Saturday, September 17, 2011

Making a Welcome Sign

My younger sister asked me to make her a welcome sign for her front porch. She wanted something that wasn’t too cutesy. Since she’s an avid birder, I decided to work up an idea for a bird on a branch.

First step was to look around the house for materials. I found a scrap of wood trim that was a nice height and a nice small pinecone. The wood piece had a corner that was beat up, but decided it would give the sign a rustic look. I cut a small branch off the scrub pine tree in our front yard, but my husband advised me that it would probably deteriorate quickly. So instead I found another small branch of a denser wood which I knew had been laying around for at least a year (just shows how messy a house I live in). The branch had a really nice curve to it so it was perfect.

Now I just needed a wood bird cutout. I went to both of my local craft stores and to my surprise, neither had a bird. I always seem to come up with ideas that I think the materials will be readily available & it turns out they aren’t. My husband said to buy a piece of balsa wood & he’d cut out the bird. So then I had to sketch up different bird shapes and decide on the shape & size of the birdy. He did a great job cutting it out.

I didn’t want to try to paint it like a real bird, thought an abstract swirl design would be more interesting. I looked for ideas online and in the old letraset catalogue I also used for font ideas. Here’s a photo of my swirl & font ideas.
After choosing the font & pattern for the bird I hand painted them both and sealed it all with polyurethane. I used some craft wire to make some feet for the bird and glued them to the back of the bird, then used a heavier wire for the hanger.
It turned out just as I had pictured it in my mind.

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