Friday Night Lights has always been one of my favorite shows. And its signature line–“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose”–is something I’ve always thought would make a great craft.
While looking for apartment-decorating inspiration on Etsy and on various sites, I found the perfect sign — for $175.00.
That’s about $175.00 more than I was willing to pay for a few boards of distressed wood, some nails, and some washed-out paint.
But it was just a craft. And I knew I could do it bigger, for cheaper, and make it tailored to how I wanted it.
Plus, I really needed something to fill those blank walls in my apartment.
So I set to it.
I drove to Home Depot, accepting I’d just once again be the crazy crafter looking for lumber. Thankfully, this time, I was able to cut a 6’x8″x1″ piece of lumber myself. Yes, with a saw! And no, no one had to offer to help me! This was a very proud moment.
After finding the wood stain I liked–a grey color called sunwashed–I then scoured the oops rack of paint, settling on a 50 cent jar of cream-colored paint. It wasn’t exactly the shade I had been going for, but I wasn’t about to pass up a bargain like that. I returned to the lumber section and grabbed two small square dowels to secure the boards.
Once in my crafting studio (read: my back deck), I started hammering, knocking, sanding, and distressing the wood as best I could.
Before beginning, I was most concerned about staining the wood, but after some expert help from Abby’s fiance, Nathan, I had all the tricks. After each pass of the stain–which I applied very unevenly–I wiped down with a rag to ensure it wouldn’t pool up and you would still be able to see the wood. I ended up using three coats to get the vintage, weathered look I was searching for, and at Nathan’s insistence, waited a full 48hrs before applying the paint. I’m impatient and without his tip, I would have painted as soon as the last bit of stain dried and the paint would not have stuck.
After the boards were stained, I sanded down all the edges and parts of the boards themselves and added a few more nicks. I flipped over the boards and took two dowels, nailing them to hold the three boards together.
I then taped my stencil to the board and used a paper towel to dab the paint over the stencil. The paper towel helped the paint apply unevenly and faded, which looked better than had thought it would. I was so happy with the final product — and so happy I saved nearly $150 from Etsy! Even a clumsy crafter like me can do
And voici! Texas forever.