Making a new sign out of a bad memory using vinyl letters!

Mar 19 2018
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Making a sign for the front of my home with paint and vinyl lettering – creating something good out of a bad memory. One day I came home and noticed how bare the front of the house looked. Once upon a time my Grandparents’ made a sign with their last name on it which my ex had replaced with one that had his last name on it too. (You can see the shadow left behind from my grandparents’ sign, it was in the shape of a loon and I just haven’t had the heart to paint it gone yet.) It was very clear that I absolutely needed my own sign ASAP!

Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!

But what was I gonna call my little farm? I drew a total blank so, like with most hard decisions in my life, I went looking to my grandmas for help. My Grandma Charlotte’s maiden name was Story and my Grandma Eleonora’s maiden name was Neuhardt – with the combining of the two it was perfect! I christened my home “Storyhardt Farm” and it felt like my stars aligned!

After the divorce this sign was in a pile of stuff in my closet of: Bad memories I’m going to burn in my fire pit this summer. EXCEPT, this sign was made by one of my uncles so I knew I wouldn’t be able to burn it like everything else but I just wasn’t sure what to do with it until, of course, it was time to make myself a new sign! Eliminating the bad memory here only took a coat of white paint!

Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!

From there I had to admit that I am absolutely worthless when it comes to calligraphy or any kind of free hand painting. I considered using the mod podge technique but that had its own draw backs as well. I went looking online for the cost of custom vinyl lettering and was surprised at how affordable it was! I used Signs.com for this project and, all in with shipping and everything, I got these lovely letters for less then $25.

Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!

Like with my last two projects like this one (my desk and bed makeovers with wall decals) I had my cousin Rachie helping my out. (I told her she could add “Hand model for Grandma’s House DIY” to her resume now lol) She had a lot more experience with this type I thing then I did so I was really relieved to have her helping!

This was time consuming because getting the lettering to stick to the rough surface of the wood was a MAJOR pain in the butt. After that I rolled up my sleeves and began the process of putting on twelve heavy coats of poly acrylic. It took several days but I wanted this sign to LAST. “Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 – Welcome to Grandma’s House” I hung it up on the front of the home and it felt incredibly right, my heart just swelled and I cried! My Operation BLISSFULLY HAPPY, is in full swing!

Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!

My Grandmas were two of the strongest women I have ever known and I thought of them often over the dark days of my divorce. I am SO fortunate to have had the opportunity to know them and love them. I knew it would be a long task to remove the darkness from my life that he left behind but, in truth, I reclaimed my home the second the divorce went through. Grandma’s House was totally mine on 12/15/17 and every time I see that date I am reminded that, no matter how hard things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and things really are going to be OK!

And, sometimes, all it takes to eliminate a bad memory is a new coat of paint 🙂 And not just on that little sign either, this blog has a whole new face lift coming this week too!

(NOTE: Yuppers I am fully aware of how badly I need to paint my eves lol its on the to-do list this summer!! Also, is it just me or does there need to be something above this sign in the middle??? I’m thinking a horse shoe might fit there just perfect…)

Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!Using vinyl words and lettering to make a new sign for the front of my house. Storyhardt Farm est. 12/15/17 Welcome to Grandma's House. DIY Do it yourself, tips on how to apply vinyl lettering and paint to an old sign with rusty old hinges for a farmgirl and country girl look!

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66 Comments

  1. March 19, 2018 at 8:58 am

    What a wonderful idea and you are an inspiration to us all about getting on and making happiness happen!

  2. March 19, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Yay! Lovely idea! x

  3. March 19, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    What a lovely sign! I love how you came up with the name and that you turned a bad memory into something amazing 🙂

  4. March 19, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    I love how you combined your grandmother’s last names to create a name for the farm. The sign turned out so great. Divorce can be hard but look what you have achieved. And believe me, it does get better. ,

  5. March 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    I love your story, I first thought you were going to have your new sign as a “Neu Story” from your Gran’s names 🙂 but I love your version.
    I also love country chic too, lovely sign!

    You’re most welcome to drop by for a cuppa & a time of inspiration.
    Jennifer

    • March 21, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Jennifer! Yup I went through a TON of variations on those two names before finally setting in Storyhardt. It was a tough choice lol

  6. March 21, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Wonderful!

  7. March 21, 2018 at 9:15 am

    What a great way to come up with a new sign name and to take inspiration from two strong women! You go girl, paint that man out of your life!!

    • March 21, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Thank you Mary, yuppers one brush stroke at a time! 🙂

  8. March 21, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    I love your rustic sign and how you came up with the name of your farm. How wonderful to reclaim a place you love and call it your own.

    • March 21, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Thank you so much AnnMarie!! Have a great weekend!

  9. March 22, 2018 at 8:32 am

    I love this sign and your thought behind the name! What a great way to move on!

  10. Jann Olson
    March 22, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    So fun, and I love how you hung it with the giant hinges! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • March 23, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks Jann! Thinking I’m going to hang a horse shoe above it!

  11. March 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    LOVE this! My husband and I have been making signs out of old pallets, so this is great. Thanks for sharing (plus I love your manicure lol) From Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • March 23, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks Denise, have a great weekend!

  12. March 24, 2018 at 2:46 am

    A wonderful idea and a heartfelt story! The sign looks fantastic and I also second you in thinking that a horseshoe might do just fine there in that spot 🙂

    • March 26, 2018 at 9:56 am

      Thank you so much, I even happen to have an old horse shoe of my grandparents that would look just right there 🙂 Have a great week!

  13. March 24, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Oh how I can relate to your story. I love your sign and how you came about the name! So much meaning. I renamed “my house” too. Not as much meaning but ALL me.

    I remember revamping my home ASAP when he was arrested and out for good. Good thing, it took 3 yrs. for the divorce to become final. 40yrs of a physical and mentally absusive marriage and I was getting divorced? Never in a million years did I expect it to happen. I had even put up with his affairs.

    Then Oh the stunts he pulled when the “The Battle of all Battles” begun. I had wanted to get some of my feeling out on my blog, but couldn’t due to ramifications by him. He is a very vindictive person. I didn’t dare do anything to upset him.

    I played by the rules, did what the judge told me to. He never did, all he got was a finger wave – didn’t show for half of the hearings. Never any consequences. He disowned our 4 young adult children. Tried to cancel the venue for our oldest’s wedding. I have my 3 youngest home (37. 30. 27) on SSI due to living with him. My youngest has environmental schizophrenia, we all have PTSD, depression, severe anxiety, ect. These have brought on medical conditions which disable them further.

    I adore your story. It gives me hope and brings me peace. Most days I feel my life is basically over and I’m just bidding my time. Of course, you’re much younger than I and have lots of life to live yet 🙂 Geesh didn’t mean to go on like this. Just wanted to let you know You’ve inspired me ♥
    Thank you
    Wishing you all the luck in the world
    *hugs*
    deb

    • March 26, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Oh Deb I am SO glad you got out of that! My heart goes out to ya hon, I wish we could have a hug! So many stories have come of my way of brave ladies just like you getting out of such awful relationships. I played by the rules until the divorce was final too. Of course, he didn’t play by any rules – he did all he could to slander my name across my small town, to absolutely anyone who would listen, and on every social media outlet he had the minute I kicked him out. Once the divorce was final was when I finally broke my silence here in response to his horrible words and lies. They say you never really know someone until its over and after I heard the horrible things he called me and said about me, it is clear that the man I thought I married simply never existed.
      His true colors showing made it easy for me to be honest and talk about it here on the blog. You gals have all helped me heal so much. Thank you for your comment and support!

  14. March 24, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Great idea with the names! Have you thought about doing a darker color behind it? I saw the house was gray. It would make the sign “pop” 🙂

    • March 26, 2018 at 9:57 am

      I will most definitely consider that Nancy, good idea!

  15. March 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Absolutely love your new sign! Your story is so heartfelt and thank you for sharing.

  16. March 25, 2018 at 6:57 am

    I, too, often look to my grandma for guidance or reassurance that I’m on the right path. Glad you were able to make something good out of something not so great. Visiting from Nifty Thrifty Sundays.

  17. Sandy
    March 25, 2018 at 7:19 am

    I love your sign and the name you chose, I think your Grandmas are smiling down on you right now and are beaming with pride!

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thank you so much Sandy! Have a great week!

  18. LINDA
    March 25, 2018 at 7:35 am

    I HAVE BEEN HELPING BOTH OF MY SONS TO TAKE CARE OF ALL THREE OF MY GRANDDAUGHTERS.I CAN ONLY HOPE THEY REMEMBER ME WITH SO MUCH LOVE AS YOU DO YOUR GRANDMOTHERS.LIFE REALLY IS SHORT.LET THE HATE GO AS AS YOU ARE TRYING TO DO AND YOU WILL HAVE SPACE FOR NEW LOVE. LINDA

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Thank you Linda and I’m sure they will!! Have a wonderful week!

  19. March 25, 2018 at 8:04 am

    I love your everything about this post and I think you did a great job on the sign. If it were me, I would hang a loon above the sign in honor of what was there before. The horseshoe is a great idea too, but I think the loon would be a more fitting tribute to the house.

    Oh, and why wait for summer to burn those bad memories? I burn mine every time they surface. You’d think ten years after the divorce they would all be gone but that stuff just has a way of reappearing. It’s incredibly cathartic to burn it and while you’re at it, drop some dried sage into your fire to cleanse the air. Heck, cleanse your whole house with some sage. You’ll feel better for it and your house will smell good too.

    Deb

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Oh Deb, a loon is a lovely idea, I hadn’t considered that. And a good point on why wait! lol I’ve burned a lot already and isn’t it just crazy how things just keep popping up!? I think I’ve finally got everything out of one room and BOOM I run into something else! My aunt gave me a wonderful gift for my birthday in February of a house dowsing! And she left me with sage to burn as well, it has helped so much. The whole house just brightened up and felt so much lighter.

  20. March 25, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Your sign is perfect Tarah. When I first saw the name Storyhardt, I assumed it was because you were telling stories about your farm, and sometimes they were hard to tell.

    Imagine how surprised I was to learn it was from family names. Definitely, a name meant to be.

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

      That’s what I thought too! As soon as I combined them into Storyhardt it felt honestly like it was SO totally meant to be I couldn’t believe it!

  21. Marilyn
    March 25, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    What a great and so appropriate combo of names. That’s inspired!

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Thank you so much Marilyn, have a wonderful week!

  22. Carol L. Dean
    March 25, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I have found throughout my life that many times, more often than not, a kick is a boost. You are heading in the right direction!

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:04 am

      That is SO true Carol, thank you!!

  23. Nancy F Lambert
    March 25, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Tarahlynn,
    A horseshoe will be perfect over your beautiful sign.

  24. March 25, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    What a wonderful idea. I love that name.

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Thank you so much Elise, have a wonderful week!

  25. March 25, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    What a lovely sign and sentiment! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the fan favorites at the Sunday Showcase from the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link to this week’s Showcase: http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/sunday-showcase-make-pretty-monday-8-41/ Hope you have a beautiful week ahead! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Thank you so much Kathryn!!

  26. Tina
    March 26, 2018 at 12:47 am

    I LOVE the sign—the bad to good memories use of the sign and the way you embrace your family heritage to define who you are and are becoming. With that said, I looked up the meaning of your name: Tarah [tarah] as a girls’ name has the meaning “hill; star”. So, THE ONLY choice is to put a star there!! This will be your symbolic mark to connect with the family sign and to lay claim to what is yours!

    • March 26, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Oh Tina, what a wonderful idea!!! Thank you so much for that, have a great week!

  27. Ginny
    March 26, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Love your sign and New name! A horse shoe would be nice but A loon shape came to my mind first. An exact replica of the loon shape- but understanding that it may need to be a different scale. (Oh, I would not be able to paint over it Either.

    • March 26, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Oh Ginny, that’s a lovely idea! Thanks for commenting, have a great week!

  28. March 27, 2018 at 5:12 am

    What a perfect sign for your house, wonderful names joined to remind you of past loves from Grandmas. The fonts you have chosen are just right, very well designed.

    We will feature this post on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.

    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Kathleen thank you so much!!

  29. March 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

    I love your sign – reclaiming your own life is such a rewarding part of post-divorce life! I wonder if a visual above might pun the name Storyhardt? Like an open book with a heart cutout on it, if that makes sense?

    • March 27, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Thank you so much Lynda! Oh now that is lovely idea, I’m gonna have to think on this for awhile!

  30. Sue
    March 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

    What a fabulous thing you’ve done… expunged something that was toxic and replaced it with nothing but good, sweet, loving memories… You are doing this SO RIGHT~! Keep on keepin’ on, you are definitely going in the right direction~ Sending love and hugs…
    Sue

    • March 27, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Thank you so much Sue! *hugs*!!

  31. March 29, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Absolutely perfect! The size, shape, lettering and the name. Good for you!

    • March 29, 2018 at 8:15 am

      Thank you so much Christine!

  32. March 30, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Tara, I love the story behind your StoryHardt farm sign, It came out fabulous I adore the old hardware too. I made one similar for my sisters new house where she used a ton of old barn wood from a family property which began as a dairy farm. And girlfriend with how crafty you are… you need to invest into a vinyl cutting machine for yourself. It will open up a whole new world of fun! Have a great Easter weekend!

    • April 2, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Brenda, thank you so much every time I see my sign now it makes my heart so glad! I never thought about getting a vinyl cutting machine that is definitely something I’m going to look into! Thanks for the tip, hope you had a great weekend.

  33. Frances Johnson
    April 21, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Your sign is Lovely ! Good Job. Be Blessed

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