Hang Your Hat on It

Baby, it's cold outside. No seriously, it's gotten way too cold and yes, I know it's going to get colder. Much colder. I don't know about your house, but once the cold weather comes blowing in, my house becomes one giant coatrack. We don't have a coat closet or a mud room (don't get me started on the construction of our house) so after the family troops into the house, there are coats and hats all over the place. It's not a pretty sight.  There is something else in this house that isn't a pretty sight. Actually, its more outside of this house. The patio table.
I need to make sure you realize that I literally walked out to the deck to take the picture below of the table. It was laying there just like that. Ugly isn't it?? I have had this beauty of a table for at least 11 or 12 years and it was a massive clearance purchase from everyone's favorite, Target. Yup, nothing but quality around here people! It almost didn't make this last move, but the movers put it on the truck so away it went. As you can see, it really wasn't worth the trip.

I had the best of intentions to take the table apart and make a stocking holder out of it, but well - the holidays happened and I couldn't get my act together, and then it happened --- it got cold and the coats came out. New idea. Table = Coat Rack.

I took three slats of wood from my destroyed table and placed them together to form my coatrack sign. I used a fourth as the back brace for the sign because the wood was pretty warped. Allen helped me out with this and cut the fourth piece into three nice clean pieces. Once they were cut, I used some heavy duty wood glue to stick them to the back of the sign. You'll notice in my little photo collage that there is a big black tub sitting on the sign. Those are part of our Christmas decorations otherwise known as a weight for the glue to adhere. Last thing I did to make sure that the sign was nice and sturdy (remember this is warped wood from a cheap table), was drill some screws into the brace pieces to double secure it. Allen drilled some holes for me after everything was nice and secure so I could screw in some knob pulls. I let him do the drilling because, well, he is a little more anal than I am and he measures everything and I am a little bit more "free-spirited" with my drilling.  

I know what you are thinking right now... I don't have an old crappy patio table and where is your pin?? First, I'm glad you don't have a crappy table, you can just use a regular old piece of wood and second. Here's my pin!

Diddle Dumpling has a cute tutorial for how to transfer ink to wood and I thought it would be the perfect thing to try on my coatrack to spice it up. It seemed pretty straight forward, but well... I have to say, I had a little bit of trouble with it so you can gain from my experience.

Figure out what words you want to use and you will need to mirror them so they appear correctly on the sign. I did a few test pages to make sure I had the right size and then went to work on the mirroring. There were a lot of different suggestions online about how to do this, but the easiest thing I found was to use WordArt in Word. It can be mirrored with one click (flip horizontally). After I knew I had the right size, I printed it (on an ink jet printer)I grabbed my sign and did a little white wash on it. I don't really think the sign needed it for the look, but I found in my test run that the ink needed some paint to adhere to the wood. I'm not saying you need a lot of paint, but you do need some. Once my awesome paint job was dry, I laid out the wording so I could get to work!

Here is where the whole thing was a tad tricky to me... an extra hand would have been nice right here. You need to "paint" the paper with water so that the ink releases off the paper and onto the wood. I brushed over the words several times to make sure it was nice and wet. It worked best when I did it as a slow application of water, over and over and not just a ton of water all at once. While you are painting with the water, you also need to hold the paper nice and still so it doesn't move and get blurry (extra hand please). After you've painted the paper with water, I found that sort of pressing down on the paper with my thumb sort of set the ink and paper in place a little bit. The last thing you need to do is burnish the words. I used the back of the paint brush and just rubbed back and forth horizontally. You could also use a marker lid or a popsicle stick. Okay now for the big moment.... peel the paper off and see what you have! If you are like me, you'll have a very very faint version of words. I immediately knew I was bringing the paint back out.

The best thing about the ink transfer on the wood is that you can use it as a guideline for painting onto the wood. I watered down some black acrylic paint and outlined the letters so that I could decide how much of the lettering to paint. Since the wood was so warped and old, it seemed funny to paint perfect little letters on there. Luckily, there is no way I could paint perfect letters if I tried, so I just used a little more of my "free-spirit" on the sign and finished the lettering up, using the transfer as my guide.
After the little paint session, I took my coatrack outside so it could dry. What do you think?

Come on over and hang up your hat!