Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Outdoor Party Signs with 3M DIY

After a year and a half, our new home is finally reaching the point where we like having people over for dinner. Having a finished basement helps, but our yard and other renovations are really coming along nicely. The yard is becoming particularly lovely. Especially at night.

We love to sit out on our deck and look over the lake near our home. One night as we were relaxing on the deck, the hubby and I started talking about how much fun it would be to throw an outdoor party. You know, invite friends over, eat outside, and talk until it was good and dark. So we did. We invited friends, set up a table outside and had a wonderful evening. But you know me, I can’t just have people over…it needs to be an event with party favors and beautiful signage.

With the help of 3M DIY, I was able to safely build two signs – one for our future fire pit and one that I used as a table centerpiece.

Roasting Marshmallows Around a Campfire is My Favorite Summertime Tradition
Every Party Needs a Good Centerpiece
First things first, I needed perfectly aged wood for the fire pit sign. I wanted it to be a worn gray color and rustic looking – but I didn’t want to buy it or ask a farmer for a piece of his fence. I ended up scavenging around town, looking for discarded wood that I could reuse, and stumbled upon a dumpster full of old pallets. It was meant to be.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already got a sneak peek.

I headed home, gathered my supplies from 3M and got right to work. When working on projects like these, it is essential to use the RIGHT products for the job. I always turn to 3M for 3M™ Advanced Abrasives, ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape, 3M™ Wood Filler and 3M™ Safety Products.

I ripped the pallet apart, using only the pieces that were roughly the same size.

For safety reasons, I then removed all of the rusty nails from the pallet pieces.

Hammer the nails back out of the wood and then use a hammer to pull them the rest of the way out. Be sure to discard immediately. You do NOT want one of those in your car tire!

To connect the slats, I used small pieces of scrap wood, clamps and wood glue, and let dry overnight. In the morning, I screwed a few wood screws to the back of the slats, secure the scrap wood in place.

Once everything was nice and secure, I started sanding.

I used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and my trusty leather gloves to sand those boards until I felt like they were safe to touch. I attached a skinny piece of wood to the back of the sign to allow it to stand up before I added the finishing touches.

With my Cricut®, I cut vinyl lettering and transferred the vinyl to my wood sign with ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape.

Yes, you heard me right! What, you didn’t know ScotchBlue™ Painter's Tape is a fantastic way to transfer vinyl? The light tack makes it just sticky enough to transfer the vinyl to your project but it easily peels off, leaving the vinyl behind. It is pretty amazing stuff.

I chose to do vinyl on my sign instead of painting because I wanted to be able to use the sign over and over again for different events.

The finished sign is everything I envisioned – the perfect addition to our outdoor party.

No sweat, right? Super easy.

If you can believe it, the party’s centerpiece was even easier to make.

I found a small-ish log with a flat bottom and sanded the edges and sides with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to make sure it was nice and smooth. I filled a few cracks in the log with 3M™ Wood Filler to give it a more finished look.

Then, I measured the log and divided its length into 6 even sections, marking each section with a pencil.

With my drill, I made holes at each pencil mark about ¾ of an inch deep with a 1/4 inch drill bit. I lightly sanded the holes with 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to smooth them out.

At Lowe’s, I found ¼” poplar dowels that I cut into 8 inch sections. I topped the dowels with the letters: C H E E R S and stuck them snuggly into the log centerpiece. By drilling six holes, I will be able to use the centerpiece over and over again for future parties, spelling out different words.

To accompany the centerpiece, I made tiny favor boxes filled with chocolates for everyone to take home.

The night really was perfect. The food was good and company was entertaining – the ideal combination for a fantastic night. For your next outdoor party, make a fancy sign and centerpiece and wow your guests.


I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me.

You can get inspiration from other 3M bloggers like myself via any of 3M DIY's social media outlets: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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