Tuesday, October 2, 2012

If You Can't Get It, Make It! A Vintage Sign Replica.

I was renovating my office and couldn't come up with a theme that worked for me. I have always liked the industrial look and have a few artefacts around my house that would work well with the theme. I had an extra large 'No Parking' sign I found in an old barn which I grabbed (the site was about to be bulldozed anyway). I also had a yellow construction light and a few other street related things. So, I decided the street theme was the way to go.

One thing I have always wanted is a traffic light shell or something leftover from an old neon sign of any sort. I hit a few junk sellers and antique malls but couldn't find anything I liked (or could even come close to affording). Feeling a little discouraged, I moved forward with my renovation.

Along the way, an idea sprung to mind. If I couldn't have a real sign artefact, why couldn't I make one? With an image in my head and no plan, I dedicated a day to making myself an old neon arrow. I wanted this thing to look like I ripped it off an old weathered sign from some generic undisclosed location. I have to say that I was absolutely blown away with the final result. It turned out just as good as I imagined.

I made the arrow out of thin cheap pine, something they would normally just lay on a floor in a house. I used wood filler in the crevices to make it look like welds. I painted it with red primer which gave it the perfect weathered finish and followed up the simulated seams of the sign with silver paint. The silver gave it the illusion of paint flaking off to reveal steel or aluminium underneath.

Lastly, I went to the dollar store and purchased a bunch of glass night light bulbs and glued them randomly throughout the arrow to give it further neglect. However, the picture below shows Christmas lights I had originally installed. The lights seemed too new for the old arrow so I opted for the non-functioning version instead.

I fully intend on trying a few more projects like it because I really like the effect it creates. Maybe some full sized signs in the same sort of style.

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