The Art of Darkness

Dead and Breakfast Sign

March 5th, 2014 by Cobwebs

Dead and BreakfastThis is one of those projects that’s been languishing in my Drafts folder as other shiny objects catch my eye, and it’s languished so long that its original source has vanished. I’m fairly sure that I originally saw it in Better Homes and Gardens’ outdoor Halloween decorations, but after slogging through their insanely irritating slideshow it ain’t there, and all other roads lead to Pinterest. Oh well; I don’t recall the original source including instructions, so we’re on our own anyway.

(Click for larger.)

Although probably intended as a seasonal Halloween prop, this is attractive enough to leave up year-’round (although I’d probably just put the crows up seasonally, lest they mildew). The upright appears to be a reclaimed porch column, and the crossbar is a piece of recycled 2×4. There are numerous places to buy or salvage recycled wood (google around for a local source), or you can fake-distress lumber from the hardware store.

Putting this together would require some tiny amount of woodworking skill–you’d need to be able to drill holes to attach the chains, and nail pieces to other pieces–but it wouldn’t require great depth of knowledge. You don’t have to saw anything for the sign (although if you are a woodworker you can get fancy and make your own custom shape): There are plenty of reasonably easy tutorials for making simple signs from precut wood. I particularly like this one, which uses a small tabletop, but this and this are also good resources.

Stencil the sign with your name, and you’ve got a wonderful yard decoration. If you intend to leave it up permanently, you’ll probably want to dig a proper post hole and sink it there. For a seasonal decoration, nail the post to a wooden base large enough to stabilize it; you don’t want it knocked over by the wind or errant trick-or-treaters. The sign by itself would also be an attractive wall decoration in a rec room or kitchen.

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