This is part 2 in a 4 part run of Christmas crafty projects. Today’s DIY craft project feature is a DIY barnwood porch sign. If you missed any of the other 3 DIY Christmas craft projects, here they are:
My husband had his knee replaced a few weeks ago, that’s limited the outdoor Christmas decorating a bit. The nativity was much easier to set up on the front porch this year, instead of the sloping front yard. (I actually like it on the porch and it was so much easier, this might be the spot for it from now on.)
I felt the nativity looked best on the right side of the porch, which made the center of the porch look like it needed something. I decided a banner hanging between the center beams was what I wanted to see.
The word ‘noel’ was the choice for the banner for a couple of reasons… It’s only 4 letters long, so much easier for me to hand paint. Secondly, I love the word ‘noel’ which is French for ‘Christmas season’, but has an older latin origin ‘birth’. Perfect to be displayed next to the nativity celebrating the birth of our Savior.
My hubby is truly a teamplayer with my decorating and DIY antics. It’s possible after 41 years of living with me, he’s realized if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em… I have to admit when I get on a decorating mission, I am a bit tenacious with my vision. Some may call it stubborn, but I like to think of it more as persevering.
When I told him what I had envisioned for this porch banner, (though this is a very small commitment on the scale of projects I’ve dragged him through) he quickly chimed in that he had some barnboards he’d been saving. I have no idea where he got them from, but sure enough, back by the firewood pile there were the barnboards perfect for our project.
After they were cut to even lengths for the 4 letters of the banner, I brought them inside and started to sketch out each letter.
For inspiration, I found a hanging noel banner online, (to be honest, if that one online wasn’t discontinued and unavailable, I would have bought it and this post wouldn’t exist!). I really liked the font of the letters that were on it, so kept my phone screen open for reference as I sketched each letter onto the barnwood.
White chalk worked the best for sketching the large letters. It was easy to erase with a damp papertowel, and showed up better than pencil.
Next, I outlined the letters in white acrylic paint.
Next with red paint, I was careful to leave a little white border around the perimeter.
Finally I added a skinny red shadow line.
To give the letters outdoor moisture resistance, I sprayed several coats of clear outdoor finish over the dry paint. Fortunately it was in the 50’s outside when I did this… unusually warm this time of year for NW Wisconisn! (Sorry, forgot to take a pic of that part. Imagine a spray can, and 4 barnwood letters laying in the landscape rock in the backyard receiving several thin coats of clear finish that’s invisible to see going on. Yep, it was that interesting)
To hang the 4 pieces of barnwood, I found exactly 4 screw eyes in the ‘junk bin’ where we keep unwanted and leftover hardware items… (well 1 of several areas we keep those types of things…)
My thought was to hang each letter on a heavy jute cord I had, slipping it through each screw eye. (actually that jute cord was leftover from THIS MACRAME project)
So next, I carefully measured the center of the top of the barnwood pieces, marking where the screw eye would be mounted.
I predrilled a pilot hole for the screw eye…
Then put in the screw eye, using simple leverage to turn it into place.
Having my oldest granddaughter give me a hand, I slipped the jute cord through the screw eyes, knotting each letter in place on the jute, then proceeded to hang the banner…
My 15 year old granddaughter likes to tell the story that in her nearly all-knowing teenage wisdom, told me before this part in the project, but I remember it at just about this point when we both noticed as soon as I held up my end of the jute rope…
The single screw eye holding the letters twisted and turned on the jute once hung up, so that the letters were not visible from the front to see its ‘noel’ message.
Back inside for a quick fix…
I added 2 screws on the top of each barnwood, flanking each side of the screw eye a couple inches. To that screw I just twisted a piece of florist wire around it and the jute.
It worked this time!
I like that the ‘NOEL’ barnwood porch banner is not over-powering the nativity, but it has just the right amount of presence.
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Here you can check out all the Christmas decorating projects I’ve written about: