Okay, so honestly, this has very little to do with Halloween – sorry. This is really about Pride and Prejudice… Surprise! But, you could sell it to your husband as Halloween decor for sure. Watch, and I will teach you!
With the new 45-90+ minute commute to work daily, I’ve started listening to audio books as a way to stay calm and happy in traffic. My first pick was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I had seen the 2005 movie version before and liked the story, but…it’s nothing compared to the book.
I purposely took a longer way home just to listen and I actually looked forward to driving. I was excited to know what would happen next – it was so good. I am only upset about two things… 1) that I waited 28 years to read this book and 2) that I can’t go to one of their fabulous balls and live in a romantic, honor-filled culture where I can spend my days leisurely strolling gardens and reading sonnets. Sigh.
Of course I knew I HAD to order the original 1980 BBC/AE version of the movie so I did, and watched all 5 ½ hours of it with Scott the day it arrived. Oh my gosh, if you all haven’t watched it, you must! You must. But, you also must read the book, or listen to the audio version.
If anyone wants to get me a gift I am pining over this beautiful box set right now! The movie really was incredible – I may just have to rewatch it and write a blog about the fabulous home decor alone. Oh you know, research and all for the English palace we’ll someday own. 🙂
I’m always looking for inspiring and fun quotes to add to our home, and of course Pride and Prejudice is full of the most amazing, romantic, poetic words. Eventually, I’ll have 30 or so hanging up around our house, but for now, we have one. You have to start somewhere right?
This quote is so sweet:
“You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you.
I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”
I picked this one to make a DIY halloween decor sign with because it says “bewitched” in it. Spooky and Halloween-y for sure, right? (Just go with it.) Want a sign of your own? Here’s how:
DIY Halloween Wall Decor
1. Measure Your Space
I started by measuring the space I knew I wanted this halloween decor sign to hang. I eventually decided on the big blank wall above the fail-turned-awesome dresser project that landed me an interview on Craftman Tools’ Radio Show. I measured the space and decided I needed something about 4 feet wide and 3 feet tall or so.
2. Create Your Canvas
We had these strips of plywood lying around, so that’s what I used. This originally was a full sheet of ¼” plywood that Scott had cut into 6” strips at Home Depot (fun story on all of that coming up in a week or so).
I used 5 strips and decided I’d rather have a more “rustic” uneven edge look rather then a straight square edge. I checked each board to make sure the ugly side would end up on the back and got them spaced the way I wanted them to be.
At this point, I used 2” plywood strips that we also had around (this is part of the fun upcoming story, too) to connect the 6” plywood strips together. I measured and cut each strip down so it wouldn’t show from the front, and used liquid nails to glue the 2” supporting strips down.
I ended up using five and had to place some thicker wood on top of each to make sure they stayed flush and pressed against the 6” strips. Make sense? There might be a better way to do all this, but I just went with this since this is what we had lying around the house, and the plywood was too thin for screws/nails.
Just go with the flow, yo! 🙂
3. Stain The Wood
After (im)patiently waiting for the glue to dry for 2 hours or so, I was able to flip the sign so the top side was showing, and stain it. I wanted to make sure you could see the wood grain still, so I used a sponge and gloves to apply my favorite Minwax wood stain in Honey. It’s also what we used on our outside swinging bed!
3. Paint The Quote
While the stain was drying I made a file in Photoshop using the quote I picked. I had debated going with a more script type font, but I decided to use the font A Song For Jennifer from DaFont in the end because I thought it would be a lot easier to paint and trace on. I’m so glad I did!
Once I was happy with my quote, I printed it out on transparency paper. Yes, I totally bought an overhead projector on craigslist a few months ago – perhaps the best $25 I’ve spent. It comes in handy for all kinds of projects and you can get them super cheap!
The next day when the sign was fully dry, I brought it inside and propped it up against a stool. I then used the overhead projector to project the words onto the sign. This involved a lot of focusing incorrectly and confusion until my sweet teacher-husband came and fixed it for me. Once I had the letters lined up exactly where I wanted them and I was sure it was straight, I taped the transparency in place so it couldn’t move.
My original plan was to trace the letters in pencil and go back and paint in the entire letter after. However, once I tried to trace a few letters and realized I couldn’t see them at all, I decided to switch to plan B, which was to paint on the outline of the letters using a small brush. (a paint pen would probably work really well too).
I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White – you can find local stockists of Annie Sloan Paints on their website.
My arms definitely hurt about half way through, but I persevered and loved how it looked when I finished! In fact, I loved it so much I decided not to paint the letters in, and just left it. Ta da! 🙂
4. Add Crossbeam To Hang
When it was dry, I then flipped the sign over and added another piece of wood as a crossbeam against the support beams. This beam was also glued with liquid nails, and I used it to act as a ledge to sit on the nails in the wall to hang by. Another 12 hours or so later- it was ready to hang…by my very own personal Mr. Darcy. <3
Here it is… isn’t it beautiful? I’m so proud and I love it! So there you have it – Halloween for the romantic. 🙂 Now I need to find another incredible book to paint quotes out of!
I’ve just finished the audio version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility – it’s not quite as good but still worth listening to. And, my dear sweet friend Stephanie came over to watch the movie with me and brought us coordinating hats! Isn’t she the best?
Also a thank you shout out to Scott for cooking us a full meal, desserts, making us drinks, and being the most dearest darling man there ever was. <3