what's the first rule of diy?

there are no rules.

what's the second rule of diy?

NEVER…i repeat, never rush the creative process.

if you say you're going to do a diy one week (like…before thanksgiving) and you don't end up completing the diy until 10 days before christmas…you know what. that's okay. because it wasn't rushed.

so you may remember when i found this sign at pottery barn and i almost impulsively purchased it.

peace sign

it was $120 and i thought to myself…i could make that. and so i did.

well…i attempted. please note that i abandoned the idea of trying to include the rustic stain and just went with a white board and vinyl lettering…but here's how i did that.

1// buy some boards at home depot and then do nothing with them for at least a month. this will ensure that they warp just the way you want. it will also ensure that they won't lay flat against your wall when you hang them. it adds to the rustic/aged flare.

2// when you realize you'll never do this project on your own, drive 1.5 hours to your dad's barn and make him help you. he'll inspect your warped boards and look displeased, but reassure him that you intended for the boards to be total crap.

3// now your boards have been sufficiently judged. why bother with hand-sanding them when your dad, with his power-sander, can do it? it's what any smart DIYer would do.

4// next, you distress. my dad's favorite tool for distressing is basically the rustiest chain he could find. i tried beating the board once…and exactly once. it bounced off the board and whipped me in the hand. after i stopped crying, my dad took over the distressing portion of the project. thanks dad.

my dad…he's a handsome fella. so when he was embracing the camera…i said, "why not?" and snapped away.

(be on the lookout for his next outfit post.)

5// painting meant it was my turn. i took some off-white paint that i used to paint all the trim in our house. i mean…i could have spent an hour in home depot trying to pick the perfect cream to match the pottery barn picture…but ain't nobody got time for that.

6// after your project is sufficiently cured (is cured the right term here?) you can add your vinyl. please note that i believe the actual pottery barn "peace" sign is painted…but if i had attempted that it would have turned into a four year old's project and probably a few more tears. so i went with vinyl. i commissioned a gal who does vinyl lettering and she whipped up two sheets for me for minimal cost ($5 p/word. if you need some lettering…let me know. i'll let her know.)

first, lay your word-sheet on the board where you want it and secure it with painter's tape.

second, cut the sheet into sections so it's easier to manage.

third, peel off the backer, making sure the letters stick to the front.

fourth, flip it baaaack over onto the board and rub the letters firmly making sure you have good connection.

fifth, peel off the sheet section by section and revel in your craftiness.

7// don't worry. i'm not delusional. i realize my boards don't really look like the pottery barn sign, but i still like them and they'll hang in our casa for many holidays to come…warped shape and all.

i left out the best part - they are multi-holiday awesome. on one said it says "turkey" and on the other side "presents." this way i can hang them for several months instead of just digging it out for christmas.

another note - i was going to have the board say "tradition" and "peace," but my farmer specifically requested "turkey" and "presents"…and who am i to deny his creative license?

happy holidays!