DIY Nailhead Sign Art

I’ve been wanting to spruce up my office lately. I spend quite a bit of time in there between blogging, paying bills, and couponing. It’s basically just been a big mixture of random furniture from the townhouse and no decoration. I’ve been wanting to do something with the space, but I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time or money on it, mostly because I don’t have a lot of time or money to allocate to it while I’m trying to focus my time and money elsewhere. So, basically, I’m trying to make a room makeover happen with a very small budget, without buying new furniture, while also making it fabulous, functional, and inspirational. No big deal.

Tomas and I often say that if we lived in different homes, you would never be able to tell that we would work well together. He likes simplicity, modern lines, saturated colors, and dim light. I like simple with eye catching pieces, modern with a vintage flair, and light and airy with a punch of color here and there. Oh, and I drool over metallic whereas if it’s not stainless steel or matte black, Tomas is not interested. But that’s the beauty of this being my space. The rest of the house is a combination of our two styles. This room is all mine to with whatever I please. So, I’ve decided this is going to be my girl cave with a Black, White, Gold, and Pink color pallet.

If you need a refresher, here’s my starting point with my office.

SD_Upstairs House Tour_1.15.15_15
SD_Upstairs House Tour_1.15.15_15
SD_Upstairs House Tour_1.15.15_16
SD_Upstairs House Tour_1.15.15_16

That wall behind the desk desperately needs something. And since I have deep, deep love for gallery walls, I think that’s the perfect thing to go up. But I don’t have anything to put onto a gallery wall. Womp womp.

So, I decided to make this:

DIY Naildead Sign Art 13
DIY Naildead Sign Art 13

It’s certainly not perfect, but I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I think it’ll make a great statement on the wall. It was really cheap to make, like less than $15 for everything. But man, it took some time. When I started making it, I didn’t think it would take so long, but it did. It was pretty mindless work, though, so it’s perfect for naptime or after bedtime while watching Friends on Netflix.

What you’ll need:

  • Canvas. I used a 12x36, but the size is totally up to you.
  • Pencil
  • Colored marker
  • Ruler
  • A TON (I mean it) of thumb tacks. I got mine at Dollar General. They come in packs for 300 for $1
  • Black (or whatever color you want your background to be) acrylic craft paint
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Rubber Earring Backs (I found mine here, but pretty much any craft store should sell these for cheap)
  • Tweezers
  • The patience of a Saint
DIY Naildead Sign Art 1
DIY Naildead Sign Art 1

I started by using the ruler to draw a straight line across the bottom of my canvas for a guide. My words still ended up being kind of off, but imagine how slanted they’d be if I didn’t do this.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 2
DIY Naildead Sign Art 2

Next, with the pencil, I free-handed my words. This took me like 3 or 4 tries until I got it how I wanted it. It looked horrible, please don't judge me.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 3
DIY Naildead Sign Art 3

Then I traced over that with the marker. I messed up, a lot. I decided I wanted the D in a different place. Whatever. It’s all going to be covered up anyway.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 4
DIY Naildead Sign Art 4

Then, using the thumb tacks, I traced along my writing. Yes, before any paint. Trust me.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 5
DIY Naildead Sign Art 5

Then, I took ‘em alllll out. I know… this is where it starts getting really tedious because the next steps are basically just a lather, rinse, repeat of the last step, twice.

Anyway, I took them all out, then painted the canvas black. It took two coats to completely cover. Then I let it dry overnight so it was easy to handle and so I didn’t get black paint everywhere.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 6
DIY Naildead Sign Art 6

Once it was dry and handle-able, I flipped the canvas over, and from the back, punched through the holes of the letters. I did one letter completely at a time because it was easier for me. You can do it however you want to. Anyway, I went from the back and punched the holes through again so I could see them from the front.

Then I retraced my steps with thumb tacks on the front, like I did the first time around.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 11
DIY Naildead Sign Art 11

Now this is the tedious part. The earring backs. See, there’s nothing holding the tacks into the fabric which might have been fine. It might have also shed sharp, swallow-able by babies, vacuum murdering tacks all over my floor slowly over time, which, not to mention, would also ruin the piece altogether. So, although this part was tedious and time consuming, it’s worth it to just git ‘er done.

I pushed each earring back on part of the way with my hands, then used tweezers to secure them as closely as possible. Good news is this art is never going anywhere. Bad news is, I can never use this for anything else and I’m never getting these earring stoppers back.

DIY Naildead Sign Art 10
DIY Naildead Sign Art 10

I did the last three steps for each letter, then repeated all the way until the end. And how it looks like this!

DIY Naildead Sign Art 12
DIY Naildead Sign Art 12

I think it’s a nice statement piece without being too busy. And the fact that it cost less than $15 means I like it even more. Like I said, it's very imperfect. But I like it that way, and I'm proud of my project.

It isn’t hung yet because I’m really hoping to paint my office before putting stuff up on the walls. But I’ll keep you updated, as always.

Happy Spring!!!!! Thank the lawd.