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Nursery Sign Semi Fail

I mentioned in a previous post that my sister-in-law recently had a baby, little Chandler.

chandler 2

Less than two years ago his older sister was born, and I made her this name sign out of an old section of fence and lots and lots of buttons. (tutorial here)

Rustic baby name sign

I can’t very well make Mallory a sign and not Chandler, so I did a little brainstorming on how I could make one without spending days gluing buttons. Buttons would be fine if his name was Bob or TJ or something, but “Chandler” in buttons just isn’t happening. Luckily Cutting Edge Stencils had just come out some new stencils…letter stencils. This was going to be easy.

I started off with a scrap piece if plywood from the garage…

scrap plywood and painting

And applied two coats of paint in Gray’s Harbor (same as my kitchen cabinets).


The letter stencils come in three different sizes, 8 inch, 12 inch, and 18 inch. I thought I remembered that Mallory’s letters were about a foot tall, so I ordered the 12 inch letters in an all different designs.

Letter Stencils

I had planned to stencil the letters on the plywood, trim off all the excess, and frame it. But when I laid out the letters they were way wider than I had anticipated and barely fit on the plywood.

stencil letter prep

I decided to go ahead and stencil it anyway, since I had come this far.

stenciling letters

That above picture was actually taken by Elijah. He has recently become obsessed with taking pictures on my phone…he is getting better, but most of his pictures consist of blurry objects around his feet and direct shots up his nose. Every once in a while though I find a gem on there. This is by far the best picture he has ever taken…think we’re going to practice a little and make him the official photographer of mommy working. Phone photographer, that is, because he is still absolutely and completely forbidden from ever touching – or even looking at – my DSLR.

So, I finished stenciling. It didn’t take me long, and it looked good….but it was huge. So ridiculously huge. It was over eight feet long and I hadn’t even framed it yet.


I stood there staring at it, trying to decide what to do.  My inner monologue went a little something like this…

“There was no way I can give this to Jaime. Should I make a new one? Will it even fit in her car…or on the wall? Her kids will be sharing a small bedroom, this thing will look way out of place. I should definitely make a new one. But…I’m almost finished! It’s fine. She will love it. Or she’ll hate it but tell me she loves it. That’s the worst. Then she will hang it out of guilt and curl her lip at it each time she lays Chandler down in his crib…his crib that is much smaller than his ridiculous name sign. Oh, maybe she could hang it vertically! No, that’s dumb. UGH. Decisions.”

A few hours later I’m still undecided and Adam pulls into the driveway.  The boys run out to meet him on the porch (as usual), and he comes in with them and says “Hey baby, how was you d…GOOD LORD, is that for Keith and Jaime? It is HUGE. You’re not actually planning to give that to them are you?

So I texted Jaime the above picture and asked her opinion….


Aww, Jaime is so nice. She’s right…six feet, eight feet, what’s the difference?

DIY fail

But I just can’t do it…I’m not in love with it and I can do better. So I’ve started over and am making one that looks completely different and is a more reasonable size. I’m hoping to finish up this weekend and have the final product up on next week. Starting over was the right move, because no one should be on the receiving end of an eight foot gift.

Read about my second attempt HERE

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    1. The porch does look good, doesn’t it? It actually stays fairly clean these days…although while taking this picture I was standing on a giant canvas of scribble chalk art. It’s basically a permanent part of the porch design :)

  1. One day that precious little boy will be a teenager and LOVE the 8-foot tribute to him! Just think…14th birthday gift…DONE!!! Now you just have to find a place to store it. ;)

  2. Ha! yep…it’s big. But you know what. That would be so awesome for a teens room…especially if he turns out being about 6 ft tall! it could run the length of his bed… hahahaha!
    glad you shared it, and are totally cool with making us LOL… :)

  3. LOL! Yep, a project tends to take on a life of it’s own…who knows how they’ll turn out? Love what you’re doing, and can’t wait to see the second version!

  4. Beautiful Sign, a bit too big but totally cool.
    Am i the only one who is bothered you have 58 unread messages?!

    1. No, you’re not…it drives my husband insane! He needs that number to be at zero all the time. I’ve read all 58 messages, they pop up on my phone and if they are under five words or so it shows the whole thing. If they don’t need a response I don’t click through to read them. I should also admit that I have 45 unheard messages. I just call people back without listening to the message…it’s usually just people telling me to call them back anyway.

      1. That would drive me insane! I NEED that number to be Zero, same with emails and voicemails. I accept my OCDness lol xxx
        Love the blog x

  5. Ok so it’s big – but I do love it. I have found that most of my projects are a fail the first time around. Drives me (and my family) NUTS! I can’t wait to see Round 2.

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