Today seems like perfect day to make this post! May the Fourth be with you!…because its Star Wars related…see what I did there.
And on that note, here is the headboard/sign I worked on weeks ago and never posted. Love what you’re seeing? Great! Because, great news, I have FREE FILES FOR YOU TO DOWNLOAD! Whether you have a Silhouette, Cricut, or nothing at all – there’s a file here for you so you can make this sign yourself.
A couple of years after we moved into our house, we tore down the small “playground” that was in our backyard (it came with the house lol) – we don’t have any kids and knew that by the time we did, the wood would be rotten. So down it came (we ended up giving it to some friends that had kids) and so did the small retaining wall that was built out true 1x6s. I didn’t want to throw the retaining wall wood away…because…well…I’m thrifty and most of it was in good shape. I screwed it all together and made a sign to go above our bed to act as a headboard. And so it was for 7ish years until I finally took it down and made a new one. I’ve been wanting to make a new sign for quite awhile – even though the nostalgia for the old sign was there, to me it was dated and I needed something new to freshen up our bedroom. I mean…I just finished our bathroom reno so the prettiness of our bedroom needs to match our bathroom right?! At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself to be productive and get. it. done! Lol
It was brought to my attention while I was making this sign and posting about it in my stories that I might have ADD…and here’s why…I became like a squirrel surrounded by shiny objects on this project. Originally, I was planning on sprucing up our bedroom by making a new headboard and decided to do everything else I’m going to mention later. Weeeeeeeell, my squirrel brain kicked in and said “while you have the old sign down, you might as well paint the bedroom that lighter color you’ve been wanting to paint it” and “while you’re painting the walls, you might as well replace the molding around the windows to craftsman style to match the door frames” and “since I’m changing out the headboard, I might as well get new bedside lights”. So what started out as a day (or two) project, became a week long thing, but hey! the bedroom is lighter and refreshed and I love it!
So on to how I made this headboard – this thing is pretty big.
What you’ll need:
- 4×8 sheet 3/4″ plywood – cut to 4×5
- 4 -1x2x8 wood
- 2 cut to 60″
- 2 cut to 49.5″
- white background paint
- paint for wording
- stain for 1x2s
- spray poly (optional – if you wanna seal the stain)
- Silhouette machine (optional)
- contact paper or removable vinyl (optional)
- paint brushes
- foam roller
- carbon paper
- 1 1/4″ brad nails
- brad nailer
- wood glue
- circular saw
- miter saw
Cut your plywood down to size and roll on white paint with foam roller. I painted 3 coats of white (and didn’t worry about prepping it with primer). Once you’ve got as many coats on as you’d like, don’t rinse out that roller yet! If you’re going to cut out your small words – save it, you’ll need it in step 4.
While you’re waiting for the white to dry, print off the template. I used my Silhouette for “MAY THE” and “BE WITH YOU” and Rebel Alliance logo. “Force” I traced using carbon paper (yep! it still exists) and hand painted it. ***if you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut, don’t fret. Just print off the Hand Painted Template and trace everything out***
Cut out your small words on your Silhouette while the printer is printing off the template.
*****PRINTING TIP: I tile my pages to print off anything that is bigger than 8.5×11 and then I do a 1/2″ overlap – printers won’t print all of the way to the edge so if you print with an overlap you won’t have any gaps in the design you’re printing off.*****
Lay out your template on top of your plywood so you can see “Force” clearly. Once you have everything laid out, tape at the corners of each sheet of paper with clear tape (or whatever tape you have on hand). This step is important so your sheets don’t scatter or move around and mess you up while you’re tracing.
Once you’ve got it all of the paper taped, lay it out on the plywood who you’d like it and tape the top of your template to the top of the plywood – this is important to do because you’ll be lightly picking up the template to lay down carbon paper and move it around while you’re tracing. I used painter’s tape I had on hand, but masking tape and packing tape would work as well. I wouldn’t suggest gift wrap tape – it’s not wide enough or sticky enough to keep the template in place…I’ve learned that lesson the hard way before. Once its taped down, cut off the overhang and excess paper from the template.
Start laying your carbon paper under your template and get to tracing! I only use a handful of carbon paper at a time and move them as I trace. If you want to use the whole pack and put the carbon paper across the entire piece of plywood, go for it! This stuff is reusable (and can be used A LOT) so once you’ve traced this sign, put it back the pieces back in the envelope it came in and save it for your next project….I guarantee, this pack, you’ll end up having for the rest of your life! LOL
Once you have everything traced out, put away your carbon paper, remove your template and admire your handy work. ***If you’re not using a Silhouette, make sure you trace all of the words.*** If you’re nervous about removing the template before you can see your handy work, gently lift up the template in corners and peek underneath to make sure you traced everything out.
If you’re not using a Silhouette, skip step 4.
With the template off and “Force” traced out, you can place your words where they need to go on the plywood. I used a ruler to measure and make sure everything was spaced evenly and straight. I’m horrible at eyeballing so the ruler is my best friend.
When you’re happy about placement, make sure the vinyl/contact paper is securely on the plywood. Now, take your foam roller and roll a coat of white over the words. Wait for it to dry and do another coat. I do this so when I’m painting my letters, the paint doesn’t bleed underneath the vinyl – it makes your edges crisp and clean!
Get to painting! If you’re hand painting, hand paint all of your words and your Rebel Alliance. Get creative and paint them different colors if you want to! I painted my Rebel Alliance the same color as my wall color for a subtle pop of color.
If you cut out your small letters, paint over the stencil and hand paint “Force”.
I painted 2 coats on everything so that my letters would look solid gray and not be streaky.
With your paint dry, it’s time to clean up the plywood. If you cut your small letters out, pull off the contact paper/vinyl and admire those crisp lines!!
Now I know you’re looking at your plywood and you see that the carbon paper left marks and smudges in places. Don’t panic! Its an easy fix! Take either a white eraser (this is key – pink erasers will leave behind pink marks and nobody wants that!) or a Magic Eraser and erase/wipe off all of the smudges. Once you’ve done that, take a clean, damp cloth and wipe everything down to get the excess off.
Trimming out the sign! Your sign should be 5′ across and 4′ down. You’ll want to cut your top and bottom pieces to 5′ and the your side pieces to 49.5″ (48″ for the sign height + 3/4″ for the top frame piece + 3/4″ for the bottom frame piece). Stain them, let them dry, then glue and brad nail them to your plywood starting with your top and bottom pieces. Then line up your side pieces with the top and bottom of your frame pieces and nail away.
Now you’re done! Screw heavy duty D-rings to the back your headboard/sign and hang it up on the wall. Tag me when you do it because I would love to see what y’all do!!!
Files for ya!!
If you’d like to see this process in time lapse mode, check it out on my Instagram page under my “Star Wars” highlights. Let me know what you think!!!
Don’t forget to follow along with my woodworking journey on the social medias!
As always, I’ll catch ya on the menjay!