This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Erie Insurance.
When my husband and I purchased our first home, we had many people give us well-meaning homeowner’s advice. No matter what the specific advice was, the concept surrounding the advice was consistently the same: Home maintenance is something that never ends for home owners. Sometimes it means replacing a broken air conditioning unit. Other times it means a more cosmetic upgrade from carpet to hard wood floors. And, for less expensive make-overs, maintenance may mean changing up a room’s decor. After being a homeowner for fifteen years, I can honestly say that it never truly ends. We are always making over, replacing, renovating, or fixing something!
Oftentimes, we find that our “fixing up” stems from homeowner regrets of aspects of our home that we wish had been different when we purchased it. Erie Insurance, an insurance company that provides homeowner insurance, conducted a survey to assess how homeowners feel about their home purchase. When 500 homeowners were surveyed, 94.6% stated that they liked or loved their homes, but 47% admitted to having some sort of regret with their chosen home purchase. Hardwood flooring, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a fireplace, and a deck are all aspects that made the list of items that homeowners prioritized when making a home purchase yet they would not choose again. All of these items are features that add value to a home, and the Erie Insurance survey found that many are not aware of the “guaranteed replacement coverage” that they should be looking for when choosing homeowner’s insurance. “Guaranteed replacement coverage” is insurance coverage that would pay to rebuild a home in today’s dollars. Be sure to talk to your local insurance agent to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance policy has the right coverage for your home. Erie Insurance includes “guaranteed replacement cost” in their policies. Check with a local Erie Insurance agent to see if they can help you understand your policy or homeowner insurance needs.
Currently, we are focusing on remodeling our living room. The room has very dated wood wainscot on the lower half of the walls, some of which has been damaged through the years. Removal is a daunting project, one that we have decided not to tackle ourselves with four elementary aged kids running around the house. However, while waiting for the construction business to come, I have been planning how we will cosmetically update the room after the wall project is complete.
Soon after the triplets became toddlers, we realized that none of our home decor items in the living area (or the rest of the house for that matter) would survive their preschool years. We gave away or sold all unnecessary home decor items. Now that the boys are older, we are excited to make our home look more, well, home-y, starting with this DIY HOME sign.
These HOME signs with the wreath in place of the “O” are hugely popular right now. By making it myself, I can customize it to the colors that work best in my home and with my decor. Since I am a terrible stencil painter and free hand painter, I am using iron-on vinyl to create the letters for this sign. Using a die cutting machine and iron-on vinyl definitely has its advantages. When iron-on vinyl is used on wood, it melts into the grooves of the wood and looks very similar to paint. It is also easier for anyone, even those who are terrible at stencil painting like myself, to achieve a professional looking project. The disadvantage to using iron-on vinyl on wood is that it is not waterproof, thus the sign cannot be used outdoors. The sign should be used only in a covered area or indoors.
Supplies for project:
- Die cutting machine
- StandardGrip cutting mat
- Iron-on vinyl
- Paint for the bottom layer (base color that will show through the distressing of the main color)
- Paint for the top layer (main color)
- Fine grit sand paper
- Home iron or EasyPress
- Measuring tape or ruler
- 12″ boxwood wreath
- Wood plant, 3 feet by 12 inches
- Small screw (make sure that it is not long enough to exit the back of the wood plank)
- Work surface covering
- Clear spray sealant
- Face mask to cover nose and mouth while sanding
Tip: When shopping for the wood plank, you may notice that some stores have a paint grade plank and a stain grade plank. These two have noticeable differences in the finish of the wood. They also have significant price differences. At the store where I purchased mine, it was as much as a 50% price difference. The paint grade plank works great for this project. If you would like to try this project with stain instead of paint, then you will need to purchase the stain grade plank, as well as wood stain rather than paint.
Inspect the wood plank. Make sure that there are no rough spots on the wood. If there are, sand these. Use a clean cloth to remove any wood dust or other dirt residue from the wood plank.
Paint the wood plank with the base color. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Paint the entire wood board with a minimum of three coats of paint. Follow the directions on the particular paint that you have purchased in regards to drying time in between coats.
Paint the wood plank with the main color paint. Apply at least two coats of paint. Allow it to dry thoroughly. Follow the directions on the particular paint that you have purchased in regards to drying time in between coats. Allow the plank to “cure” for a few days. When it is no longer “sticky” to the touch, continue to step 4.
Tip: This step produces much dust and sanded material. Use a face mask that covers the nose and mouth to minimize breathing in the debris from this step.
Use the light grit sandpaper to distress the entire plank. This allows the base color to show through the main color. There is no exact science to this step. Take it slowly at first to get a feel of the sandpaper and how much applied pressure will show the base coat. Do this over the entire plank until satisfied with the results. Some people like the base coat color to show heavily through the main color while others prefer it to show lightly.
Use a lightly dampened cloth to clean the plank.
Utilizing the die-cutting machine and StandardGrip cutting mat, cut the letters from the iron-on vinyl. Be sure to place the iron-on vinyl with the shiny side down on the mat. Mirror the image before cutting. Click here to get the letters HME ready to cut and already sized for a 36″ long plank, or if you would rather start from scratch, the letters HME should be the following dimensions to allow for space for the wreath and space between letters:
Remove any unnecessary iron-on vinyl from the design, also known as weeding the vinyl.
Place the letters and wreath on the plank to make sure that they will fit properly. This step is crucial to completing the project correctly. If they do not fit, it will allow a chance to adjust the sizing of the letters accordingly.
Use the tape measure to ensure proper placement of the letters. The letter should be centered down the plank, and the top and bottom should have the same margin. Once the placement looks centered and straight, remove the wreath and continue to Step 8.
Use the home iron or EasyPress to adhere the letters to the plank. If using the EasyPress, follow the directions that accompany the device. I personally used the EasyPress at 300 degrees for 20 seconds. After twenty seconds, I checked the letter, and, if it still was not completely adhered, I applied the heat in 10 second intervals until the letter was secure. Peel the iron-on vinyl film from the letter while warm.
Continue this with the remaining letters.
Insert the screw slightly below the H, keeping the screen in the center horizontally. The wreath will hang on this screw. Do a dry run of the wreath and screw placement before inserting the screw if needed.
Apply a coat of sealant to the plank. Spray the sealant at least 10-16″ from the plank. Do not over saturate the letters. The sealant should be a light coat that serves as an extra precaution to help prolong the life of the letters and the sign. Allow the sealant to dry completely.
Hang the wreath.