Halloween | ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ sign

Something Wicked This Way Comes
With Halloween closing in, I decided to get in the spirit and make a double-double-toil-and-trouble sign.
empty frame
Here’s what I started with: a thrift store frame I had bought a few years back, thinking it was the perfect size (11 1/2 inches by 36 inches) for a subway sign.
cutting a plywood sign blank
I needed a sign blank, so I stole a piece of plywood from my husband’s stash and then sweet talked him into cutting it on his tablesaw for me.
Halloween subway art
Once I had the plywood trimmed to fit, I painted it with some black chalk paint I had on hand.
 Double Double Toil and Trouble
Then I drew up the sign in InDesign. The serif font is Copperplate, and the sans serif ones are all some version of Arial. The smiling skull and crossbones is a (really big) Wingding.
subway sign
After I had my design, I printed it out, tiling it onto five pages. (My printer added the vertical stripes on its own. Spooky.)
Double Double Toil and Trouble
I lined all the pages up, overlapping the words that spilled from one page onto the next.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Then I trimmed off the bottom edge of each page and Scotch taped the pieces together.
making a Halloween sign
In order to transfer the design, I rubbed chalk over the back of the paper.
hand-painted sign
Then I flipped the page back over, centered it over my sign blank and traced around the letters.
Halloween subway sign
When I had the letters all traced, I held my breath and started peeling the paper away to see if the design transferred.
Halloween subway sign
It worked.
hand-painted sign
Except for a couple lines that I missed while tracing, the design transferred perfectly.
Hand-painted sign

Here’s the full sign blank (left) with the chalk outlines and the original printer version.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Once I had my outlines, I just painted inside the lines with some white acrylic paint.
Halloween art
I tried working from the outside in, so I wouldn’t smear the chalk lines while I was painting.
Double Double Toil and Trouble

To make the dots, I loaded paint onto the rounded end of a paintbush and pressed at somewhat regular intervals.

hand-painted sign

After I had all the letters painted, I wiped off the remaining chalk with a damp rag and then put on a second coat of white paint.

painted sign

Then I popped the sign blank into the frame and voila …

painted sign

… a custom-made hand-painted Halloween sign.

Double Double Toil and Trouble

Here’s the sign mixed in with a bunch of other fall-ish things on my porch.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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