I win at life.
I love the Hamilton soundtrack. I belt it while wandering around the house. So the other day, as I was aimlessly tidying and singing–like a BOSS, I should add–“Rise up! When you’re living on your knees, you rise up! Tell your brother that he’s gotta rise up!”, I happened to look out my bedroom window, spotted my early spring garden, and thought to myself, “Oh, HELL yeah!”
Twenty-four hours later, I looked out at the same spot and spotted my brand-new, handmade “Rise up” garden sign, happily standing in between the strawberries and the sunflower seedlings.
You need two cuts of scrap wood for this project, one of a size and shape that will work for the post, and one flat piece for the sign itself. I used a wooden stake for the post, cutting it down to size, and an unfinished piece of pallet board for the sign.
Don’t worry about sanding either piece.
Use a die cutter to cut out letter templates for the sign, or do what I did and make the template in Microsoft Word. I turn on the ruler so that I can get the correct size, choose my favorite font, and then transform everything to an outline so that I don’t waste my printer ink.
Use a Sharpie to trace the letters onto your pallet board. I tried this transfer method first, but it doesn’t work on the rough surface of the pallet wood, alas.
Now all you need to do is wood burn your letters. I’d recommend doing this outside, because even though you only want to craft with heat-treated pallet wood (not chemical-treated!), you still don’t know where that pallet wood was before it came to you. Mind you, it’s cold here, so I did my wood-burning inside, huffing who knows what and streaming Grey’s Anatomy off of Hulu. Don’t be like me–you go outside!
Just like with coloring a picture, I find that burning inside an outline works best if you carefully burn around the edges, and then you can go more quickly in the middle.
Once you’ve finished wood burning, you just have to attach the sign to its post. Drill a pilot hole at the top and bottom center of the sign, then screw it onto the post.
I did a little more trimming on the post after I got the sign screwed on, and then I mounted it into my garden. And now I’m on the lookout for even more garden-related references in all my favorite books and music and TV shows!