Valentine’s Day is coming up quick! It seems like it was just Christmas time, but it is February already and time to send out little bits of love to family and friends. Suddenly it is hearts and flowers everywhere. It brightens up the dreary February days and reminds everyone of the love they have in their lives. All the people we love should be remembered on this day. Family, friends, everyone that is special to us. When I was a kid, my mom always baked huge heart-shaped heart cookies for me and my brother. They were awesome and I don’t know if she ever knew how much I loved them. I should really tell her this year.
The last time I was at the Dollar Tree checking out all the Valentine’s Day décor I found this LOVE sign that was thick enough to stand alone or hang on the wall. It was not pretty, but it had potential. I knew I wanted to do something to make it pretty, so I, of course, bought it.
When I got it home I pondered all the things I could do with it and I decided that a little paint and decoupage would go a long way towards making this an adorable decoration for Valentine’s Day. I did not want to go with the traditional red, pink, and white, however, so I started digging through my paper stash and came across this lovely watercolor paper in turquoise, lilac, and white. I just knew this would be the perfect paper for this project. I got some paint for the sides and got busy.
The first thing I did was sand down the front and sides in order to give some tooth to the piece in order to help the Gesso and paint adhere better.
I then gessoed ( is that even a word?) the entire piece before I started painting. I mixed some paint colors I had on hand in order to blend with the paper I would be using on the front. I painted all the sides with three coats of paint, allowing it to dry in between coats. I did help it along a little bit with my heat gun because I am very impatient.
I placed the sign on the paper so I could visualize what part of the paper I wanted on what part of the sign. Then I lightly trace around the outside of the sign and cut out the part of the paper that will be on the sign.
-After the paint dried I coated the top of the sign with Mod Podge. I used a fairly thick coat so I could slide the paper around a bit more easily in order to get it placed where I wanted it. I also gave the back side of the paper a coat of Mod Podge and placed it on the top of the sign. I used a brayer to make sure there was a good solid adhesion to the sign. If you don’t have a brayer you can use an old gift card to and slide it across the sign using a bit of pressure in order to be sure the paper is well adhered and there are no air bubbles. Then it was time to let it dry. Hmmm… no rushing this one. I actually have to wait. I left it overnight and checked it in the morning.
Now that it was dry I could get back to work on it. I flipped it over so that it was face down on a cutting pad and using an X-Acto knife I carefully cut around the edges. I will admit the inside of the letters were tricky and took a bit of extra care, but they came out beautifully.
After the extra paper was cut off the edges were a bit rough, but nothing a bit of fine grit sandpaper couldn’t handle. I sanded all the edges and easily achieved a nice even edge.
Next, I needed to touch up the paint on the edges. I had to be more careful than the first time painting the edges so as not to let the paint get onto the paper now, but it was by no means difficult, and it turned out beautifully.
Now it can be sealed on the top or left as it is. Mod Podge can be used for the top coat by either brushing it on or dabbing it on with a sponge. I used Polycrylic Clear Matte Finish as it is self-leveling and leaves no brush marks.