Archives for October 2013

California Ranch DIY Details: How Two Part 2 – Signs!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Last month we started a series on guiding you in achieving aspects to a DIY ranch wedding, using Shirley & Spencer’s wedding as a case study. Today we are sharing with you the second part of that series and it is all about signage!

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Sure, people can probably figure out what your desserts are, the process of how to ‘sign’ your guestbook and and the components of those fancy blue cocktails all on their own, but what’s the fun in that? Over the last several years, chalkboard artwork has become (and remained) a staple in the whole rustic, handmade wedding movement. I myself am a sucker for great signage. As you can see, Shirley decided to go with a combo of chalkboard signs with a few handmade-strung signs, and I just love how they all turned out. There are just 3 simple steps to having amazing DIY signs at your wedding, and here they are:

Step 1: Nail Down Your Jargon

Figure out the content of what you want each sign to say, then cut it down to the bare minimum. For my sake, please keep it concise. None of your guests want to have to squint to read a whole sentence on a small chalkboard. Once you figure out what needs to be communicated, determine if you want to keep the language traditional by just coming out and saying what needs to be said, or if you want to find a way to say it in a cheeky way (I almost always go for cheeky, but that’s just me; NOTE – being clever takes time, if you want to be witty with your signs, make sure you start thinking through this sooner rather than later!).



Step 2: Practice Makes Perfect

With any DIY projects it is very unlikely that you’ll get it perfect on the first try. Once you have your language down and you know what medium you want the sign to be crafted on, don’t think that you can just grab your writing utensil and be done with it in 2 minutes.  Sketch out your design and wording in pencil until you are happy with it, then carefully go for the real thing! Remember to keep something handy to quickly make minor mistakes disappear as you work to create the final product.




Step 3: Display With Purpose

I can’t tell you how often brides spend a ton of time creating super cute signs but then forget to think through the logistics and on the day there are gorgeous signs but with no way for them to stand upright (so guests will actually be able to read them). With every sign you make, you have a great opportunity to display your sign with flare!  Whether you choose an easel that fits your style or some kind of twine for hanging, please remember two things: 1) every sign you make needs to be able to be seen by your guests and 2) remember to keep with the feel of your wedding and choose a way to display your signs that fits your overall style.



Be Warned: A Note Regarding Chalkboard Markers

Finally, I leave you with both a warning and a tip specifically regarding writing on chalkboards. Warning: if want to use the chalkboard sign again without repainting it, do not use chalkboard markers. Yes, they make your signs look amazing, but you will not be able to get the marker remnants off the board, no matter how much elbow-grease you put into it (trust me on this one). Fear not, you have another option to get a similar look: wet the edge or your chalk before using it to allow the chalk to go on smoothly and create clear lines of font for your signs.


I wish you the best of luck in creating fabulous signs for your big day!