Monday, March 21, 2011

DIY: Vintage Window Sign Tutorial

On a trip to Round Top last year I randomly purchased this vintage window for $10.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but it seemed like a cool thing to have and for $10 I couldn't really pass it up.

After a few weeks of staring at it I decided to turn it into a vintage window sign for my kitchen.  I did a little bit of research online about how I could do it and I combined some of the tips to come up with my own tutorial for you guys.  Here is the step-by-step guide on how to create your own vintage window sign art:

1.  Locate an old window pane.  Use a scraper to clean up any paint or glue around the edges of the glass.  Mine was already white, but the bottom was pretty worn down so I lightly dry brushed a coat of white on it to match the rest of the frame.  Be sure to clean it really well with Windex before you start to paint!

2.  Select a size and design for your image.  I used a stencil pattern I found online and enlarged and tweaked it a little bit.  You can use MS Word or photoshop to create your own family bakery sign, do a monogram, or even a coffee shop sign.

3.  Once you have finished the design, use your program to flip it so it is backwards.  If you can't do this, you can always use a photocopy machine to flip it or enlarge it.  Print it out in the size you need.

TIP: To use less ink, you can always just do the outline of your letters.  And if you don't have access to a copy machine to flip your design, print it out the correct way facing font and hold it up to a window.  Trace the outline of the letters on the back of the paper to get your design backwards on the other side.

4.  Tape the flipped design to the BACK of your window.  Below is my design, centered and taped to the back using painters tape.

5.  Select a paint color or colors for your design.  I used basic black craft paint from Hobby Lobby and chose black because black paint is typically very thick and easy to apply and get straight edges with.  Using a small brush, fill in the letters.  You can see above where I have already painted the A and U of au bon pain.

TIP: For a more worn, vintage look, do only one coat of paint.  This will leave some brush strokes that give a nice aged look.  For mine I chose to do a second coat, so they letters were totally filled in and solid.  Looking back, I may have left it with just one coat because mine is so solid it almost looks like a decal and you lose that hand painted look.

6.  Once it dries, flip your windw over to reveal your design on the back side of the glass, facing the correct way!  I applied some eyes and wire to hang in my kitchen.

This method is really versatile and I am thinking about doing a similar project using a large store-bought picture frame and the glass that comes with it to hang in my guest bathroom.  Just remove the back of the frame and use a silicone caulk to secure the glass to the back of the picture frame.

And, just in case you were wondering, Boulangerie Au Bon Pain translates to "Bakery with good bread" in French, and the bottom line is the address of the bakery.


Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic said...

This is so cute, I love it!
I loved the print you used.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely fabulous Kimberly. I will try with a small one, but I will. This is just fantastic. Loved your blog.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Great work! I have always wanted to try this technique. Love what you chose for your graphic!