vintage last name sign thumb

I was challenged this month on Indy Style (the local lifestyle show I am on monthly) to repurpose an old playpen from like the 1950s.  Now, I am not a safety freak but this thing is scary to put a small child or baby in.  Holy nelly!  But the piece was solid and it had plenty of potential for upcycling.  It was getting ready to be tossed in the trash when Dianne submitted it for me to rescue.  I hope she is glad she did!


Here is what it used to be…


There was no way I was restoring this piece to its original state, so I busted it all up to use the pieces.



Minwax Polyshade in Mission Oak

Electric sander with 100 and 150 grit sandpaper

tack cloth or other cloth to wipe down wood

old t-shirt for applying stain

Black Premium Vinyl

Transfer Paper

Silhouette machine or Vinyl from Say it on the Wall

Spray primer


1. I decided to use half of the wood slatted bottom to make a vintage sign. I sanded it down starting with 100 grit sandpaper and then finished it with 150 grit.  After wiping it clean I applied a light coat of the Polyshade in Mission Oak just to refresh the wood a little.


2.  While it was drying I designed some vinyl in the Silhouette studio program to apply to the new wood.  The font I used for the last name is Chopin Script and the other font is Chaparral Pro.  I then applied it to the sign transferring it with some transfer tape. If you don’t own a Silhouette Cameo machine you can buy the vinyl from Laura at Say it on the Wall. Next I sprayed some spray primer lightly over the letters.  Then I immediately pulled the vinyl off.vinyl_removed

Oh my goodness I love it.  The white primer gives it a barnwood look and the wood peeking through the letters is beautiful!!!



3.  After the primer was dry I sanded it down to give it that old look.



I love it! I love it! I love it!  I still have the other half of the piece left over and Tim wants me to make a Farrant sign for us.


Stayed tuned tomorrow to see what I made with the spindles.

Click here to order some vinyl to make your own sign.

Do you own a Silhouette machine?  All vinyl is currently 40% off using the code “IHEARTIC”.

silhouette promo may



Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Similar Posts


  1. yes! I was going to ask what you’re doing with the spindles, there’s no way you’d throw that goodness out!

  2. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!! Thanks so much for picking my playpen…I’m on the lookout for more items to submit!

  3. I really like this. It turned out beautifully. I spent many an hour in one of those playpens! I don’t remember the board slats on the bottom though – there was always a plastic covered foam pad on the bottom.

  4. I came across your site on pinterest. Your project looks beautiful! I just recently bought a silhouette and I am trying to learn as much as I can so I can start using more. How big are the letters? Is there any way you would be willing to give a step by step with the letters? Any info would help. So thanks and again you did a great job!

  5. I, too, just purchased a Silhouette and am a bit stumped as to exactly how you were able to make the lettering so large. Want to make one of these for my niece who is getting married. Just a how-to without pictures would be helpful! It is a great looking sign!

  6. LOVE it beckie! I do NOT know how you got that curlyQ on that c to transfer! It’s so thin and BIG!
    I’m sure the viewer will love it too, and yep I agree with the hubs, you must make one for your fam!

  7. Hope you saved the darling inset picture & beads – would make a great hang-on-the-wall for a nursery.

  8. This is such a great idea! I would never think to pull the vinyl off and use the negative for the wording. I love it! I pinned this so I can try something like this myself. Thanks for sharing. -K

  9. No, sorry, I don’t do any custom work. I am glad you like it though. It’s honestly pretty easy to make and you can order the vinyl if you don’t have a Silhouette.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *