For the annual DIY addition to our Hallowe'en collection, we were inspired by a post on BHG for a "Dead and Breakfast" sign. However, we were fresh out of "vintage freestanding signposts", so we had to improvise. Fortunately, we happened upon a newel post at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, which would do quite nicely. (A newel post? Yes, a newel post for $5 bones.)
For the lateral beam from which our spooooooky sign would hang, I used a spare stud. I was initially going to just screw the stud into the back of the newel post, but then what's the point of owning power tools and ten spare fingers? I used my circular saw to make parallel cuts the same width of the stud, then knocked out the thin remaining slats, creating a notch that perfectly fit the stud.
See how nicely this fits? I then used a couple of 3" deck screws (it's what I had) to hold the stud in-place.
For the base, I just grabbed another spare piece of wood, a 2"x12" floor joist. I used L-brackets to connect the newel post to the joist, and my recreation "vintage freestanding signpost" was done.
I used yet another piece of scrap wood for my sign, which I cut to approximate size with my circular saw.
I then created bezier curves in Inkscape, printed them out, and traced pairs of the curves onto the sign.
I used a sharpie, just tracing and re-tracing the lines on the paper, which soaked through the paper and onto the wood enough that I could fill in the missing parts of the line onto the wood free-hand.
A couple of quick cuts with my jigsaw, and a quick sanding of the edges, and my sign was ready.
For the dangling part of the sign, I used yet ANOTHER piece of scrap, which was in the "free" pile at the Re-Store.
I followed the BHG instructions for making the paint washes. I got nervous when the 1:1 mixture of paint and water looked too thick, so watered it down further, but the wood ended up soaking up a lot of the paint, so 1:1 would have been fine.
We didn't have any transfer paper to do the letters, and I'm no artist, so the wife took over lettering duty, and applied several layers of matte finish to protect it. A couple of lengths of chain and eight eye-hooks later, the sign was assembled and ready to display!
Anyone want to stay for a visit? We have lots of room, if you dare!