Attempted DIY: Dance Quote Wall Sign

Please ignore my alien hand and unpainted fingernails.  Ok admit it, now you’re staring.

The Problem

Last year, we installed a drop-ceiling in one of our dance studios to relieve some echoing and to save some heating costs.  Can I get a “what what” for leasehold improvements?
While the studio looks great, it left this ugly spot in our dressing room area where the back of drywall shows through.
Unattractive dressing room side.
I didn’t have any leftover paint from that room to disguise the grey sheetrock.  I did however find a piece of wood they removed during the project and Voila! an idea was born!

The Plan

I would make a sign with a dance quote on it to help fill in the empty space!
I debated for a while about what to put on it… should it says something bold like “Through this door, stars are made” or something inspiring like “Dance like no one’s watching” or something strict like “RESPECT“?  I finally settled on an inspring, but not quite as cliched quote:

“We are the dancers. We create the dreams”*

* Side note… this is actually then ending of a longer quote that I love:  “Dancing in our heads… We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.” This source attributes it to Albert Einstein, but don’t quote me on that (pun intended).

The Process

To begin, I made a mock-up of my design on the computer and played around with fonts and layouts.  



Looking back, I wish I had gone a little bit bigger with the font-size, so that the quote filled in more of the sign, but I still like how it turned out.
I printed out the design onto paper and taped it onto my board:

To transfer the design, I carefully traced over the words with a ballpoint pen, pressing hard enough to indent the wood.

For the thinner letters, I found it easiest to trace down the middle.

I tried to take a picture of the indentation, but its a little hard to see.  The word here is CREATE:

When I started the coloring process, I found it helpful to tape two pieces of scrap paper to guide me on the top and bottom of my letters.

First I re-traced along the indentations using a black sharpie marker.

Then I added additional lines to thicken the letters up to match the original font.

For the larger letters, I traced around the edges of the letters – again, you can sort of see the shape of the S here:

For these types of letters, I traced along the indentations and then filled in the rest:

 The finished product:

The Q-tips you see in this picture were for when I got excited to finish and accidentally added a bottom to the T in “The”.  A little nail polish remover on a Q-Tip and the mistake was erased!

The Takeaway

If I were to do this again, I would increase the size of the words to fill up more of the empty space (or should I say, negative space!).  
I contemplated adding a dancer, but I was afraid my non-drawing skills would ruin the sign all together.

Time & Cost

I worked on this over the course of three nights – I would say from start to finish, it took me at most three hours.
Best part… total cost: $0!
My materials were free and all I needed was a black sharpie, so I would say this is a very low budget project even if you needed to buy the wood and marker.

The Results

Here it is in its final resting place…atop the dressing room door
I still want to paint the sheetrock… maybe a dark red to match the curtains?  At least the sign distracts a bit from it though.


Have you DIY-ed anything dance related lately?  Thinking about attempting a Pinterest project?  Tell me in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s