Happy Monday, ya’ all! 

I hope you don’t mind if I interrupt our regularly scheduled Monday Morning Musing post-for a little DIY!

DIY Spring Challenge

I’m over the moon excited to be teaming up with eight AMAZINGLY creative bloggers- for another DIY challenge!

Spring Stencil Challenge x8

This time it’s all about SPRING!! 

That magical time of year when the robin’s come home to roost….

Trees begin to bud…

And tulips, daffodil’s and crocus (just to name a few)burst through the cold-hard ground-in search of a warmer-brighter sun. 

Soon those pretty flowers will be in bloom-and then it will be time for planting!

Which is the inspiration for our Spring DIY Challenge. 

Stencil for DIY Challenge

I’ll admit I was a bit worried-when I found out the challenge involved stenciling.  Let’s just say I’m still in the ‘learning’ process.  But when I found out the stencil was one of my FAVORITE quotes…I put aside my concerns and got busy planning what I would create with it.

My first thought was I wanted to make a sign, but our reclaimed wood pile was looking pretty thin-so that wasn’t an option.

Vintage Tray for Stencil Challenge

And then one day I was shopping at a local thrift store, and I found this old TV tray for $1!  I’m sure everyone in the store thought I was crazy when I headed to the check out with my 70’s daisy tray-but I ignored their smirks.  I had a plan.   I wanted to create an aged-chippy-rusty sign which would be the perfect addition to the fence in our side garden.

***Since it was 30 degrees outside-I was forced to do my project in our basement.  It’s not the brightest place for photo-taking-so I apologize.

Materials Used:

Rust-Oleum White and Black Flat Paint

Poly-Clear Coat


Foam Brush

60 grit sandpaper

Elmer’s Glue


White craft paint


Step One-Applying Base Coat

The First Step was applying a base coat to the tray.  I gave the tray one thin coat of the black flat paint-and let it dry for 2 hours.  Once dry-I sanded down the tray, and applied one more coat.  I let this coat dry overnight.

Step Two-Applying aging effect

Step Two-was all about making the tray look like it had been on our fence for years.  I started with an ‘age’ old paint technique (LOL)-using Elmer’s Glue.  I brushed a thin coat of glue in spots that I wanted just a bit of crackle-and thicker coats where I wanted more crackle.  When the glue started to get tacky (about 3 minutes)-I sprayed my top coat on using the flat white paint.

Step Three-Chippy Paint

The areas that I had placed a think coat of glue almost immediately started to crackle.

Step Four-Dragging brush through

Step four involved those thicker glued areas.  I allowed them to dry for about 5 minutes or so, and then I began dragging my brush over those spots-which caused some of the top coat to pull away-which is exactly what I wanted!  YIPPEE!!!  Once I had the effect I was looking for-I allowed the top coat to dry overnight.


Step Five was the hard part-(at least for me).  It was time to add the stencil.  Unfortunately, my first try was a complete FAIL! (I told you I was still learning!) Yes folks, I had smudges-lots and lots of smudges!  SO….it was back to square one!  First I had to lightly sand down the center of the tray and remove any debris.  Next, I put another coat of white flat paint on. Once that was dry-I took my dear friend Carole’s advice from Garden up Green-and I used an adhesive to hold the stencil in place.  At first I was concerned the stencil would pull off paint when I removed it-but thankfully, it came off without a hitch-and no smudges!!!  Thank you, Carole!


After that trial and error episode-it was off to…


Step Six is where I wanted to age the lettering to match the rest of the sign.  I started by smudging white craft paint  with a foam brush-around the loopy loops,  and a few of the letters. I was looking for that mottled look that comes from plenty of wear and tear.  Next, I lightly sanded the entire stencil-more in some sections and less in others. 


I let the letters dry for about 2 hours, and then I brushed a think coat of glue over sections of the letters and loopy-loops. Again, once the glue had reached the tacky stage-I sprayed on the Poly-Clear coat.  I let this dry overnight-and then it was ready to hang!

Garden Gate

Hubby picked up this old rusty gate last year at a rummage sale.  I thought it would be the perfect back drop to my aged garden sign! Since the Tv Tray had the hooks on the back for latching to the metal holder-I simply ran some wire between the hooks-bent the ends and wrapped them around the wire on the fence.  Then I pinched the wire ends closed with a pliers.

Garden Sign

When the weather warms up (it was a crisp 32 when I hung the sign)-I plan on hanging cute pots with pretty annuals from the gate, but for now I used a few chippy terracotta pots with faux greenery.


What do you think of my re-purposed tv tray-garden sign?

Repurposed TV Tray Garden Sign

You can check out what all the other gal’s did with their stencil by clicking the links below!

Stencil Challenge

Maria @ Simple Nature Decor

Carole @ Garden Up Green

Karen @ To Work with my Hands

Patti @ Garden Matter

Susan @Momcrieff

Bon Bon @ Farmhouse 40

Angela and Laura @About a Mom

Happy Spring!!!

Blessing and hugs,


19 thoughts on “Spring Stencil Challenge!”

  1. Hi CD,
    What a fun sign. I love the rustic, vintage feel and it looks fab on the rusted old gate. Looking forward to working with all of you this summer for the next challenge. Oh, and I love your little collage of us, too fun!

  2. I think this is a neat project, my aunt had TV trays just like the one you found at the thrift store. Very clever and I like the crackling effect it adds a neat level of detail. The white against the rust is weathered fence is great.

    1. You’re very welcome, Susan! For me, it’s the best way to get the crackling effect without spending big $$ for extra product! I always have glue on hand! Thank you so much for stopping by! It was fun working with you! Have a great week!

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