- Arts and Design
Garden Signs from Recycled wood
Decorate Your Garden with Special Quotes and Sayings
I love to decorate my garden with signs. My butterfly garden has a sign which says "Butterflies Welcome". It adds color and provides a focal point for the small garden, plus I swear since I put up the sign, more butterflies have been visiting the garden!
I recently completed a sign which says "Birds Welcome". I can't wait to find a spot for it in the back yard, although I'm sure the birds feel welcome there since I have woodpeckers, blue jays, starlings, mockingbirds, and cardinals all nesting back there. I also had a baby screech owl in my carport for a couple of weeks until he learned to fly.
I love to make signs for my friends too. One of my favorite people has fruit trees in his yard and he needs bees to pollinate them, so he will soon be receiving a sign which proclaims that bees are welcome.
I love the feeling that I am using bits of wood that might otherwide be thrown away. Art signs are a great way to recycle.
Here are some ideas for signs for your garden.
Signs are Meaningful Statements
Garden signs can express facets of your personality. You can use spiritual quotes such "As Life Began in God's Garden", funny quotes (Every Family Tree Has Some Nuts), or warm-hearted sayings (Love Blooms Here).
I love Peace signs and since the garden is a haven of peace for me, I think that is an appropriate sign for the garden, although there is no reason you can't use political statements, if it it something meaningful for you. I prefer to leave potentially controversial statements out of my garden though. I like it to be a place that brings folks together, rather than separating them.
The following is a list of my favorite saying for the garden:
1. May All Your Weeds Be Wildflowers
2. Bloom Where You are Planted
3. Weeds 4 Sale. U Pick
4. Stop and Smell the Roses
5. A Garden is a Glimpse of heaven
6. Sunlight Fades, Stars Appear. Garden Fairies gather here.
7. Friendship is a Sheltering Tree
8. Pumpkin Patch
9. Thyme Began in a Garden
10. Pick Me! Pick Me!
11. Wildlife Sanctuary
12. This Place is for the Birds
13. Welcome to My Paradise
14. Secret garden
15. Angels gather here
16. When Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope (Lady Bird Johnson)
17. Old Gardneners Never Die - They Just Go to Seed
18. Flowers Feed the Soul
19. Honor the Earth
20. No Worries
I'm sure you can find many sayings that are meaningful to you. Go online and Google "garden quotes". I bet you will find just what you need for your garden.
Materials You Will Need
You'll need a saw of some kind to cut off any jagged edges and to make your piece of wood the size you want. I use a jig saw, which will easily cut fence slats and plywood up to 3/4 inches. I usually prefer to use 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch when I'm using plywood.
Sandpaper to smooth edges
A hammer and nails or a drill and some screws if you decide to screw your sign to its post.
Paintbrushes in various sizes. I like to use a one inch or two inch brush to paint my signs the basic background color and smaller artist's brushes for the letters and designs.
Stencils are useful for letters and also designs, although I prefer to freehand both. You don't have to be very skilfull in lettering or art to make a charming sign.
Pieces of wood suitable for posts. You can hang your sign on a garden wall or fence if you put picture wire or a picture hanger on the back, but if you want to put it on a post in the garden, cut a post the height you want and screw the sign to the post.
How I Got Started Painting Signs
A few years ago, I was living for a short while in the Florida Keys with my brother. I needed a job, so I looked in the local paper and found a job listing for someone to paint signs. I went for the interview and discovered it was a company that made Florida style wooden furniture like adirondack chairs decorated with palm trees and flamingos. They also sold art by local artists and signs in the Jimmy Buffet tradition that said things like "It's five o'clock somewhere" and "Welcome to Margaritaville".
I got the job and even though it didn't pay very much, it was my favorite job ever. I had a blast, and my love of sign painting was born.
Painting Your Sign
I like to use exterior house paint for my signs. Another way of recycling materials is to use up left-over paint from other projects. I only use latex because it's easier to clean and reuse the brushes. If you want to protect your sign from the elements, you can spray on a coat of polyurethane clear coat after you're finished decorating it. You can also use interior paint, although it may not last as long.
I pour my paint from the gallon containers it came in into smaller plastic containers. I like clear plastic because you can see what color the paint is without opening the container. I then dry out the empty gallon can by leaving it open in a covered area. When it's all dry, I throw it in the trash barrel.
For the lettering and decorations, I use acrylic craft paints. Sometimes if I want the letters to really stand out, I use a black permanent marker.
Give Your House a Name
I have relatives in England and people there often name their houses. A house near a lake might be named "Lake House" or if it's near a river, it could be "Riverside Cottage". A large house in a stand of oak trees might be called Oak Grove Manor. Anyway, you get the idea.
I live in a mobile home, so it seems kind of pretentious to name my trailer house, but I live under a huge magnolia tree which shades my home from the blistering Florida sun, so I decided to honor the tree by naming my home "Magnolia Cottage."
Amazon Spotlight Personal Review
I've had this book in my collection for several years and it's a source of inspiration for me when making my signs. It's full of garden quotes and sayings, gardening information, recipes,and best of all, lovely,colorful illustrations that give me ideas.
If you can draw at all, try putting small images on your signs like butterflies, bees, flowers, a watering can, a palm tree. It really adds to the fun. if you can't draw, stencils are a good alternative. Wavy lines at the top and bottom emphasize the message. You can add leaves to a wavy line to make it look like a vine. Practice painting flowers with a dot and some petals around the dot.
If you have a broken chair, don't throw it away. Decorate it and let it support your plants.
I sold this "Lean on Me" sign recently at a plant and garden craft sale which I held at my home. A neighbor bought it and put it in her garden, so I can still see it every day when I walk down the street!
Plants love peace!
This Peace sign is one of my favorites. It was also one of the first ones I did. I like it because it is made out of an old 2x4 and it will stand up by itself, so I can put it on a shelf with some potted plants and I don't need a post or a hanger on the back. It is a self-standing sign with one simple and meaningful word (to me) PEACE.
Plants like peace. The book, "The Secret Life of Plants" tells of an experiment in which groups of plants were subjected to different kinds of music. The loud, wild, metallic rock music was not appreciated by the plants. They died or stopped growing, while the plants that heard peaceful music prospered and grew sturdy and healthy.
I wonder if the plants appreciate nice words like "Peace" and "Love". Perhaps I should do an experiment!
Do You Love Gnomes?
There's No Place Like "Gnome"
My boyfriend added a blueberry patch to his garden so I made this sign in case we forget what's growing there!
He also has fig trees and pineapples growing in a small corner of his yard. I'll add a picture of the sign later on after it gets installed, so you can see it in its new home, but I just couldn't wait to put my latest sign on this lens.
He has peach and plum trees in his yard as well and he has also recently planted a grapevine. I can't wait for all this yummy fruit to get ripe. And, of course, I will have to make signs for all the new crops.
Signs are Fun! - Signs Enhance Your Garden
I've been working on some new signs lately. I have a few sales venues coming up in the next couple of months: a community yard sale at the senior recreation center, a local garden club where my boyfriend is doing a talk on Crotons, a plant in which he specializes, and a plant sale at the Botanical Gardens.
Here are some of my new offerings.
Angels in the Garden
Every garden needs an angel. I made this sign for my next-door neighbor who has angels everywhere. Gnomes are fun too. Even if you don't believe in Nature Spirits such as fairies, elves and gnomes, I believe almost every culture on earth believes in some sort of angelic being. It wouldn't hurt to have a garden angel in your earthly paradise.
Garden Fairies Play Here
Bring birds to your garden
Place a bird bath or a bird house in your garden. The birds will thank you for it, and you will discover the pleasures of bird-watching.
Garden Signs - Signs You Don't Have To Make
If you don't want to make your own signs, buy some!
Inspiration for Sign Painters
I love the look of this book and will be ordering it for my collection soon. It appears to be filled with ideas for aspiring or seasoned sign painters.
This looks like it would give me some great new ideas.
Signs for Sale
Start a Small Business
I've been selling my signs lately. They have proven to be quite popular with gardeners in my area. Once people saw my signs, which I have been selling at yard sale events and plant sales, they began asking for custom-made signs, eg. "Annie's Garden".
In the Fall, when it cools off, I will be taking them to the Farmer's Market.
If you'd like to make a bit of extra money, just begin making signs.
Here are some ideas for selling your creations.
1. Show them to all your neighbors.
2. Have a yard sale and make a nice display.
3. Stick a cute sign in a pot right in front of your home.
4. Join a garden club and take them to a meeting. (I have sold mine to several garden club members. They really like to decorate their gardens.)
5. If you know a professional gardener or landscaper, give him a few samples to show his customers.
6. Take them to a Craft Show.
Tell me what you would do to market and sell your signs.