upcycled house numbers :: a free project with big results!

diy farmhouse house numbers project sign

The farmhouse is gorgeous.  Renovated in recent years by the previous owners (I still don't know why they sold the house, the amount of tears tapping onto the table at closing told me they were still quite enamored with their labor of love), it features exquisite details that bring the 1922 art deco charm into modernity.  Take, for example, the shiplap wall in the kitchen, stained in various colors of blues, browns, and greys, which is the original slat wood flooring from the front porch.  The antique Singer sewing machine tables (with functioning foot plates!) that comprise the base of the double vanity in the primary suite.  The railroad spikes hammered through the galvanized metal shower surround to hold our towels, which actually came out of the tracks that once paved the way for industry just across the road (on the now aptly-named Railroad Street).  With such carefully considered details and such thoughtful execution...I wondered to myself how they could have ever possibly had such a brutally hideous sign out front to display the house number!

We'd been spending quite a bit of time on the back yard--weeks, actually--pouring hours every weekend day and most afternoons into mulch, pine straw, hauling old apple tree logs up to frame the freshly-tilled garden, weeding overgrown beds that, at the time, we had no idea which delightful foliage would pop out of.  One Sunday afternoon, panting with exhaustion and dripping with salty sweat from our marathon landscaping extravaganza, I walked to the front sidewalk, turned to admire the house with my hands on my hips, and suddenly I wasn't quite so tired and my OCD flared and I cringed.  HOW.  HAD.  I.  LET.  THIS.  HAPPEN?!  So dramatic, I know, but I'd noticed the dilapidated old sign before and suppose my desire to spruce up the oasis of acreage out back had clearly made me forget.  I sent pictures to my mother.  I ripped it out of the ground.

Fast forward to the next morning, and I had no idea what I'd do with it, but I knew two things.  One, it had to be replaced.  And B, I needed to repurpose some of the materials from this haggard old sign in order to preserve some of the history as a little homage to the last family who lived here.  They'd see when they drove by that the sign had been changed, but I had this pull inside of me to keep their family alive somehow in this little detail of the house--the family who had clearly spent every bit of their time recreating the inside of the home, and much like myself, had neglected this seemingly minute detail; however, it IS in the front yard, it IS something that our sweet postal worker and pizza delivery driver use to locate us, and the house IS my obsession...so it had to be handled immediately.

Step one, raid the garage for materials you have on hand.  Find a 12 x 12 piece of plywood leftover from another project.  Score.  Slap some primer on it.  While it dries, cut out the vinyl for the lettering (less materials used here, and less money, too, as these larger, modern numbers can add up quickly).  Dig around on the tool bench for some old chain and some hooks.  Fill up your fanny pack (because HELLO, it's so much cuter than a tool belt!) with a few screws, some pliers, and the proper drill bit, pop in the battery (which is fully charged because you've been so good lately about plugging it in after each use), snag the drill and saw, and get back out to the driveway.

Apply the vinyl and spray paint it, because you were so eager to get going that you forgot to paint white over the primer.  Whoopsie, but oh well.  You'll spray it with a clear sealant later because you've realized the error of your ways.  Disassemble the old sign.  Cut one of the legs, attach it to the other.  Screw in the hooks, attach the chains.  Place it in the same hole you removed it from in the front garden bed, mostly because it'll look just fine there, but partly because you don't want to dig the rubber mallet out of your camping gear.

Smile.  You've done it.  For free...in an hour!  And you've left a little piece of history there on the freshly re-done sign that you don't really realize every.single.person.in.Clermont will notice because everyone notices EVERYTHING in such an adorable little thumbprint of a town.

It's so much better, don't you think?  One thing is for sure...I'll never run out of projects (which is great, because as a Gemini, I'll never run out of ideas) and I absolutely love seeing them come to life.  What's next?

Best Wishes :: Warmest Regards,


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