Make an easy decoupaged JOY sign for your Christmas decor from vintage sheet music, printed letters, and an old cupboard door.
Here's a thrift store transformation for you that I think you're going to l.o.v.e. because I sure do - I think it's one of my favorite transformations in recent memory!
Sometimes when you're looking through the crowded shelves of a thrift store, something comes to your attention and you can see right away what it could become. When I found a framed wood piece that I'm assuming was a small cupboard door, I knew right away that it would make a great base for a decorative sign.
I originally thought I would try painting an antique-looking sign with it, but when I was putting together the vintage sheet music decoupaged coasters, the idea of a holiday sign that I could use for our Christmas decor came to me when I set some leftover music sheets on it. Funny how inspiration works, huh?
Whatever this door was meant to be, it was brand new when I found it and hadn't been used. How could I tell? There was a remnant of an order tag on the back - the kind you get with cabinets, which is why I think it's a door. It's a pretty small size, though - maybe they decided to go without a door on that cupboard?
Make an Upcycled Vintage Sheet Music JOY Sign
- old cupboard door (or other item with a frame that can be painted)
- acrylic paint in white and tan
- artist brushes
- vintage sheet music (or new printed music aged with a tea wash)
- Mod Podge (or other decoupage glue)
- laser printed letters to spell JOY (or other word) in Rosewood (or desired font) Note: you can't use inkjet printed letters or they will smear when decoupaged.
1. Paint the door with a creamy white acrylic paint, 2-3 coats until covered completely and let dry. You can paint just the outside frame since we're adding the music pages to the center.
2. Make a tea stain by steeping a tea bag in 1/4 c. water - let it steep 15-30 minutes.
3. Print out letters in desired font and lightly brush with the tea stain (before cutting - there's less curling that way) and let dry. If your music sheets aren't yellowed the same, brush some stain on them, too, so both the letters and sheet music have similar colored backgrounds. Cut out the letters and sheet music to fit inside the door.
4. Sand the whole piece, distressing it a bit around the edges.
5. Make a glaze made from 1 part tan acrylic paint and 3-4 parts water (yeah, I'm pretty fancy with my materials…) and rub it all over the frame with a cloth. Sand again for good measure.
6. Glue the cut-to-fit pieces of vintage sheet music down with Mod-Podge (thinned with a bit of water) and apply the letters to spell JOY on top with the same Mod-Podge mixture.
Isn't this going to be a fun Christmas addition? I just think it turned out so darn cute! It's definitely going to be a major part of our holiday mantel, I can tell.
Update: Here are a few ways I've used this sweet vintage sheet music sign in our Christmas decor!
This is day 28 in our series (you can click on the button to see all the posts in the category). If you’re wondering what’s up, you can read the introduction to 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations here.
Nikki Hammack says
Love this post...found a couple of black frames in the garage and did this project yesterday. Love the way they turned out and will be taking them down to my space "Fragments" at The Fussy Duck in Salem, Oregon. Thanks so much for the great idea!
Wow- awesome to hear, Nikki. I sure hope they sell well for you. 🙂
Love it! Sounds like a great gift idea for the guys I work with... customized for each.
lots of picture frames (with pictures you don't mind covering up) at the thrifts....
You're sure right there, Kathy! I never did get to all my frame projects...
i like this!
[email protected] says
This is such a cute idea! I love the use of vintage sheet music, now I just need to find some myself!
I love this idea! It is one of my favorite ideas you posted using vintage music.
love this !! its soooo cute
Kathi D says
I love this! I have a frame that I can use, but would leftover latex off white paint work in place of the acrylic? Thanks so much for putting this series together. I have enjoyed each and every post:) Kathi
Yes, Kathi - it was in fact what I used (the paint we use for our house trim and cabinets). I thought more folks would have acrylic paint available, so that's what I mentioned. Any paint works, though. The only thing with the stronger latex is that it doesn't sand off as easily (great for cabinets, though, lol!), so I had to use an electric sander to get the best distressed look.