Thursday, 14 June 2012

Reclaimed "Floor Creeper" Highway Sign

Wow, it feels like so long since I've had time to work on a project and get one posted here (sorry!). I had been hoping to have time to get working on this on Sunday, but family time at the Mud Bog was much more fun and important!

I have to tell you that I am extremely proud of this sign. My mother-in-law really liked it and asked me where I had gotten the idea and it was then that I realized that I came up with it all on my own. So many of my projects have come from inspiration from other amazing bloggers, but this was all mine. It is just a wonderful feeling to know that I have my own creativity and ideas to share.

This story begins about a month ago when I mentioned to DP that I wanted to come up with something to go on the walls in his bathroom (the girls have coined it the "Boys Bathroom"). He jokingly suggested (at least I think he was joking) that we put up one of his highway signs. 


I think this may be one of his favourites as it points to the towns that we live almost smack dab in the middle of, not to mention have had many fantastic times in. 

  
Now I'm not saying that I don't like this sign, but I do think it's more suitable on the side of our storage shed than on our bathroom wall. 


Shortly after his suggestion, I started thinking - this is actually a great idea, but why don't I make a sign that is a little less green & reflective. I figured I would just grab a piece of wood from the wood shop, do a little stenciling and give it to him for a Father's Day present. But then something great happened! A couple of weeks ago DP spent many hours (days) cleaning out the shop and brought me out to show me the AMAZING results. After checking out his super shop-makeover I noticed a pile of scrap wood and stuff in the middle of the floor. Here I discovered this:

An old, well-used floor creeper.
I know, pretty exciting, isn't it?!
All I could think of was this would make a super cool sign. I mentioned to DP that I was going to "reclaim" this piece. Of course he couldn't figure out what I was going to do with this grubby & smelly thing so I had to break down and tell  him. I'm not sure he was totally convinced, but I told him to just trust me. I had a vision that this was going to turn out perfectly.

For those of you who aren't sure just what a floor creeper is - it is not defined as a "creeper" 

creeper

noun

A floor creeper is something that mechanics use to 'creep' or slide under a vehicle that they are working on. You lie down on it (comes complete with headrest), slide under and get to work. Here's a picture of an updated creeper. I'm not sure if they even make wooden ones anymore. My dad is a mechanic by trade so a wooden creeper was a fixture in our garage growing up. I even have a photo of myself on one under our car while my dad was helping me change the oil. I wish I knew where it was so I could show you! 
Getting back on track....We removed the wheels from the bottom as well as the headrest, which was actually quite disgusting, threw it away and then washed the creeper with soap & water. I used a flat-head screwdriver to peel away the layers of grime where the headrest had been and gave it a thorough washing as well. I'm not sure why, but I love the smell of shops and garages (grease I guess) so I wasn't too worried about getting the smell out of this piece. I guess the musty dirt floor smell did leave a bit to be desired though so it worked out well that I had to leave this project to air out for a couple of weeks. 



I loved this bit of blue paint I discovered under the headrest, but unfortunately that piece of wood came off when I washed it.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I finally had time to get to work. I typed out the letters for the town names on Microsoft Works, printed them and then cut them out to make a stencil. I just love my new mat (Martha Stewart - the mat, not me!) and Fiskars knife. These products made this step super simple. 



Once I had the stencils ready, I taped them together (a few 8.5 x 11 sheets were necessary for the names), brought them out to the shop and placed them on the creeper. I then taped them in place so they wouldn't be tempted to blow away in the strong wind gusts!
 



I used DecoArt Antique White paint and brushed in my stencil. I only made one arrow and then just moved it to where it was needed. I carefully peeled off the stencil and saw this. AWESOME! I decided to make it look a little more authentic (what do you mean a highway sign on a creeper isn't authentic?!) so used my Elmers black paint pen and outlined the first letters of the town names. 

I was a little concerned that the screws on the back of the creeper might puncture the drywall once hung up so I asked DP if he could grind them off.



 

With the headrest removed I thought this space needed a hook. We have quite a few around so I removed one from the basement and had DP secure it with a couple of screws. 


I absolutely LOVE the way this sign turned out. It is rustic and fun at the same time! 



A funny thing is that while I was making this I kept thinking I bet Donna from Funky Junk Interiors would like this as she has so many fantastic reclaimed and upcycled things in her home. If you haven't already done so you have to check out her site.






Cost of this project: FREE!

Floor creeper - reclaimed from junk pile
Stencil - made myself
Paints - on hand
Hook - taken from another location in our home and reused here
Tools - on hand







4 comments:

  1. Okay, I've got a new favourite project! This looks a-maz-ing, Wendy! Now I'm wishing Matt (aka Mr. Mechanic) had something awesome like this hiding in his tool stash! I hope other people stop by to see this beauty - definitely link up!

    Have a great weekend,

    Claire :)

    P.S. I have the exact same Martha mat! This is crazy!

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  2. Looks awesome! Let the creativity flow... can't wait to see what's coming next!

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  3. Love this little sign. Vey cool!

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