Momtessorian Makeovers

Momtessorian Makeovers

How to transform a scrap piece of wood into a family namesake sign

By Anitra


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So since I am in the process of revamping my house style into farmhouse/rustic decor, I HAD to have a wooden sign!  No farmhouse or rustic environment is complete without one.  The only problem was, I REALLY didn’t want to spend upwards of $30.00 just to get a custom sign made.

Ever since my first DIY project was complete, I am always on the lookout for odd pieces of wood, scrap metal, old lamps; anything that I can make my next project.  My poor husband knows somethings brewing when I’m scrolling through my phone too long without saying anything, and I suddenly blurt out…I have a new project!!!  About two weeks ago, as I was making my way to my garage to do laundry, I saw a few scrap pieces of wood just sitting against a wall.  The first thing I did was call my husband at work and told him that whatever plans he had for the scrap wood in the garage were over.  His response…”Oh, man what now”?   Think he may be getting tired of my endless ideas?…Well that’s just too bad!!!


I did some serious research on the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to make my own personalized sign.  I used a combination of ideas I found by doing a search, and found what was the best idea for me personally.  First, I needed to chose my scrap piece of wood.  It’s important to consider exactly what your phrase will be, and how large you would like your letter to be.  (Check the end of the post to see a complete list of all the materials needed).




I know that since my last name is Jackson, I would need a fairly long piece of wood.  i also wanted larger letters, so the width of the board was important as well.  The wood I chose was 5 1/2 inches by 42 inches.









You’ll want to clean your wood with a cloth, and you will probably want/need to sand it as well.


Before I get to the actual application of the letters, it’s important to figure out what style and size letters you want.  I wanted my sign to completely fill my wood piece, so I chose Monica Corsiva font in size 250.  I used a word document to create the letters, and printed them on cardstock, so they would be durable.  I personally wanted the letters to be stencils, so printing them on cardstock was the obvious choice.




Since I wanted to use the letters as stencils, I cut out each letter with child sized scissors.  You could probably use and X-Acto knife, but I am comfortable and used to cutting with child sized scissors, and I had some available, so that’s what I used! 🙂




I then began to prep the wood.  First, I cleaned the wood using a wet cloth and Murphy’s Oil Soap.  If you don’t have Murphy’s Oil Soap, warm water and soap should do the trick.  I let it dry for about thirty minutes.




After letting it dry for thirty minutes, I sanded the wood with a sand block.  I sanded the sides and edges as well, just enough to make sure my painting surface was smooth for the application of the paint.




Now, for the application of the letters!  I placed each letter where I wanted them on the wood, and then I taped each letter together using box tape.  After taping each letter together, I then taped the entire stencil to the wood.




Time for the paint!  There was no way I could use a paint brush and paint for this project, so I was so happy I found these AMAZING Sharpie paint pens from The Home Depot, which made it so easy for me to stay within the stencil lines. These paint pens made the application so easy!  I initially applied one coat of the paint from the pens.  It was very easy, just like coloring…and I love coloring!




The applied two coats to each letter before moving on to the next letter.  I noticed that the wood soaked up the paint, so depending on what type of wood you use, adjust accordingly.  I ended up applying five coats of paint to each letter to get the desired look.  Again, depending on how you want your sign to look, you can either apply more or less coats of paint.  I only used one paint pen to make this sign, and it still has paint in it!  Score!!




I then removed the stencils, and my sign was done!  I wrote the “est. 1998” by freehand to complete my sign.  That’s when we got married, and I LOVE how it turned out!




This was really very easy and didn’t take long at all.  I am definitely going to be making another sign, and will hopefully get better and quicker at making them.



Want to make your own namesake sign?

Here is the list of materials and supplies needed to complete this project:



-scrap wood

Murphy’s Oil Soap (optional) soap and water should work

-sand block

-stencils (bought or make your own)

X-Acto knife or child sized scissors

Sharpie Paint Pens in white


Obviously you can custom this project in any way you’d like.  I have always wanted a name sign, so this was the perfect project for what I wanted.


Looking for more of my DIY projects?  Check them out here. I’m just getting started with the Momtessorian Makeovers, and I hope you’ll stick around to see what I have up next!


Happy makeovers!



Momtessorian Makeovers

How I transformed this dresser for under $60 in one weekend

By Anitra

So in addition to my teaching, I occasionally dabble in DIY projects around my house.  In the past, I have stained my master bathroom cabinets, chalk painted my hallway cabinets, and most recently, helped my husband make a reclaimed wood headboard using the old fence from our front yard.  Since starting my blog I’ve posted pictures of my makeovers, and have gotten great feedback form people telling me that I should post more of my projects…so here it is, the start of Momtessorian makeovers!

Here are a few of my other projects…

Reclaimed wood fence headbaord


Hallway cabinets painted with chalk paint



I must give you a little background information on why I started doing DIY projects to begin with.  I am in the process of making over my entire house.  We have pulled up all the carpet, and are slowly moving from a modern style to a more farmhouse inspired style.  With that comes a revamping of furniture as well as a desire to make and create our own pieces.  We both enjoy doing DIY projects, so it just seemed like the most logical of ways to get the desired look we wanted that was unique and tailored to our tastes.


I personally didn’t want to or have the budget to go out and buy many of the farmhouse inspired furniture pieces we needed.  So I chose the next best thing…look for used pieces and transform them into my dream furniture decor pieces!  My husband and I are HUGE users and fans of Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace.  We used to use Crigslist religiously, but most recently have been more successful finding items on OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace.  I actually found the dresser in this post for FREE on Facebook Marketplace…and absolute score!!!




I needed to be able to make this dresser look amazing for cheap and get it done quickly.  The easiest and quickest way I have found to makeover something and make it look great is to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.  There are other chalk paints available from many different companies, but I love the ease and durability of Annie Sloan Chalk Paints.  You can find shops that carry the products here. They have a great selection of colors and you do not have to prep the surface of the project. That’s right; no sanding!!! I just wiped off the dresser with a wet cloth before I began painting.


First, I removed the knobs and handles.


Then I removed the shelf liner from each drawer.


You’ll need a paintbrush and gloves, and follow the directions on the paint can.  I chose Paris Grey for the dresser.  I used a wet cloth and wiped off the dresser before I began.


I applied one coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey to the dresser and drawers. Depending on your project piece, you may want to apply two to three coats overall to get your desired look.


Next up, time to choose knobs or handles.  I chose these from The Home Depot. I got the ten pack and also needed 2 more knobs since I needed 12 in total. I wanted a simple knob, and decided to not use handles at all.  Depending on how you want your finished piece to look will determine what style knob and/or handles to choose.


Next step is to add Annie Sloan Clear Chalk Paint Wax and knobs.  Follow the directions on the can of wax.  It is easy to apply and dries quickly.  I used an old t-shirt to apply the wax.


My completed dresser took one weekend, and I spent under $60 for paint and knobs.  I already had the wax from another chalk paint project.  I ended up putting three coats of chalk paint on the dresser and drawers and one coat of wax.  Since it was a used dresser, I cleaned out each drawer using a mixture of warm water and Murphy Oil Soap.


Here is the before and after comparison!  I am so excited (and proud) of how it turned out!  It matches nicely with my teal and grey bedding, and the farmhouse inspired look I am going for.  Time to find another project…it’s so addicting once you get started!!



I hope I have inspired you to become a DIYer!  I have so much fun doing these projects!