The Great Lake State. A Pleasant Peninsula. The Mitten State. America’s High Five. My home state has lots of nicknames and one of the most recognizable silhouettes on on a US map. When you ask someone from Michigan where they live, expect to see them point to a location on the palm of their right hand.
As a proud Michigangster and a proud maker of handmade things, I felt the need to put those two ideas together in a project for our home. The result is this pretty Hand Painted Hand-Made sign.
I have had success making signs out of foam instead of wood in the past, so I decided to go that route again this time. In order to make my Make It: Fun foam paintable, I applied a coat of Smooth Finish over the top of it and allowed it to dry for 24 hours. After it was completely dry, I painted on a coat of Americana Chalky Finish paint in Timeless.
Instead of creating a stencil out of vinyl, like I did for my But First, Coffee Sign, or printing out and tracing shapes like I did for my Faux Pallet Cornice, I was able to use my new tablet to project my design right onto the foam. All I had to do was adjust the distance between the board and the project to make sure the image fit and then trace my shapes!
You can just make out the faint pencil outline in this photo. You may also notice that there are small crackles in the chalk finish paint. I am not sure what caused the paint to crackle, whether it was the Smooth Finish beneath or something else. I actually don’t mind the added texture, so it was a happy accident.
Next, I followed that pencil outline with an angle brush and chalky finish paint in Vintage.
I finished painting the great state of Michigan and the lettering beneath. I added in a drop shadow in a similar blue paint that had a metallic sheen to make the blue contrast from the tan just a bit. Finally I added a heart over my hometown.
I love how the foam sign turned out! I would never have been able to be so accurate with the state silhouette and lettering if I had needed to freehand the design.
Now I just need to find the perfect place in our home to display my hand-made Michigan artwork!
I have put together a list of affiliate links for all the products I used in this tutorial. If you choose to purchase after clicking through, I will receive a small commission. Thanks!