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Do you find yourself saying the same things to your kids over and over and over again? The top 3 most used words at the Gubler’s (not including the ones that are mumbled under my breath) are “Be Nice.” “Leave Your Sister Alone.” and “Be A Happy Girl!” As a parent all I want is for my girls to be happy. Not the kind of immediate fleeing happiness that we seem to chase after but happiness in your core. This was my inspiration for this sign for Ivie’s room.
You guys know how I preach finding inspiration and running with it in your own direction? That is exactly what happened with this project. I saw this twinkle light headboard on Apartment Therapy and thought it was SO fun. So I stashed it in my brain. Then a few weeks ago over on Young House Love John framed some really cool deconstructed bike pictures by building the most simple frame ever. Noted John, noted.
So those ideas, married mine (I guess that would make them polygamous) and the Happy Girl sign was born.
So sorry its not lit up in this pic, I snapped it while I was staging and for some reason didn't get a full shot once it was plugged in, but I wanted you to see the size of it!!
To make this sign you will need:
1- 30x36'” sheet of Plexiglas
16’ of 1x4” wood
16’ of 1x2” wood
Frosted Spray Paint
Spray Paint Color of your choice
Letter Stencils (you can use vinyl, painters tape, etc.)
1 Strand of White Christmas Lights
1 Extension Cord
Start by making a frame out of the 1x2 that is the same size or a tich smaller than your plexi. This frame is simply for support, it will not be seen. The outer edges of your frame should line up with the outer edges of the plexi. Make sense? Same size.
Notice that I made the inside pieces are shorter so they would fit inside the top and bottom pieces without having to cut a 45 degree angle and have mitered corners. We are going to simple folks…just the way (uh-huh uh-huh) I like it.
Nail your pieces together with a nail gun (or if you don't have one available you can wood glue, or screw it together)
Once this one is finished you are going to make one exactly the same way but with your 1x4’s keeping in mind that this frame and your plexi need to fit INSIDE it.
To make an even outer lip on the sign use your scrap wood to raise the inner frame and nail it in place.
Make sure that your plexi glass fits and then give yourself a HUGE slap on the butt for a job well done. ps I totally recommend doing that in your garage where all your neighbors can see you.
For the signage I mocked it up in Photoshop to see size-wise what I was looking at. My letters ended up being just over 14” tall.
FYI that alternate title for this project was Frankensign. I only had a teeny bit of vinyl and I was NOT about to put this project on hold to wait for some, so I got creative and used my scrappy vinyl, transfer tape, and painter tape. They don't call me The DIY MacGyver for nothin.
Remember when you are making your letters that you mirror them so that the front is sticky, otherwise you will end up with backwards letters and that is not awesome.
Ok now one thing that you need to remember when you are doing this project is that plexi glass is a very smooth non porous surface, and there isn't really anything you can do to make it more spray paint friendly. If you are not careful this will scratch. That is why we are doing the painting on the inside and not the outside.
After you have your letters sealed off throw down 2 coats of frosted spray paint. This is the best kind of “primer” you can use on a glass surface. It will also seal the edges of your letters and prevent against bleeding.
Once your 2 coats are dry, spray on a minimum of 3 coats of your color. MAKE SURE YOU SHAKE YOUR CAN. I am an impatient sprayer and normally its fine, but the color that I used (Rustoleum’s Blue Slate) is one that has a light and a dark color inside (I have only seen this with Krylon’s Classic Gray before) you have to shake it for a solid 3 minutes to get it to spray in an even color. Because I jumped the gun my sign has a little color variation in it that isn't ideal, but not a huge enough deal to start all over.
Gently peel off your letters and then spray a few coats of the frosted spray paint over the letters (otherwise they will be totally clear, this is just fogging them up a little)
Once everything is dry, place it in your frame (also if you are staining your wood you will want to do it before you do this, I used Restore a Finish in Walnut on mine for a really light color. You can read more about that here.)
Use a low heat glue gun along the corners of your plexi and wooden frame to secure it in place.
While your glue gun is still hot attach your Christmas lights to the wooden frame. I took mine all around the perimeter and then zig zagged across the back of the picture.
Use a dab of hot glue to hold the wire in place. Make sure its low temp glue, just to be safe.
Plug it into a simple extension cord and hang it on the wall.
Total cost for this baby was $45 and it is so huge it takes up a giant white wall that was KILLING me. Love that! To see what the other side of Ivie’s room looks like check out this post!
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