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Oops! Argh! Sign Fail

You know how you’re on a bunch of deadlines, lots to get done, limited time frame etc etc and you suddenly decide that NOW is the time to start a new, totally frivolous project just for yourself?  Cause that will totally help your stress level?

I did that.

In the midst of trying to get coasters made, stores stocked and the workroom made over I became overwhelmed with a desire to make a vintage sign.  No delay could be accepted!  I couldn’t fight it!  I had to make it!

I should have fought it.

I dig vintage signs and I LOVE donuts (and pie, and ice cream and cookies and…..excuse me I need to go to the gym…) so when I saw this sign from Knmoor’s Flickr photo stream I knew it was what I wanted for the workroom wall.vintage donut signI had saved the cabinet doors from the old kitchen and the former owner had painted latex over oil so “distressing” wasn’t too tough – the paint kinda peels off.Using an old cabinet door to make a vintage signAnd then I stopped planning and started improvising…..cause that ALWAYS works out well…..

I had some leftover vinyl letters that I had bought for my London Dresser.  So I painted red patches where I wanted the DONUT TIME lettering to go and laid them over it.DIY cabinet door vintage signThen I painted over everything with antique white and peeled away the letters.  The vinyl peeled away a few too many layers but that was OK – just added to the distress.DIY vintage wood sign in progress

So far so good but I now had that blank spot in the middle.  And that’s when simultaneously  inspiration struck and everything went downhill – but I didn’t know that last part yet.

 Family History: 

My grandmother (dad’s side) was just one of the most terrific people ever.  My sisters and I could tell wonderful story after wonderful story about her.  She was feisty and vibrant and smart.  She was a music teacher who went deaf in her 30s but even that didn’t slow her down.  Any problem was just a challenge to be worked around.   In short, she was awesome and we all aspire to be as much like her as possible.

She also loved donuts.

She loved them a lot.

The tradition, when visiting her, was that you would go to MelloCream, pick out your donuts- be introduced to, literally, everyone in the shop (who would tell you how great your grandmother was.  They also seemed to know everything about you which was a bit disconcerting) – and then you would take your donuts home to have the next day for breakfast.

So, I decided my donut sign would be a little reminder of Grandmom and her home in Springfield Illinois.

I used my Silhouette Machine to create a MeloCream graphic.  Nifty!

My intent was to do a stencil but I totally screwed that up that didn’t work out so it was back to undercoating and stickering which was kinda tricky as I’d already painted the rest of the sign. 

So I painted, peeled, distressed and distressed some more

I was pleased!  It was a tribute to Grandmom! And  I wanted you all to see it!  I wanted my sisters to be a little bit jealous and yet touched at the same time!  And I knew it would all be good!   And And And!!!!!!

vintage sign tutorial

…..I spelled Springfield wrong.

Yes, through umpteen iterations of the graphic, through designing it, cutting it out, sticking it on, rubbing the letters, painting and distressing I failed to notice that little oops until I took the picture.

Ah well.  I have learned from my mistakes along the way.  I will pull a full Grandmom and figure out a better way.  I have a lot more cabinet doors and the next version will be even better!  Stay tuned.

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

19 responses »

  1. Hi David,
    Personally, I’d use it exactly the way it is. I think it’s charming and love it . And this is from a person who can be quite anal and a perfectionist. If your Grandmother was as quirky as you say, I think she would like it too. Besides, it took me quite a while to find the “mistake”.
    Hope all is well,

  2. Leave it just like it is. There’s a cool story behind it. (ps-love reading your posts! They’re always good for a laugh or two.)

  3. I say leave it! What fun. I think it turned out great!

  4. You do a sign “Fail” and it’s still super cool!

  5. Yep, very touched and a little bit jealous…and sorry about the spelling–I understand why you have to do over, it would drive me nuts too! Can’t wait to see the re-do!

  6. Nice job, it’s gorgeous! I wouldn’t worry about the spelling – I bet no one would notice!

  7. I love it! I love the story (I have a similar donut story about my dad – there’s pictures in our visits of each of us biting into one over the years. lol….family thing). And I agree with the others, the fail makes it all the more charming. 🙂

  8. Karen VanWinkle

    Love your sign! I do remember Melocreme Donuts…..I grew up in Springfield. They were the best!! Wonder if they are still being made there today.

  9. I love how it turned out! I think it looks perfect! I want a donut! Now!

  10. hahahahaha 🙂

    I loved the ending. If I could write the story of my life… would be exactly like this post…..truly fabulous…..but a letter short 🙂

    Thanks for the smile!

  11. That is too funny! But I think the misspelling adds character and the sign really did come out great. Your grandmom would have loved it.

  12. That is an amazingly cool sign no matter how you spell it! You know, its possible there really is a Sprinfield IL. I’m sure you meant that town, right?


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