Our House Plaque


This shelf was yet another find from HomeSense.  I was most attracted to the gray wash and thought I could use the brackets as corbels for a project.  This left me with an unadorned rectangular board to play with for yet a different project.  I knew just the thing I wanted to make with it.

I had been wanting to create a plaque to hang in the entry that stated the name of our house and the year we moved in.  This board was the perfect color and size to accomplish that goal.


Step 1:  Disassemble.  Pull the brackets out of the shelf.  These were just nailed in, so they came apart relatively easily and painlessly.


Step 2:  Create the template.  I printed out what I wanted my plaque to say on the computer and adjusted the font for sizing.  As I didn’t have carbon paper to transfer the words to wood, I just colored over the back of the paper with some charcoal I had on hand.

Step 3:  Make the transfer.  With the carbon side face down on the wood board, I traced the words on the clean side of the paper.  Tape down the paper template so it doesn’t move about as you’re tracing.  I just used Scotch tape, which worked perfectly well.

Step 4:  Reveal the transfer.  After everything is traced, lift the template off the wood and you’ll see that the charcoal rubbing imprinted.  Then freehand paint the letters, making sure to cover the charcoal lines.  It’s not hard to cover.

***After I finished this project, I learned another method of transfer:  you can skip the charcoal rubbing or carbon transfer by just pressing hard into the wood in your tracing.  This will leave an invisible imprinted line in the wood.  It’s up to you which method you want to go with.  It might be difficult to see all the lines in this method.


Step 5:  Distress.  As you’ll see in the left photo, the brackets left holes where they were attached by nails.  I didn’t mind the holes, but wanted to create more so these ones weren’t so obvious.  The wooden board was so soft that it was easy to just poke random indentations of various sizes and depths with a nail.  Then I took a fine grit sandpaper and rubbed down the entire board to fade out the painting and smooth out the holes.

A couple of picture frame rings were screwed into the back of the plaque and hung in my entry, as planned.  This was an easy project!

Total time:  About half an hour from start to finish.  The dry time for the paint wasn’t too long since it was a thin coat.

Total cost:  The board was upcycled from a shelf that I only purchased for the brackets.  The paint was left over from another house project.  The picture frame rings were reused from the shelf unit.  So, all this equals FREE!


Leave a comment


  1. I like how you imprinted the words with the charcoal. Nice!

  2. Thanks! This is what happens when you make do with what you have around the house. 🙂

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