell ya, 70 year old wood floor smells really weird when you burn it. Brett thought it smelled of church incense. There were a couple of spot that sizzled and I swore it was Murphy’s Oil or some other wood floor cleaner that saturated the wood.
We experimented with different woodburning tool tips. It seemed like a variety was needed for different areas.
The Jeeps were a little too detailed to burn into the wood, so I cut vinyl stickers in black. I ended up cutting more then I designed for since I had a larger piece of vinyl. I speckled a few more Jeeps in other areas including the backs of some of the signs. I really hope they last to the outdoor elements. I know it will make it through the wedding weekend, I just hope it lasts longer. The bride and groom will be putting this up in their yard after the wedding.
The final step was to get all these arrows mounted to the post. Another job for Doggie. He used a bit of liquid nails, then used drywall screws on the larger sign. I think he went a tad overboard on the number of screws. You should see him with zip ties… he’s so bad! So this thing is not coming apart.
It is, however, about 7 foot tall. So it’s a bit of a beast.