Start Being Awesome typography art

Hey you! Ya, you.. I order you to

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I made something. Something really really awesome. Wanna see?

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I found a piece of typographic statement art on pinterest* that was so amazing I even used it when I talked about mean comments last month. I’m really bummed though because the original source has been deleted and I can’t find who to credit anywhere. If you know who made this, please let me know so I can give them credit!

I LOVE love love this saying so much (“awesome” is kinda *my* word, ya know) that I just had to recreate it. I put my own spin on it though by changing the color and making it more rustic looking. Dare I say I like my “copy” even better than the original?

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I’m still trying to narrow down a new home for it, so I tried out two places for my picture taking. I love it in the kitchen but am not sure I like the gray on gray action going on. It looks great against the yellow, though.

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I have been falling in love with this rustic throw-back look ever since I discovered Rodney White last year. I think this style is my new *thing*. You know, like how orange and the word awesome are my *thing*?

So are you dying to know how to make this art for yourself? Are you awesome enough? Can you even handle it?!

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I wanted to make a huge piece of statement artwork but I had a budget of exactly ZERO dollars. Isn’t it amazing what you can come up with when you are forced to get creative?!

The previous owners left this random fence in our garage. It blocked off one section for their dogs. I moved it outside against our big fence where it has sat… for over a year.

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I’d been meaning to drag it out to the curb for the trash men, but there was something that held me back every week. I just knew one day I would want this wood for a project. Man am I glad I saved it! And being outside gave it a perfect weathered look.

I pried off several fence boards with a pry bar.

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Then I took a hammer and hammered all the nails out of them. I had Travis take some pics of me hammering the nails out, but OMG I look so fat crouched down that I refuse to post them online. So just imagine me with a hammer.

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When that was over, I drug them into the garage and lined them up to get a visual of how the sign was going to look. I figured 6 posts looked pretty good to me. But the tops of the posts… yikes. Not the look I’m going for.

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Easy enough to fix. I just chopped off the tops of each board with my compound miter saw. You can totally do this with a hand saw though too.

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Now they are ready to be nailed together. Grab some 1×2′s or whatever wood you have laying around that might work and lay your boards over the top of them. Then just go to town nailing them to the scrap 1×2′s.

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Don’t mind the total wonky-ness of the crooked 1×2′s. Whoops. I guess you can take a few extra minutes to make sure you are nailing them on straight. But oh-well! It works good enough for me. I would have tried to make the back all level and even but honestly, I was outside and in the garage and it’s still blasted-hot here in Texas, and I was so over the elements, so I was in “get it done and get inside asap” mode.

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Okay, so now you need to think about what color you want your letters to be. Paint the entire front of the sign with your letter color. I chose white.

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When the paint is dry give it a quick light sanding to make it more worn and rustic looking.

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And now the fun begins! Now it’s time to start on the phrase.

I busted out my new Silhouette CAMEO** and a roll of vinyl. This was the first project I did with the CAMEO and I was itching to give it a good ol’ test run with something big and hard. Er, I didn’t mean it like that! You know what I mean. I wanted a big project to see what this Silhouette could handle. :)

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The CAMEO worked great. I’m still shocked at how easy the Software is to use. I had the sign made up and cut out in probably about 30 minutes or so.

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If you are using the Silhouette and vinyl to cut your stencils you will now need to add the transfer paper to the vinyl. However, there are a variety of ways you can make this sign without a Silhouette. For example, you can print the words out, cut them out, trace them onto the board, then hand paint them. The Silhouette just made the job a lot quicker and easier.

Not to derail the post, but I just have to show you how messy of a crafter I am! Yikes! This is pretty much what my space looks like whenever I tackle any project. Not kidding.

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Now you get to attach the letters to the board!

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I’ll be totally honest here, I used Silhouette’s Premium vinyl, which has worked great on all my other projects, but it wasn’t so great on this project. The wood was not smooth enough and the vinyl just WOULD.NOT.STICK. to the boards. At all. It was a huge pain to try to get the letters off the transfer paper and onto the board and took lots of time and patience.

I needed a way to get the letters to stick better or the project was going to be a total bust, so I used the same concept in my tutorial for painting perfect lines… I painted the base coat over each of the letters to seal them. Any paint seepage would be the same base color so when I painted the 2nd color over the top, the 2nd color didn’t seep under the letters.

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After the base coat is applied around each letter (two coats just to be safe), it’s time to paint your 2nd color. I used some leftover paint from when I was trying to pick the perfect paint color for my family room. In hindsight I would have probably really loved using a tangerine orange color to match my new curtains, but like I said before, this was a FREE project so I used what I had.

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The moment of truth. Did painting the white around the letters prevent seepage of the greige color?

I used this handy hook tool Silhouette sent me in one of their starter kits. It looks like a dental scraper thing and it was perfect for lifting the vinyl off the board.

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Oh I’m loving it already. And guess what?! No greige seeped under any lettter!!! Worked like a charm.

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The vision in my head had the art just a little more aged looking, so I took it back to the garage and gave it another sand down. Totally love the new look, but don’t get me wrong, the non-sanded look was great too.

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When you are done sanding you will want to wipe it down really well to get all the dust off and then finish it off with a coat of clear top coat. Here’s what I used.

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And that’s it. That’s all there is to it. Ha. I say that like I casually made the sign in just a few hours. Actually I worked on the sign over a several day period of time. If you make one it’s not a quick hour-long project, but the time you put into it will be worth it in the end.

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Here’s how it looks from the side.

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I really love the phrase for a few reasons. The first is because it’s quirky and random. And it has the word “awesome” in it. And I love quirky random awesome things. And second, because it reminds me that I can choose how to feel. I don’t have to allow sad feelings to take over my day. I can choose to be happy instead. It’s a nice reminder each day to smile and be happy and not let myself get down, especially if I get a mean comment.

I’m just going to be awesome every day. I’m going to:

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So, tell me, are you into this worn out throw-back look that is sweeping the nation? Do you like to hang phrases around your house, or are you more of a picture person? And the most important question… Do you think you will attempt to paint your own statement art similar to this one? I hope you do! And if you do I hope you send me the pics of it. Now go and help spread awesomeness.

edited to add:

I also made a yellow one for a client! Check out the yellow “awesome” artwork here.


     
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