Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Painted Barn Wood Sign (in which I nearly start My Own Business but then I think it through)

If you have been reading my blog from the beginning (so…2 people, maybe), this post may sound a little familiar.

You see, I’ve done this craft before. Here. Almost exactly a year ago, but before Kenny and I were married, so basically ages ago.

It’s just that when my parents’ start tearing up buildings on the farm, AKA BARNS I get a bit excited.

I see all of this old, beautiful BARN WOOD and I start getting these Grand Delusions.

I begin to think that I will hoard this disassembled barn and make things out of the wood.

I start plotting ways to expand this into a business with my crafts (because this is probably going to go viral. Gotta be prepared.)

Then I think that I should probably quit my job to devote all of my time and energy into this yet-nonexistent but entirely probably very-successful venture.

And then I begin to think that my Business Empire can help to Save the World. I’ll employ people! I’ll donate! I’ll send these to third world countries because I am a Philanthropist (capital “P”).

(It escalates quickly, I know. I have to live with myself constantly).

But then I blink, and come down to reality. I like my 9-5. And while I enjoy doing crafts, my attention span is about as long as a toddlers. And once I do something, I don’t normally have a burning desire to do it again (recreate the wheel and all that).

But I can’t help but snag a board or two for fun, special occasions.

One such special occasion presented itself on Sunday, when one of my best friends had her first bridal shower and I needed a gift.

Sometimes homemade gifts can go horribly wrong, so I had budgeted for a Plan B. But it turned out just fine.


Why am I still talking? You want to see pictures.

Here’s the board, which was formerly a barn.

barn wood board for sign

As you can see, I needed to do a little clean up. Nail removal had already occurred for transportation-safety purposes.

So I washed it and sanded it to within an inch of it’s life. It was then more deserving of a better photo backdrop than the garage floor and our duvet cover sufficed.

Sanded barn board for rustic sign

Next I traced out my plan with some chalk. We used this verse (and some surrounding ones) at our wedding and I think it’s super appropriate for a soon-to-be-married couple. 1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us.” #bibleforthewin

rustic barn wood sign--chalk markings

Chalk allows for a multitude of errors, which is also nice.

Paint is a little less forgiving, but let’s keep it in perspective. This is supposed to be rustic.

painting a sign onto barn wood

Then, because the letters were a little too crisp and white, I attacked the board with some sandpaper and rustick-ed it up.

distressed paint on barn wood sign

It also made it super soft and silky feeling and so I didn’t seal it with anything. That could happen, but I liked the unfinished, matte look.

rustic barn wood sign 1 john 4:19

To the back of the board I affixed two tiny picture-hanging hooks, the kind with the little teeth. Those are hinge marks in the paint, so I think this board came from somewhere really mysterious and glamorous like a door or cabinet.

hinge marks on old barnwood

So, even though I didn’t end up saving the world (YET), I did manage to make a semi-acceptable bridal shower gift.

Cheers to Lorie and Phil on their upcoming nuptials!



Rustic Barn Wood Art (in which I get lucky and do not contract tetanus 2 weeks before my wedding)

There are a bajillion awesome perks about living on a farm. Or having your parents living on a farm.

One such perk is having access to tons of cool things. And having tons of places to build forts.

Though forts are infinitely cooler than this project, they only exist in memory and are less blog-worthy. Though we did make an amazing underground-ish fort with sod for walls and plywood ceilings. It was quite the little bunker.

But–you came here for some rustic art. Here’s how it went down.

I had an idea.

And roped Kenny into helping me find an old board.

He was skeptical. (This is the typical response to my ideas.)

Finding an old board on the farm was not difficult. It took 3 seconds max.

It actually looked worse than this…we had to pry several pieces of board off this one to get it to this point. Perhaps Kenny had good reason to be skeptical.

No joke: this 3-foot board had about 20 nails in it, including some that had been sheared off so at least they weren’t poking out.

The first job was to make this scrap less tetanus-inducing. I’m sure I looked like a lunatic hammering away at this old board on our apartment lawn in the 90 degree heat.

I then sanded it down well to make it even more art friendly. And because I rather dislike slivers.

After sketching out my verse on it in chalk,

I paint-sketched over the chalk.

I filled in the paint more than this, but then it looked too crisp for an old barn board. So I got out my sandpaper again and distressed it. This is the ultimate travesty in my mother’s book, akin to purchasing denim with holes in it.

At the moment, this is finished, but I am debating whether or not to distress it even more. We’ll see.

Here’s where it ended up:

doily garland and rustic barn wood art

Side note–I am physically incapable of writing cursive in italics, though I wish I could rock it. It just ends up making things look dizzying. So I rock the straight up and down look.

Had a productive day lately? I’ve been plowing through my to-do lists like a boss. It’s the new normal. Kenny and I wonder what we’ll do with all of our time once we don’t have a wedding to plan…but I’ve heard that time becomes even more elusive once you’re married. Thoughts?