Apothecary: shop sign

Recently I’ve been so focused on what to put in my apothecary set, that I haven’t considered how I want the outside to look. So this week I did some research for possible ideas. I’m still toying with how I want it to look overall, but I did decide I definitely wanted a shop sign, and immediately got sketching.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m terrible with precise measurements. I’m the kind of person who ignores the instruction manual and gets right into the sticking-things-together part of a project. However, I will include measurements where possible to give an idea of scale.

I started by cutting a small rectangle of 3 mm thick wood, (I don’t know what wood it is, it’s a scrap I saved from long ago) 3.5 cm wide and 4 cm long. I then used a screw to make two holes near the top of one end. For the chain attaching the sign board to the wall bracket, I used four 2 cm lengths of wire, and two, 6 links long, lengths of chain, from an old necklace.

I made the wire into loops, using an old paintbrush to help get the curve, then using pliers to complete the circle by holding the wire in place on the paintbrush, and bending the two ends to meet on the other side. To skip this step you could just use some jewellery jump rings, I had none to hand. I then attached a ring to each end of the two bits of chain, and attached two of the rings to the sign board.

shop sign_cutting

Putting that aside, I turned my attention to the wall bracket. I used another bit of the same wood to make the wall fitting (3 cm tall x 1.4 cm wide). As seen below, I penciled on how far in I wanted my detail (each incissision was roughly 2mm wide x 6mm tall), then cut against the grain first, then with the grain, to get what can be seen in 2. Next, I used my trusty nail file to neaten the inner edges and round off the corners. I advise caution here as it is easy to get carried away and file too much away.

shop sign_cutting wall bracket

I again used a screw to make two holes (1.8cm in from either edge), one slightly wider than the other, as seen above in 5. I had my bits of wire handy as I made the holes, and would periodically check whether they fit yet, carefull not to make the holes too wide.

The wider, white bit of wire seen below comes from an old calender ring binding and was really difficult to work with. I wanted to make more of a spiral at the end, but curving it in was as much as I could manage, I was happy with the end result, but next time I would use a softer wire if possible.

shop sign_checking it all connects

I assembled the whole bracket and sign board together to make sure I was happy and that the sign hung fairly level. Then went right ahead with the painting. I mixed a faded dark green for the wall mount, which I painted both sides, then used a darker green to make a detail just on the front side. The wire bits I painted black (I sanded the white one a bit as it had been painted before), then when dry, applied a bit of super glue to the ends of each bit of wire and stuck them into the wall bracket.

shop sign_painting bracket

For the sign board, I took the chains off first for ease of painting, then gave the board two white coats. Once dry I painted the border green, and drew my design on both sides. I chose a pestle and mortar design, which seems to have been popular according to my research, and was also a simple yet effective image. I used the same green to paint them on, and when fully dry, used a fine line marker to define the edges of the design.

shop sign_painting2

All that was left to do then, was reassemble the whole thing, glue the end of thinner piece of wire bracket to the thicker. I am pleased with the result, and quite surprised at how well it came out for a first attempt. In the image below I simply used a piece of blu tack to stick it to the side of a CD rack, to see how it would hang.


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