With the kids returning to school in just a few days (we’re down to one-handed counting, people!), I am running around trying to get our house totally ready for back to school. Among my to-dos? To get our breakfast nook ready for the morning madness. The kids will be tasked with making their own breakfasts this year and I want to be sure that they make smart choices every morning. So I created a sign to help guide their decisions.
You know those cute signs they sell at stores like HomeGoods and Target? I love them. Every time I am in the stores, I pause to check them out. But I never actually buy any. While I appreciate the sayings and wordings on them, I am always caught on the mass production factor. I am just not sure I want to buy a sign that 10,000 other people are also purchasing. Besides, none of them are ever quite right. Especially in this case.
Since I needed something very specific, I picked up a canvas and some art supplies to make my own.
For this project, you need:
- a canvas
- a surface to mix and squeeze paints onto — I used a coated disposable plate
- brushes of various sizes
- a cup with water (for washing the brushes)
- acrylic paints
- high gloss finishing spray (I used Mod Podge spray)
You may also want to cover the surface you are working on to prevent paint spillage. Since I was working at a backyard table that needs to be repainted, I didn’t worry about that.
Start by sketching your drawing on paper. It took me a few tries to decide exactly what I wanted. Then draw it on your canvas in pencil. Now, choose your colors. I used a few colors to create a grey background color. It has some variations in the tone, which I did on purpose. While painting the background, I painted over the words, but tried to paint as best I could around where the foods and “breakfast” lettering would go. Keeping the basic shapes unpainted helped me create the exact look I was going for.
Once the background was dry, I started in on the foods and the words. For the foods, it took a few coats to get the colors I wanted, and to add the necessary details. This is a project that can be completed in about an hour, but you do have to be patient with it and take your time.
Once the sign was painted as I wanted it, I used a high gloss finishing spray to seal it. Mod Podge Super Hi-Shine is my favorite for jobs like this (no, they didn’t ask me to say it — I just use it a lot).
The best part? Once I hung it in the breakfast nook (which wasn’t quite done in this picture), the kids immediately started referring to it for breakfasts. I love seeing them purposefully choose a well-balanced meal.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.