I wanted to have a simple "Winter Welcome!" sign to hang outside of our front door. I wanted something to go along with our outdoor winter cardinal theme. I decided to use what I already had--the slate sign "Believe" that I had hung for the Christmas holidays. It is a favorite of mine and something I bought at a church Christmas bazaar, some 20+ years ago. I decided to turn the slate over and use it as my new canvas! (This saves the space. I can store one sign, with the function of two signs!) You can also purchase slate from craft stores and builder supply stores.
The first step was to thoroughly wash the slate back. I read directions on line about this. The key seems to be to wash a few times using a soft bristle brush or netted scrubber. You want to remove lose bits and dirt, but you don't want to scratch the surface. I ended with washing the slate with a little dishwashing soap and water. Let it dry thoroughly.
Gather your materials together, while your slate is drying.
• Find an image that you wish to decoupage.
• Pair of sharp, small, scissors
• Mod Podge for Exterior Use
• Brush or Foam Brush
Length of leather strapping or strong twine for hanging
The next step was to make a stencil of "Welcome!" using my Cricut Air Explore using contact paper that I had in my craft cupboard. I chose Marker Felt font and cut the stencil. (You can create your own stencil using your printer and an exact knife, too.)
Finally, I was ready to stencil the letters with white, acrylic, chalk paint. Most acrylic paints will work. I used what I had available. I let the first coat dry and did a second coat, since the slate is porous. Carefully, lift the stencil from the slate. Let the paint dry thoroughly.
Now you are ready to decoupage your cut out image. Paint one layer of Mod Podge for Exterior Use where you want to place your image. I usually would use a foam brush, but I was all out, so I used a regular paint brush.
Lay your image on the slate and gently press into the Mod Podge. You can use your brush or craft sponge to secure your image. You want to make sure the entire image is tacked down. Be particularly mindful of the any points, corners, and edges.
Next, paint another layer of Mod Podge over the entire slate including the image and "Welcome!" Repeat this step a few times, following the directions on the Mod Podge container. The directions suggest to let the final coat dry 72 hours prior to hanging outdoors. They also suggest giving the piece an additional coat occasionally. I'm planning to apply a sealer, too.
This is my first experience using Mod Podge for Exterior Use. I am hoping for good results. The reviews on line were very positive about this product
Mod Podge has been around since the 1960's and I was an enthusiastic user in the 1970's. I haven't done much with it in recent years, but I have a renewed interest in the updated products and am looking forward to creating more "outdoor signage" for the garden. I will keep you posted.
Material Sources and Information: Click on the name of the source for the link.
• Mod Podge for Exterior Use
Sources for Slate
• Kulps Custom Crafts
• JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts
• Consumer Crafts
• Many people find slate for sale from old barns.
• There are many listing Esty for various sizes of slate to purchase.
• Slate tiles can be purchased at most home building stores.