As I said in my last post, my husband is gone for the next few weeks, and as much as I want to spend every day cooking things I love (that I know he hates), a girl can only eat so much.

And so, while I’m finishing up some leftovers, I’m going to share a tutorial of the signs I made for my wedding.

But first I want to tell you that our wedding is going to be featured on the awesome wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes!!! I’m so so excited. It’s not going to be til March, but I’ll be sure to post the link when it happens.

(Here’s where I shared some wedding photos, in case you missed)

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

Anyway, I had seen lots of wedding signage around the internet, but I got it in my head that I wanted my signs to be made out of an old picket fence.

Lucky for me, I found one laying on the side of the street on my way home from work one day.  I stood there mentally calculating how to dismember the partially deconstructed fence and then tried to figure out how I’d carry the pieces to my apartment that was a couple blocks away. The superintendent of the building that discarded the fence saw me assessing the goods. I told him that it was for a project for my upcoming wedding,and he asked if I wanted a newer fence he had in the basement.

DIY picket fence wedding signage

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

I told him that I actually preferred the old, decaying fence to the new one he was offering, and I saw in his eyes that he obviously  took me for an idiot. Despite that, however, he offered to take the old fence apart for me and remove the nails. As he spent the next 15-20 minutes dismembering the fence, he told me that he too was engaged, and that his wife would kill him if she knew he was helping someone else on their wedding project instead of helping with his own wedding :)

I offered to pay him for his troubles but he refused. I walked away with exactly what I had been searching for, and I can’t tell you how happy I was. I think I grinned the whole way home.

If you can’t find an old fence to do this with (which really adds to the rustic charm), I guess you could try distressing some wood yourself, although it’s way more effort. You can easily find people giving away old fences on Craigslist.

Anyway, here’s what I did:

First I went to home depot and got some wooden posts that are 2 in  (i think?) square and like 8-10 feet long. I had home depot cut them for me into sign height. Sorry I don’t have the exact info- I couldn’t find the item on their website. You’ll see it, thought, if you go to their lumber area. It’s basically the smallest size lumbar you’ll see.

I took some walnut stain and brushed it on, then wiped the excess off with a towel. I wanted them to have a brownish finish, so I used Walnut stain. I used a weatherproof spray polyurethane on top, once the stain was dry.

Next, I took the filthy picket fence outside and hosed it down. I wanted it to look weathered, but not dirty. I then let it dry for a day, since the old wood really absorbed the water.


I found a font I liked and printed out the words I wanted so they were almost as tall as the fence was wide- I wanted about 1/4-1/2″ space above and below the words. I placed the longest word I needed on the fence to see how long I should cut them. I centered it and left some room on each side. I then cut all the fence pieces to this length, using a hand saw.

Next I arranged the pieces facing the directions I wanted (depending on where they needed to point in real life), and one at a time I traced over the letters using transfer paper.


DIY picket fence wedding signage


I then VERY carefully painted within the lines with a teeny brush and some craft paint. I had to go over each letter twice because the paint wasn’t very thick- definitely annoying. If you do this, test the paint somewhere to see it’s coverage and use a more expensive, thicker paint if you can, to save yourself some time.


Once everything was dry, I gave them all 2-3 coats of the weatherproof poly spray, allowing several hours in between each coat. I’m pretty impatient so I probably didn’t wait as long as I should have, but I knew these wouldn’t be outdoors for more than a day, and it most likely wouldn’t rain.

DIY picket fence wedding signage

Then I arranged the signs on each post the way I liked and, since the wood was old and I didn’t want it to splinter, I drilled a pilot hole through both the sign and post. I then screwed them together with some deck screws that were slightly shorter than the fence + post combined thickness.

And, done! I completely love how they turned out :)

I put several non-directional signs leading down the driveway that said “Amy & Nate” “Tie the Knot” “10-21-12 <3.” They were spaced about 10-20 feet apart.

wedding fence signs

Then I had one directional sign (first picture of the post), since not everything was in the same building.

And finally I had an “I Do” sign in front of the orchard where the ceremony was held.

DIY picket fence wedding signage

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

I had so many fence pieces left over that I used them for one more project! Here’s a sneak peek- My how-to will come soon.

Amy + Nate; October 21, 2012; John J. Audubon Center

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

courtesy Jodi Miller Photograpy

Well, I got my wedding photos back (you prob already got a sneak peek if you’re my fb friend) and they’re pretty much better than I ever imagined they’d be.

Jodi Miller Photography does SUCH an amazing job (you can see my engagement photos by her here). Not to mention, Jodi and her husband Kurt are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. They send all the clients they work with the most thoughtful and beautiful care packages and are just so great to work with. Anyway, you can click here to see the highlights of the wedding that they posted on their blog. There are SOOOO many more amazing pictures but I obviously can’t post them all. She did a pretty good job summing up the important parts in her blog post…but I can share some more when I go into detail with my wedding craft projects sometime in the near future.

Also, if you missed it in my prior post, check out Nate’s seriously amazing video he made for the wedding :)

courtesy Jodi Miller Photography

I thought once the wedding was done that I’d have more time for blog posts…but now instead of wedding crafts and stressing over my dress, I’m busy with thank you note-writing, cleaning the apartment (which is a mess between honeymoon unpacking and tons of wedding gifts), and the usual other million to-dos.

Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto

I do have a lot of recipes stored up though. Even though I haven’t found the time for blog posting, I’ve still been doing a decent amount of cooking. I made this recipe when we went down to my mother-in-law’s house. She always cooks dinner for us when we’re there, but I was kind of in the mood to make something, so I found this recipe and it’s definitely a winner. Hopefully you guys aren’t too sick of pumpkin yet (actually i used butternut squash).

Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto

I know I’m late on the brown butter band-wagon, since it’s been all over the food blogger world for months now, but the sage brown butter on this is amazing. It’s nutty and rich. So rich that a small portion of this meal is seriously satisfying. In fact, I think I made myself sick eating it.

Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto

Pan-Seared Scallops with Pumpkin Risotto

Sightly adapted from Gourmet, October 2001

Print this recipe!

Serves 4

For risotto:
1 1/2 cups diced (1/4 inch) peeled seeded fresh pumpkin (preferably from sugar or cheese pumpkins) or butternut squash
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For scallops:
20 large sea scallops (1 1/2 lb), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage
2 tablespoons white truffle oil (optional)

Cook diced pumpkin in a medium saucepan two-thirds full of simmering water until tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Bring stock and wine to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep at a bare simmer. Cook onion in oil in a 2- to 2 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add 1 cup simmering stock and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until stock is absorbed. Continue simmering, adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 18 minutes total. (There may be broth left over.)

Remove from heat and stir in diced pumpkin, cheese, and butter, stirring until butter is melted. Season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.

Prepare scallops:

Pat scallops dry very well (especially if they were pre-frozen) and season with salt. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté scallops, turning once, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. If scallops are not cooked through, reduce heat to moderate and cook about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and discard any oil remaining in skillet (do not clean skillet).

Cook butter in same skillet over moderate heat until it foams and turns light brown. Add sage and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in truffle oil if using. Season with salt.