Here is a little tutorial! I found a weird vegetable-themed wooden plaque at the second hand store for thirty cents (thrift stores always seem to have wood plaques in abundance!) and decided to give it a makeover. Here are the before & after shots...
It was really simple and fun to do, so get ready to raid the ugly wooden plaque section of the thrift store!
First, take a look at the surface of your plaque. Is it already pretty smooth, or are there uneven spots? My plaque happened to be someone's old decoupage project, so there were some spots where glue was peeling off. If yours is uneven like mine, take a few minutes to scrape or sand the surface until there are no loose gluey bits, paint flakes, etc.
Next, assemble a few supplies. You will need gesso, some acrylic paint, and a paint brush or sponge. Cover the entire front surface of your plaque with gesso. Let it dry. Apply one more coat. Let it dry completely. Now you have a lovely, clean surface ready for painting.
Now apply your paint. I used a bottle of inexpensive acrylic craft paint (Americana in "Spa Blue") and applied two coats with my paint sponge.
While your paint is drying, gather up a few more supplies. You will need some "Mod Podge" or decoupage medium, a pencil, a kneaded eraser, a black sharpie, a pair of scissors, and a brown paper bag.
I drew a few crafty shapes on the paper bag with my sharpie, two spools of thread and three balls of yarn. You can draw whatever kinds of objects you like... cats, cupcakes, clouds, whatever : ) It's your plaque, so include the things you like! Then, cut them out.
Next, position your paper shapes at the bottom of your plaque in a pleasing, balanced way. Put a little dab of Mod Podge on the back and stick them in place so they don't slide around while you're working. Now, use your pencil to lightly add some text to your plaque. I chose a Jane Austen quote because I love her books and I thought the quote was great for hanging in my living room! You could personalize it with any kind of quote you like... a favorite song, a poem, a great movie line... anything! After placing the text, I drew some curvy lines to mimic thread & yarn. I thought they tied my objects into the design and framed the text nicely, too!
When the design is all sketched out, trace over the lines with your sharpie. Any stray pencil marks can be removed with the kneaded eraser.
Last, use the Mod Podge or decoupage medium to cover the entire front surface of the plaque. This will smooth & seal your paper shapes and give the plaque a nice shine. A thin coat is all you need.