I have a lot of nice comments on my Christmas Mantle this year, and I thought I would give you a quick tutorial on how I made the lighted wood sign.
Just like with my turkey silhouette sign for my Thanksgiving mantle, I took apart an old pallet with a crow bar and then nailed the planks tighthly back together with my nail gun.
For some reason the boards were different thicknesses this time, so I put them all face down on the ground and nailed the support board to them (instead of nailing them into the support board.) Doing it that way insured that the exposed surface would be level:
I then stained the whole thing with some regular old woodstain:
I printed out a design on the computer, and spray glued it down. Then I used a razor blade to cut out the letters, and silhouettes and then painted them.
ETA: Lots of people have asked for more details about how I got the stencil onto the board (sorry I didn't include more photos) Here are the details:
I googled "Three Wise Men Silhouette" and blew up the image in Photoshop. I saved it as a large PDF and had it print in sections.. (If you don't have photoshop, you can just tell your printer to print it at 300% (or however big you want it) on multiple sheets.) I did this the same way I did the turkey on this piece (so you can see what the split up printout looks like.)
I originally printed out the silhouettes/words on regular paper (but I would use cardstock if I had to do it again) and then sprayed the backside of the paper (dont' spray the wood or it will leave a residue) with repositionable spray adhesive (this is the kind of spray I used) to stick the paper to the board. Then I used an xacto knife to cut out the printed out letters so that you end up with a stencil. (You are cutting away the black printing.. leaving the white paper as a stencil.) Then I LIGHTLY blotted on paint to stencil the letters and finally I removed the paper (when the paint was wet so that you don't 'glue' the paper down with the paint after it dries).
I am soooo happy to say that this is the last time I will ever hand cut letters out since I finally bought myself a Silhouette Cameo! Overstock.com had some great black friday deals on them! I can't wait to start using it.
This is what it looked like when I finished painting:
(I actually posted it on Instagram back on November 9th, so you should be following me there if you want sneak previews of my projects! *hint*hint*):
The reason I left so much open space is that I knew I wanted to add lighted stars. I experimented with two strings of lights; LEDs and incandescents and I liked how the traditional lights looked. Much warmer (and they needed a much smaller hole) than the LEDs.
I drilled about 10 holes randomly around the pallet. The string I was using actually had 20 lights but I didn't want them to have to be too close together.
I inserted the sting of lights and held it in place with a little duct tape:
And the final Christmas Mantle:
All for the cost of one string of mini-lights!