If you’re anything like me you love beautiful, hand created signs on Pinterest and think they’re absolutely perfect for decorating your house but may not have the money to buy one or get one printed up for you. It can get a little pricey- especially if you have to find a frame or buy it pre-framed!
I decided that instead of trying to buy exactly what I was picturing in my head I would instead try to do it myself and create a Pinterest worthy sign from the comfort of my home.
Surprisingly it worked out pretty well! It’s not perfect and you can see that it doesn’t look just like it would if I had printed it out using typewriter font, but it still looks pretty good and you really can’t tell if you’re not standing right next to it. Plus it fits our living room so perfectly!
I’ve gotten a few questions on it, so I thought I’d create my own little DIY tutorial on how I made our Walt Whitman typewriter font poster that hangs in our living room!
- blank paper (for tracing and practicing)
- white poster from Michaels
- black sharpie marker
- thin black sharpie pen
Step 1: Practice Makes Perfect
The most important thing for me was practicing. I found exactly what I wanted for the quote and popped it in a google doc in the font I wanted. You can find tons of fonts online through google or through sites like www.dafont.com (one of my favorite places for great free fonts).
I traced the font over and over again until I felt comfortable tracing it and was familiar with the little quirks of the font that I had chosen, including the spacing.
Step 2: Write In Pencil
After I had traced the font a few times I took my pencil and carefully wrote the words on the poster board with a very light hand. It’s crucial that you do this carefully and lightly so that if you make a mistake you can erase it without leaving ugly marks.
You may also want to use a ruler to make sure your letters and words are well spaced and lined up correctly. You don’t want to have words that start at one point on the poster board and end up somewhere else completely skewed.
Step 3: Thicken The Lines
Once you’ve created a basic sketch of your lettering, you can go in with a heavier hand and tighten up words and really define what you want to have the letters look like. For me this meant deciding on the thickness of the words, fixing the little lines and curves of the letters, and adding in periods.
Step 4: Trace In Sharpie
I was actually terrified before tracing in Sharpie so the only advice I have here is to go slowly. Make sure you’re doing this at a time when you’re not distracted and can take your time. Ideally while the kids are asleep and you have nothing else going on.
Like I said, take your time. It’s going to end up hurting your hand but if you’re patient and work at it slowly it will turn out so much better than if you were to rush through it.
Step 5: Fill In And Fix
The last step is to go through and fix any mistakes by filling in lines or adding thickness to your words with your fine tipped Sharpie marker. Little issues, such as thickness (so long as it’s not major) won’t be too noticeable and when you’re standing across the room it will be essentially unseen.
Again, make sure you take your time. If you need to, step back and examine it from a distance. Have someone else check over your work and see if there’s any issue that they can see.
And of course at the end, go through and erase any pencil lines that you may be able to see!
It takes work but the final result left me very pleased.
As for the frame, I bought a picture from a local thrift store, threw away the picture and painted the frame with chalk paint. It turned out pretty well and even though it’s cheap it matches the theme of our living room and cost only a few bucks!
Anyway, while it’s not perfect and isn’t quite the same quality as a printable or a fancy vinyl (or otherwise) sign, it’s a great alternative that looks so nice in our home and really makes a statement on our wall!