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I am not one of those bloggers who is a rockstar with power tools. But I can work a paint brush, and I’m a master with some craft tools. Those skills were handy when I was making this DIY Halloween sign for the Sleepy Hollow Halloween scene I created in our dining room.

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

This is one of those projects that actually turned out as I envisioned — and maybe better.

How cool is this? Make a version of this wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York., for your Halloween decorations. The copycat version is made from foam, instead of wood. Genius! No power tools necessary!

Source
This real sign from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., was my inspiration. I knew I wanted to make a version for the dining room but I didn’t have the tools to make one out of wood. Plus, the thing would have been so heavy at the size I wanted — nearly 2 feet by 3 feet!

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Halloween Decorations

While my version looks just like wood, it’s light enough for a child to carry with one hand because I made it with two FloraCraft Styrofoam sheets. I used 2 sheets for mine; each measured 12 inches by 36 inches. I used hot glue to join the two Styrofoam sheets together.

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

Then I created a pattern out of paper and traced it on the foam board with a marker.

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

Next, I pulled out one of my craft tools, a FloraCraft Styro Cutter, and cut around my pattern.

I’ll admit to being a little afraid of the heat knife at first, since it heats to 410 degrees — hot enough to melt and cut through Styrofoam. I had visions of burning myself and setting my kitchen on fire, but those were unwarranted.

Just be sure to follow directions, watch what you’re doing, work slowly and use the metal stand when you put down the heat knife. AND DON’T FORGET TO UNPLUG IT!

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

Cutting out my sign made a little bit of mess in the kitchen, which was easily swept up. But I did move outside for the next step.

To make my sign look like wood, I had to use a special product called Smooth Finish, which is a paintable coating for Styrofoam. (You can buy it at the craft store or Walmart).

Smooth Finish Paintable Coating for Styrofoam
You spread it on your foam surface, using a putty knife or spatula, then allow it to dry and harden. You may need several thin coats.

My recommendation is to spread it on like icing, allowing at least an hour — and sometimes longer — of drying time between each coat.

When the Smooth Finish is dry, use a sanding block or fine grit sandpaper to smooth and even the surface.

Next, I painted my faux wood sign with  a few coats of DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish paint in Relic, a dark charcoal gray.

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

Finally, I used my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to make a one-time-use vinyl stencil.

Did you know there’s a new Silhouette out? I’m dying to get this new souped-up version of my favorite craft tool!

(If you’re looking for a deal, the Silhouette Portrait, which is the smaller version of the machine I have, is on sale through the end of October.

You can buy a bundle, which includes the Portrait plus a whole bunch of specialty media, for $149.99. Just be sure to use the code ATTAGIRL at checkout to get the deal!)

You can download a copy of the Silhouette cut file I used to make my Halloween sign by clicking here. It’s designed so you can scale it to any size you need.

How cool is this? This Halloween sign looks just like the real wooden sign in Sleepy Hollow, New York. But it's made out of foam, not wood. Genius. No power tools necessary!

For the letters, I used DecoArt Americana Multi-Surface Satin Paint in Cotton Ball. For tips on how to stencil using vinyl, check out this tutorial.

Legend of Sleepy Hollow Halloween Decorations

Because the spacing of my letters was a left a little more gray space than I wanted, I did add a decorative flourish. I also did a freehand outline of the sign, as you see in the inspiration sign.

A Legend of Sleepy Hollow Halloween: Washington Irving's chilling short story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horsesman inspired this Halloween tablesetting. The details are amazing; I especially love the Sleepy Hollow sign, the tombstone place cards and the spooky paper trees on the table. And that jack-o-lantern is pretty scary, too!

With the handpainted sign…

A Legend of Sleepy Hollow Halloween: Washington Irving's chilling short story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horsesman inspired this Halloween tablesetting. The details are amazing; I especially love the Sleepy Hollow sign, the tombstone place cards and the spooky paper trees on the table. And that jack-o-lantern is pretty scary, too!

…the spooky jack-o-lantern and the other details I added to my tablesetting, I think our dining room looks very much like Sleepy Hollow as depicted in Washington Irving’s famous short story.

A Legend of Sleepy Hollow Halloween: Washington Irving's chilling short story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horsesman inspired this Halloween tablesetting. The details are amazing; I especially love the Sleepy Hollow sign, the tombstone place cards and the spooky paper trees on the table. And that jack-o-lantern is pretty scary, too!

Be sure to click over and check out the rest of our Sleepy Hollow Halloween decorations.



Comments

  1. This is fabulous, Amy. You did a beautiful job! Thank you.

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