A Gift for My Sister

Some of you may have seen this already or know about this sign, but this is what ultimately led me to the beginning of this entire adventure. This was the very first sign I made - it was a wedding gift for my sister and her husband for their wedding last year. After months of searching for the perfect wedding gift, I finally decided to just create it - A wood piece with their first dance lyrics that is now hanging above their bed. How did I get from there to here? Well… here’s the story…

February 2018

My little sister was getting married! The pressure was on to make sure I gifted her something really memorable, after all I am her big sister and was her Maid of Honor. I've always loved personalized gifts myself - the ones that have a special place in your heart because they have sentimental value that you can’t just buy at the store. In my opinion, there is no better time than a wedding for a gift like that so it was really important for me to give her and her husband something they were going to be able to look back on that would bring them back to their wedding day.

After months of searching for something that was personalized to them, had meaning, and would subtly remind them of their special day when they saw it, I finally came up with the idea of sign for their home that had their first dance lyrics on them - "Thank God I'm Yours" by Russel Dickerson (in case you were wondering).

Now how?

So I figured out what I wanted to gift them, but now I had to figure out how to make it because I had never actually made a sign before. It seemed like something I could just make, but could I really? I searched blogs, YouTube videos and tutorials and oh my - it was overwhelming! Plus, majority of the things I read, were people with all these fancy machines that would basically create the sign and frame for you. I knew I didn’t have any of that so I had to be creative and knew I was going to have to figure it out as I went.

After trial and error, I finally figured out a way to transfer my design to act as a stencil by pressed a reverse image with an Iron. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it worked and the next thing was paint! Luckily my stencil was dark enough to show through when I painted the piece of wood white. After letting that dry, I outlined the letters with a thin sharpie and started painting the letters in between those lines. Couple days later and wha-la!

Next up was the frame. Thanks again to YouTube, I now needed to go buy a miter box (hand saw) to cut some wood to create their frame. A little sawdust (in my living room), stain, nails, and wood glue, and the frame was complete! A couple days later, I wrapped it and gave it to them the day before we headed out to their wedding. I think it’s safe to say they were surprised and they loved (I saw a couple tears!) - and it is now hanging above their bed in their first home!

The Finished Product…

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Then What?

A couple months later, my sister asked to make a smaller sign for a friend of hers with her first dance lyrics as her wedding gift from her. I ended up making her her sign and then in the middle of this all, I needed a sign for my new condo (another blog coming soon!). After that, friends and family started figuring out I could make these and started asking for custom signs of their own.

Later that summer, I found out an event-planner friend of mine found out I made signs and happened to be putting on a bridal showcase at a new venue nearby and asked me if I wanted to be a part of it with my signs IN 6 DAYS! First thought - “OH MY GOSH!” Was I really going to put this out there and be a part of it? I didn’t have anything prepared, no marketing materials, no signs to show off… nothing. How was I suppose to sell something with nothing to show or send them to to inquire? BUT what an awesome opportunity if this was something I wanted to do! Was starting a big project like this something I wanted to commit to? Deep down I wanted to do it, but could I and could I get an entire “business” put together in 6 days?!

Check back next week to see what my next 6 days were like!

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