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Travel is one of my biggest joys in life. I love visiting new places and soaking in all the locale has to offer – food, drink and all the sights. I read once that money spent on experiences brings more joy than money spent on material items and I totally get it. Memories of my vacations make me so happy even years and years after we get home.
Our favorite local tiki beach bar has brightly colored directional signs nailed to all the posts. It’s so much fun to see how far the various destinations are and even more so if it’s one of the places we’ve been lucky enough to visit. We have talked for several years about making our own signpost for our backyard and we finally got around to it this weekend!
My darling hubby decided that our fence gates needed to be replaced and, being the handy guy that he is, made three new gates this weekend. In the process we were left with all the old lumber from the previous gates. We decided the perfect use for some of the pickets was to recycle them for our long-discussed sign post.
I picked out the ones I thought would work best and used a ruler to mark the places for Jeff to cut them down to the right sizes with his jigsaw.
I ordered some outdoor “patio” acrylic paints in bright colors. (What did we do before Amazon Prime? Seriously? What?)
Now the fun begins! Water down the paints for the background color of the signs. The exact consistency is personal preference. I wanted our signs to have a more beachy/worn feel to them so I used about a 2-1 ratio of paint to water. Play around until you get the consistency that works for you. Feel free to mix the colors as well to get the perfect shade. I mixed the light and bright blues to get the exact blue I wanted.
Paint the base color on all your signs.
While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, pull up google maps and figure out the distances (either “as the crow flies” or driving distance) for each of your destinations. Also make a note of the general navigational direction (east, west, northeast, etc) of each destination.
Once the boards are dry – get creative! You will need to figure out the general direction the signs will point before you start painting. That way you won’t paint a sign pointing the wrong direction. I painted the destinations and the distances freehand – the more rustic and “stranded desert island” look the better. I also added a few creative flourishes to each sign.
Next you’ll need your wonderful husband or someone else who doesn’t mind digging a big ass hole and setting a post. (We bought a 6 inch diameter round post but any post will work)
Ask them really nicely to set your post in the desired location. I picked the middle of a flower bed that I can see from my kitchen window. That way I can dream about all the places I’d rather be than washing dishes – ha!
Once the post is set and your painted signs are dry you can hang the signs. I used the compass app on my phone to orient each sign in the right direction. Jeff pre-drilled the signs so the boards wouldn’t split and we used two screws for each sign.
Spray the front and back of the signs with polyurethane to protect them from the elements. I sprayed on three coats and will reapply it yearly or as needed.
Pour yourself a cocktail, sit back and daydream about all the wonderful places on your new sign!
- 8 foot long, 4 or 6 inch diameter wood post
- Wood for signs (fence pickets, pallet boards, etc)
- Straight edge for marking sign points and ends
- Jigsaw or circular saw
- Electric drill
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
- Spray can of polyurethane in your desired finish