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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How To: Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs

A while back, I made Mr. & Mrs. signs for the chairs at the reception.  I promised you all a tutorial, so here it is.

First, pick up your supplies.  I bought all of mine from Michaels (you can always find coupons for that place!).  You will need the following:
  • Light colored acrylic paint (I used Ivory)
  • Dark colored acrylic paint (I used Gold)
  • Crackle medium
  • Paint brushes
  • Twine, ribbon, or string of some sort (for the handle)
  • A wooden plaque
  • A drill (optional -- easiest way to attach the string)
  • Pen and pencil
  • Template/stencil

Once you've got your supplies together, it's time to start painting.  First, put on a coat of the dark colored paint.  Make sure the paint coats the wood evenly.  It will probably take more than one coat of paint.

Once the dark paint dries, put on a coat of the crackle medium.  Let that dry and then put on a coat of the light colored paint.  

The paint will begin to crackle almost immediately.  Allow the paint to dry completely (at least a few hours), and then you can begin the process of putting the words on the signs.  

I made my "stencils" on Microsoft Word.  I chose Edwardian Script.  I printed the words "Mr." and "Mrs." in a large font and then cut them into rectangles so that they would fit over the plaques.  

I used a pencil to shade in the backside of the paper making sure to cover the entire surface (at least the places where there is writing on the front).  

Then tape the stencils to the plaques.  Then use your pen to trace the letters.  Press hard so that it will leave the outline (from the pencil shading) on the plaques.  

Remove the paper and you should have an outline like this one:

Now you can fill it in with paint.  I was going to use the gold paint that I used as a base, but I wanted it to be darker.  So, I added some black paint to it and then filled in the outline.  

Allow the paint to dry before moving on to the next step (you don't want to smudge the paint and have to attempt to fix it!).  [Side note: the crackle medium recommends sealing the paint with a varnish.  I didn't do it because I was afraid that the paint would smear.  And, I am not using them where they will be exposed to the weather, so I thought they would be okay.  You should decide what you think will be best for your signs.]  

Once the paint is completely dry, you can drill the holes for the ribbon/twine/string (you can use whatever you'd like -- it's to hang the signs from the chair).  You don't necessarily have to drill the holes.  You could find some other way to attach the string.  I just thought it was the easiest way for me.

I drilled a hole on each side of the top of the plaques (in the corners).  I was just going to feed the twine through the holes, but it looked too thin.  So, I took three pieces of twine and braided them together.  Then I took the braided strand and fed it through the holes.  I tied a knot in both ends of the strand to hold it in place (the knots are on the back of the plaques so they cannot be seen).  

Voila!  Now you've got two beautiful signs for your chairs at the wedding.  I'm super pleased with them.

I've also seen these done with "bride" and "groom" or even the names of the bride and groom.  I liked the idea of Mr. and Mrs. because it's the whole point of the wedding, right?  However, I still wanted to be able to use them after the wedding, so I didn't want to use bride and groom.  Philip and I have his and hers closets, so I'm going to use them on the closet doors as decoration after the wedding.  :)

So, what do you think?!

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