diy art

So consider this the first semi-failed Pinterest challenge I have had since embarking on this once a month challenge with my best friend, Kate. She managed to create some great art that I'll show in a minute but mine is still in the works. I'm taking a potting bench and turning it into a bar cart but things have NOT gone as planned. I had little castors for the bottom that were too big [the smallest size offered]. The paint is still tacky after a week due to the humidity around here; we've had nonstop rain for way too long. I also thought I'd use what I had and it would all come together and I was wrong. wrong. wrong. So accept my apologies, enjoy the sneak peek, and indulge in Kate's ability to get her stuff together. 

Now for Kate's masterpiece:

It’s official - I’m on the homemade art bandwagon. Mostly because I’m cheap and refuse to pay a boat 
load for something I can make myself, but also because it’s a super easy and fun way to inject your 
walls with some personality. Anyone who’s been roaming around on pinterest has seen charming hand 
painted signs.

I’ve actually made something similar in the past using a stencil that was hand cut by my husband (he has 
mad exacto knife skills), but since the hubs was working and I wanted to keep all of my fingers, I decided 
to forgo the stencil and try a different method.

Basically, you just print out whatever words/designs you fancy and then use a ballpoint pen to trace 
everything onto the wood. Please note: you have to press really hard. I don’t know if it was the type of 
wood I was using (cheap, scrap plywood), but I definitely broke two pens in the process. Or maybe, I just 
don’t know my own strength.

After selecting a piece of wood from our scrap pile, I gave it a couple of coats of purple spray paint that 
I already had on hand. (fact: at any given time, I have at least 6 different colors of spray paint at my 
disposal. I may have a spray paint addiction). While the wood dried, I printed out my words. I went with 
some lyrics from “Home” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, which is one of my husband and I’s 
favorites. “Home is wherever I’m with you” – holds a special meaning for us, considering we started out 
as a long distance relationship and are currently renting.

Next came the tracing. I taped the words onto the wood, but kept peeking underneath to make sure I 
was actually making an impression. I used a ruler to make sure my lines were nice and straight, because 
me free handing = no bueno. Then it was time to get my paint on. I’m not a great painter by any means 
(unless you count spray paint), so luckily, the indentations gave me something to follow and actually 
acted like a moat to catch the paint. I just carefully outlined each letter and then filled them in.

Fast forward about an hour and I had everything painted. I’m a huge fan of distressing, well, pretty 
much anything. I love the aged look, but I also love how it hides imperfections. Some of my lines weren’t 
perfect and I did paint outside of the lines a few times, but I wasn’t worried. Nothing a little distressing 
couldn’t fix! I simply took some tough grit sandpaper and roughed the whole thing up.

I also opted to rub a little glaze over the whole thing to make the white a little less bright. I bought this 
jug of glaze from Lowes for around $15 for some projects for our wedding this past October. It seemed 
like a lot of money at the time, but it has lasted so long! You really only need a very small amount. I just 
applied it with a damp rag and wiped away the excess. It’s subtle, but I can totally see the difference.

In the end, I’m super pleased with how this turned out. It makes me smile every time I see it.  The 
only thing I would change would be the type of wood – I was just using what I had on hand, but I think 
a softer wood would be easier to indent. Aside from that, this project was pretty easy and could be 
adapted to just about anyone’s personal style/life!


Isn't it so cute? I love the technique because it was so simple and I know I would've made it so much harder on myself! Now I want to do this with some Mumford & Son's lyrics ;)

I hope that holds you over for now! Once I get some goodies in and finish up, I'll be able to share with you! I have big expectations and just don't want to share while it's 'womp womp' instead of 'woot woot.' Happy Friday!


  1. Love the art Kate, it turned out so well! And Caroline, good luck getting your project back on track!

    1. Thanks Brit! I'm recovering from my wisdom teeth this weekend but hope to get the ball Rollin on that!


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