Father’s Day DIY Gift for my Dad

I don’t know about you, but I think men are terribly hard to shop for. My Dad is the greatest and I really wanted to make him a Father’s Day gift I thought he would really enjoy vs. the generic stuff you buy just so you have something to give. I brainstormed for a bit and then the idea struck me like a bolt of lightning. Eureka!!!

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My Inspiration

My Dad is known for wearing “Old Guys Rule” t-shirts. He also LOVES his old 1954 custom red Chevy Truck and has lots of old signs hung up in his garage (man cave). I decided to combine these things into a DIY sign that pays tribute to his favorite stuff – Old CHEVYS Rule.

After his mother, Grandma Grape (Great Grandma, named by my 1st kitten), passed away, I inherited two of her antique twin beds to use for my boys. Sadly the beds had their last run and the wooden frames broke. I saved the wood pieces and decided it would be perfect as well as sentimental to make the sign from.

The Project

I started by cutting the 2×4 planks into four pieces approximately 10 to 12 inches in length with a miter saw. I didn’t want each piece exact so I just eyed my measurements and cuts. I sanded the pieces to remove any varnish and splinters with an electric orbital sander.

I wanted a light wash of color on the wood instead of a thick coat of paint so I took about 2 cups of water and added a small amount red acrylic paint to give a red “white washed” effect. I tested the color on a scrap piece of wood to make sure it would turn out like I wanted. You can add more water or paint depending on your prefered color opacity. I washed about two or three coats on the wood slats with a large paint brush and let them dry completely. Then, I used a foam sanding block to sand around all the edges of each plank to give the sign a slightly aged appearance.

The Fonts

I looked online to find the fonts for Old Guys Rule and Chevy so I could use them in the text on the sign. I just sketched them out by hand but you can print the fonts in the size you like and either cut them out and trace around them directly on the boards or trace the words on the back side of the printouts with a pencil to transpose the image.

When using the transposing method make sure to trace hard with your pencil so plenty of the graphite deposits on the paper. After tracing the back of the lettering (it must be the back side or your letters will be backwards when placed on your project) lay the pencil tracing down facing the wood plank and tape it to keep it from shifting. Use an eraser or something firm to rub the back of the paper. The graphite will transfer to the wood so you have an outline of your lettering. Gently lift a corner of the page to check that the letters transferred completely. If they didn’t, lay the paper back down and go over it again until the outline is clearly visible on your project.

Painting

After you have your words or pictures sketched on the boards you can begin to carefully paint them with acrylic paint letting each coat dry before adding another. Once my pieces were totally dry, I used the foam sanding block and gently sanded over the top of the painting to give it a weathered look. Time to assemble the sign!!

Assembling

I cut a 1×2 inch plank just long enough to fit vertically across all the painted boards, about 14 1/2 inches. I cut the plank down the middle so that I had two 1×1 inch pieces. I lined up my painted boards face down and in the correct order and set a brick at both ends to keep the boards from shifting as I nailed them together with the slats. I ran some wood glue down the back of the 1×1 slats and placed them two inches in from both edges of the sign.

I used small nails that were about 1 1/2 inches in length to hammer the slats into each board to hold the sign together in one piece. I screwed a piece of chain across the top back of the sign leaving slack so that it could be used to hang on the wall. After I hammered all the pieces together I let the glue dry thoroughly before wrapping it for my wonderful Dad to open. He loved it and even hung it INSIDE the house with a gorgeous picture of him and his truck.

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Chat with Kat

I hope you enjoyed this DIY project and it sparked some creative ideas for projects for the men in your life or even something cute for your own She-Shed. Let me know what you thought of this project in the comments below. Do you have any personal and unique gift ideas for those difficult men? Please share below. I would love any advice for future occasions. Thanks for joining me and I hope to chat soon. Kisses!

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