I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

I never promised you a rose garden.

But I did promise you a sign tutorial.  Did you think I forgot?


And I was going to write one….but why?

Why would I even attempt to show my definitely amateur sign-making tutorial when Kristen from The Simple Things has written a truly professional step-by-step tutorial on how to make a sign. 

And she shows you how to white wash.

And she uses fence posts for the sign……how brilliant is that?

And she sent it to me…..to show all of you.

You’d think it was my birthday week or something 🙂

Take it away Kristen.


Hello!  My name is Kristin and I am guest posting from The Simple Things .  I have a huge love for home decorating and especially DIY projects!  On my blog, you will find an array of DIY projects, recipes and a little bit of my personal life tossed in every now and again.  My husband and I own a relatively small condo, but just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful!  We are constantly thinking of ways to make it more livable, organized and just plain gorgeous. 

I’m sharing with you today, a super easy DIY art project.  It cost us less than $11 and is probably my favorite piece in our entire house!

Over the past month, my husband and I decided to redecorate our entire downstairs(living room and dining room).  You can find the before and after pictures here.  The project wasn’t totally complete and our living room was lacking a piece of art to go over our couch:
We didn’t like anything we found at the various home decor stores we went to, so we decided to take matters into our own hands!
Here is what we came up with:

Here’s how to make it:
5 fence pieces 3.5″ x 4′
Cut off the ends of the fence with a jig saw to create a jagged edge.
Distress to your hearts content!  Seriously, hammers, nails, screws…anything you can get your hands on!  Go at it!
We “white washed” the boards, I just took flat latex paint and watered it down.  We used paper towels to wipe off the excess.
Once the boards are dry, align them how you want them to look on the wall.
 Take 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ wood.  Take 1 1/4″ screws and screw into each plank.
The boards are now screwed together and we are almost ready to paint!
We bought a frame hanging kit and installed it using the directions on the package.

Ready to paint!
We used our handy-dandy projector for this next part.  Scott hand drew the word “love” because we couldn’t find any fonts that we liked(yes, he is awesome).  Align the projector where you want the word and get to work!
Just simply trace the words onto the wood with whatever color paint you would like!
During this part, we realized we liked the “shabby” look of the letters not being totally colored in.
Letters colored in completely.
We really wanted the shabby look so we took sandpaper to the letters to “distress” them.
And Voila!
A perfectly shabby chic piece of art work for less than $11! 

We LOVE how it turned out 😉  And I hope you do too!  
If you have any questions about it, please feel free to hop on over to my blog and leave a comment!  I’d be happy to help!
Thanks Kristen. 
I am glad there are sign makers like you in blog land.
Please be sure and stop by Kristen’s blog for even more incredible projects, like this jute wrapped monogram.
PS  Have an awesome weekend.

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  1. Wow; what a great tutorial! So smart to use picket fencing- who would have thought?Have a wonderful weekend too.

  2. A fabulous tutorial by Kristen … so thanks so much for sharing. And I will be stopping by Kristen’s blog to, you know, say hello and lavish some blog love …

    And don’t worry about that rose garden. I’m much more of a daisy and tulip girl …



  3. such a great tut, kristen! love the price, too:)

  4. shirley@housepitalitydesigns :

    Karianne…I am so happy that you are “spreading the love” to us…Kristen and Scott did an amazing job and made it look so simple…My kind of project…!!!

  5. Awesome — I feel so enlightened! Wonder if I can squeeze some sign painting into my weekend? Thanks, Kristin and Karianne. 🙂

  6. Happy Friday, Karianne. Is it your birthday week? I love birthdays. I advocated birthday weeks many years ago. Then when I celebrated number fifty, I decided I was going with birthday month. Now that I have further pondered my birthday, I have implemented the new birthday celebratory rule – the month before and the month after. I know it seems excessive, but my birthday is toward the end of the month, and besides I like to celebrate.

    So, after that long dissertation, if it is your birthday week – Happy Birthday♥. And, about that rose garden. I have one that I will gladly share with you. We just have to wait for them to start the season.

    Great tutorial. Now, if I can only find one vacant space to hang something in our home. It runneth over.

  7. Oh, I love this sign…heading over to let Kristen know! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  8. Oh, shite! I am *borrowing* my projector from work and totally doing this this weekend! I need a new sign for the shop.
    Oh, lawd…what a can of worms y’all have opened!

  9. Wow! My wood-working husband would appreciate how this lady blogger can do wood-working. 🙂

    “One of the secrets of a happy life is
    continuous small treats.”
    ~Iris Murdock

  10. Happy Birthday Love!

  11. So simple – and I have a piece of wooden fence behind my garage! See what you’ve started!


  12. That was fun to see how she made that sign. I often wonder how the lettering is done. Now I know! Thanks for sharing this.

  13. I’m going grocery shopping and so help me if I start humming I Never Promised You a Rose Garden in the produce department I’m gonna hunt you down….


  14. Do you know what kind of projector she used. I have been looking for one forever and seems everything I find is so high tech they are like $500, any advice.


  15. Great tutorial. I used to make birdhouses form picket fences. They are great for a lot of projects 🙂

  16. That is so wonderful and easy! I could do that. Thanks so much.
    Hugs, Cindy

  17. So cute! I absolutely love this! And it seems so easy!

  18. Thanks for posting Kristin’s tutorial, I love the bright blue on the sign, so cute.

  19. I just “love” this tutorial! 😉
    Thanks for showing us how this is done!

  20. Beautiful project & great tutorial! LOVE!

  21. Happy Birthday! I’m enjoying catching up on all of your posts today. Wow. Those smocked curtains! Did you do the smocking? I want some! Man oh man, they are simply gorgeous {with an exclamation point!}

  22. That’s it. I want a projector now 🙂

  23. Ack! I love it! I’ve been wanting to do a sign lately for motivation above my home office desk. This is so do-able and perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Wow! That turned out awesome! The projector idea is brilliant!

  25. i love that sign! so pretty and i love the colors!

  26. It’s just as cute as can be…love it.

  27. Wow it look really cool I really like this

  28. Really darling…and I LOVE the message. Is it your birthday? If so, have a happy one!

  29. I look forward to seeing your posts each week. I have nominated your blog for the Sunshine Award today in my post http://holimess.blogspot.com/2012/02/sunshine-award.html
    I enjoy your blog!

  30. Well aren’t you smart! I love this, so simple and cute!

  31. Over head projectors are Awesome! in the day and age of Cricuts and computers… I still use my ‘handy-dandy’ over head projector for projects like this…well, and my computer.

    cute project and so sweet to have that memory of doing it together.