I LOVE fall! Everything about it – crisp mornings and warm afternoons, the beautiful foliage, pumpkins, hoodies and boots! These are a few of my favorite things.
So naturally, I love decorating for Fall. I have to plan out my yearly porch decorations, and check my stock to make sure I have everything I need. I started a few weeks ago working on some projects for this year.
I have several places for signs and wreaths. So I started off this year with a “Happy Fall” sign project. I’m super happy with the way this turned out!
I used the leaf of an old drop leaf table as the canvas for this one. I like to use old cabinet doors or pieces like this to make signs. It gives them a little character that you don’t get with the ones you can buy at Hobby Lobby.
This one I did freehand, and thought I would share a little of the process I use when doing a freehand design.
I like to lay out tracing paper over the surface I’m going to paint, and draw out my design on the paper. I like that I can see through this paper so I know exactly how the design needs to be spaced out. For this design I taped 3 pieces of paper together. Then taped them to the board. You don’t want them to move around when you start drawing.
Next I start sketching out my design. Another good thing about this method is you can erase on this paper if you feel something needs to be adjusted.
Once everything is sketched out the way you want it – we add carbon paper to the mix.
Carbon paper comes in either white or charcoal – as you can see this is the charcoal. You place the carbon paper under the tracing paper and go over the sketch with a tracing tool. I use this little thing – not sure of its technical name. It has a small ball at the end and it glides smoothly over the tracing paper. You could use your pencil but I like how smoothly this glides without tearing the paper.
Then lift the carbon paper and you can see how your design has been transferred to the board. Move the carbon paper to the next area and repeat the process until the entire design has been transferred.
Now – time to paint! You could use whatever colors you want, pumpkins come in all colors these days. You should have 2 colors per pumpkin one lighter and one darker shade. If you are comfortable you can mix your own colors, by adding black or burnt sienna for darker shades, and white for lighter shades - which is what I did.
I kind of took a paint-by-number approach and did everything that was going to be the same color at the same time. All the stems, then all the leaves, etc. I trace the outlines with my darker color, then fill in with the same color and come back with a lighter or darker shade to add some dimension.
For the lettering I used a paint pen. The tip is like a combination between a felt tip and a paint brush. I really like them for hand lettering – they give me more control than I can get from a brush. One note about the paint pens – if you are going to add an antiquing glaze or a wipe on poly – the pens will smear.
Here’s the finished product!
This project might be a little advanced, but if you want to take your game to the next level and try a freehand design, maybe these tips will give you the courage to give it a try.
More Fall projects and decorations over the next few weeks. Until then, Cheers!