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Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File!

I had a rare childless-Saturday morning a couple weeks ago when I told The Hubs that he was on baby duty for a few hours.  I was going to go shopping….just for FUN.  No list.  Nothing needed.  Just me by my lonesome, hopping from store to store, browsing at my leisure and gingerly strolling up and down (and back up) aisles, picking up finds as I pleased without having to worry about a squirmy toddler constantly trying to twist and fling himself out of a shopping cart.

IT. WAS. AMAZING.  I had forgotten what it was like to not rush through a shopping trip or not constantly check to make sure we had all our shoes and sippy cups and annoying musical toys in tow (yes, I need to get out more).

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

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Happy Halloween Sign Upcycled From Thrift Store Find (and FREE Cut File!)

One of the stores I visited was my local Salvation Army thrift store….can you tell I’m a crafter?  There were TONS of things I wanted to buy….“I could paint this!”….”This would be *fabulous* with some vinyl!”…..”A little etching cream here and we’d have a winner!”…..but, I subdued most of my crafting urges to keep my project list from wrapping around the globe.  I ended up walking out with a few finds from the picture section: a great large frame and two signs, all for only $10!

 

My Hideous Thrift Store Find

One of the signs I snagged was this exceptionally hideous “Gone Sailing” thing.  Like I said, hideous.  I walked in the house with it and said to The Hubs with the biggest grin on my face “Look what I got!”  I could tell his cautious reply of “Oh…well, that’s….niiiice.” was really code for “Why in the HELL did you buy that?!?”  It was just the response I was looking for. :)

No, we don’t do any sailing here in Northern Alabama, and even if we did, I would never display this piece as is.  However, its bones are solid: it is a great size for a holiday sign, would be easy to paint over and customize, and the best part…it was only $2.00!  TWO BUCKS.  Plus it saved me a trip to Home Depot for some wood.  Ya can’t beat that.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

My Halloween Sign Design

A while back, I spotted this ‘Happy Halloween’ sign on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with the cute and clever way the two words were intertwined.  It’s also over $60, so my $2 knockoff was going to be quite the bargain!  I fired up Silhouette Studio and spent one evening creating my own version of the design, and I also added a couple little dingbats to really amp up the Halloween factor.

My plan was to have the words and a border be orange and the rest of the sign be painted black.  To do this, I would first paint the board orange, then apply my design in vinyl (which would act as a reverse stencil), then paint the entire thing black followed by some glitter paint.  Once dry, I would remove my vinyl stencil to reveal the orange words and border.

Pssst….if you’d like to download the cut file I created for your own project for FREE, just keep reading!  Details are below!

 

Prepping the Sign: Sanding

The first order of business was removing the ugly, and that started with some sanding.  I grabbed a disc of sand paper from our electric sander and just did some light hand sanding over the entire surface.  This was mostly just to remove who knows how many years of grime that had accumulated on it, and to also sand away the little dots of glitter that were on the boat’s blue sail.

I also wasn’t sure if I was going to keep the metal wire for hanging it, so I left it attached until I could make up my mind.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Prepping the Sign: White Primer

Now that we had a nice, smooth surface, it was time to prime (Rhymin’ Simon here).  I first covered up the wire with some painter’s tape, then I used some white spray paint and primer and applied a couple coats to the front, back, and all sides.  I wasn’t trying to hide all of the (ugly) design, I just needed to create a nice even foundation for the rest of the paint.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Painting the Sign: Orange Base Coat

Once the primer had dried completely, I brought the sign indoors and started applying my base coat of paint.  I used some orange acrylic craft paint that would be the final color of the words in my design, and, with a foam brush, applied a couple coats on all sides of the board.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Here’s a handy tip: If you’re painting multiple coats of the same color, instead of washing your paint brush between each coat while waiting for the previous one to dry, just place your wet paint brush in a plastic bag.  It will be ready for you and the next coat….and save you time and paint!

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Applying the Vinyl Stencil

Now that my orange base coat was ready, it was time to apply my design stencil.  I cut it out in some vinyl on my Silhouette Cameo, weeded it, then applied it to the board using the hinge method (you can read more about this application method here or here).

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Painting the Sign: Black Spray Paint

Now that my stencil was in place, it was time to apply the top coat.  For this I used some black spray paint, and first applied a couple coats to the back, then once that was dry, flipped the board over and did the same for the front and sides.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Painting the Sign: Glitter Paint

To make this sign even more festive and Halloweeny, I then grabbed some glitter paint and added a couple coats over top the black.  This paint is a clear liquid with black, orange, and green glitter….perfect for this project, right?!

It definitely jazzed it up, and since the vinyl was still applied, it would only show overtop the black on the final design….the orange letters would still remain glitter-less and have nice contrast.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

I was impatient and didn’t wait for the back to dry before applying some to the front…..do you like my drying method here? ;)

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Removing the Vinyl Stencil

A couple hours later and my sign was dry….and ready for (cue Ty Pennington) Operation Remove. That. Vinyl!  I simply used my nail to pick up the edge of each piece of vinyl, then grabbed it with my fingers and sloooowly pulled off each piece.  Some of the glitter paint peeled up in a few spots, but I just used a small paint brush and touched up those places…..good as new!

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

See what a nice, subtle gleam the glitter paint provides?  It’s not over-powering….just gives it a little pizzazz and brightens it up.  And I just love the little dingbats I added.  Nothing says “Halloween” like a jack-o-lantern and spiderweb!  I now wish I would have added some more dingbats, but this still makes me happy as is.

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Final Happy Halloween Sign: A Successful Upcycling Project!

And my upcycling is complete!  The hideous “Gone Sailing” design is no more, thanks to being now happily covered by this fun and festive fall cuteness.  It’s a nice little addition to our ever-growing fall decor. :)

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

FREE Silhouette Studio Cut File!

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

If you’d like this ‘Happy Halloween!’ cut file to create some fall cuteness of your own, just click on the link below to download the .studio file from Google Drive.  Happy crafting!

(On a side note, the outer box in the cut file was what I used as a guide for the actual size of my board, so I did not cut that line.  You may or may not need that cut line for your project.)

>>>CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD!<<<

(The Fine Print: This cut file is free for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  No commercial use or redistribution is permitted.  Thanks!)

Upcycled Happy Halloween Sign & FREE Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

If You Enjoyed This….

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for even more DIY fall projects as well as LOTS more freebies!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  And I would LOVE to see whatever you create with this file, so please do share! :)

Where The Smiles Have Been

 

 

 

Post updated September 2015 with new photos of completed sign.

Anne

Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Thank you!

Christine

Tuesday 5th of September 2017

You're very welcome, Anne! I hope you enjoy the cut file! :)

Kelly of Simply Kelly Designs

Wednesday 30th of September 2015

I remember shopping with toddlers. I don't want to scare you but it only gets only a *little* better when they get older. I love shopping by myself when the kids are at school. :) Love the sign! Thanks for the cut file.

Christine

Wednesday 7th of October 2015

Haha, thanks for the heads up, Kelly! Yes, it amazes me how much I'm able to accomplish while my son is at school....and how much I enjoy those precious hours! ;)

Halloween Footprint Craft

Thursday 16th of October 2014

[…] coat of glitter paint next to brighten the board up a bit.  I also used this glitter paint for my ‘Happy Halloween’ sign as well as for the cereal box signs on my pumpkin wreath and NFL ‘House Divided’ […]

Jamie

Friday 10th of October 2014

I came across your blog today & must say that I love it! I have spent all morning reading every post. I am a mom of a 11 month old, a wanna-be DIYer and just found out I am expecting baby #2 this morning. I especially love all you personalized crafts & first birthday ideas. I hope you keep posted b/c I'll be reading!

Christine

Friday 10th of October 2014

Awww, thanks Jamie! That is SO very sweet of you....you just made my day. :) Sometimes life in blogland can be kinda lonely, so your feedback is very much appreciated. I myself am a wanna-be DIYer too, which is part of the reason why I started this blog....I like having the pressure to complete more projects! And personalized crafts are sort of an addiction for me, so I'm happy to hear you enjoy them as well!

And SUPER BIG CONGRATULATIONS on baby #2!!! Squeeeeee!! My little man is 16-months-old now and I am already having baby fever again....my husband, on the other hand, still gets the deer-in-headlights look when I broach the subject of another rugrat. :) So happy for you!

Martha McLure

Saturday 13th of September 2014

After having a Cameo sit unused for 18 months, this will be my first project. Since you posted great instructions and photos, and gave us the file, I know your goal was to inspire others and you have done that. Thank you!!!!

Christine

Saturday 13th of September 2014

Oh Martha, I feel so honored that you are choosing this as your first project!! The Cameo can be intimidating at first, but bust that thing out! It is SO much fun to play with and get your creative juices flowing. I've only had mine since the spring but it has literally changed my life (it was the impetus behind me starting this blog!). Please reach out to me if you have any questions at all and I'll do my best to help (although I'm still a Silhouette newbie myself!). ;) I would love to see your creation as well. Take care!