Train Sign…that got off track.

Not every project goes exactly how we plan, does it?  I worked on one a few weeks ago that got a little “off track” {pun intended}.

I saw this awesome antique sign on Etsy.  Not only was the price tag $585 and way out of my price range, but I knew it would be an easy design to recreate myself…or so I thought.
best early 20th century hand painted train station schedule sign trade handmade black white art deco 1920s
I didn’t take a lot of photos during the process, but I created the grid first, then the lettering.  I planned to layer the letters over the grid before painting it, because it have made a mess of the vinyl to do it all as one piece.  The problem is, when I put both pieces on my wood, I totally wasn’t thinking and forgot to place the words INSIDE the grid, like the original sign had them.  Here it is after I had already painted everything and was removing the vinyl.

So, I cut another vinyl stencil,  just of the grid, and tried adding more lines around the words, but for some unknown reason, the lines didn’t match up on the right side of the sign.  I still have no idea why.   It seemed like the more I tried to fix it, the more off-track it got.  I wasn’t in the mood to sand everything off the wood and start all over again.  I was inspired to make the sign, but I was not in the least bit inspired to start all over again.  My inspiration has limits.

I also realized that I didn’t have the image perfectly centered on the board, so there was a little more space on the left side than the right side.  Yes, I did measure first, but apparently my measurement abilities stink.  Again…I should have just sanded it all off and started again, but I decided to add a little chalk holder on the wider side, and hope it looked like I planned that width specifically for that purpose.  I didn’t want to work on the railroad “all the livelong day“.

There was also more of an empty space at the top of the wood than I had planned (or not planned, apparently), so I cut another vinyl stencil with the name of a little train station in Missouri that I’ve been to many times when my mom rides the train to visit us.

I guess you could say this project didn’t just get off track – it totally derailed, but that’s okay.  Sometimes you just need to move on to the next project.  Even though it isn’t perfect, I still like it, so if it doesn’t sell, I won’t mind keeping it.



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  1. Oh- I HATE when things like that happen. It seems stuff kind of like that happens to me all the time. I want to slap myself in the head and order a V-8!

    I think your sign looks grand anyway! xo Diana

  2. It looks great and I am sure unless you told anyone no one would no it didn’t turn out how it was supposed to!

  3. Hi Angie, I don’t know how often I measured twice and still made a mistake, lol. Your board turned out great and everybody will think that it is supposed to look like that.

  4. I think it’s awesome; sometimes we are harder on ourselves with things most people probably will never notice! I know I have the hardest time centering things… oh well.

    Great piece!

  5. Awesome of course!

  6. oh, even your mistakes look great! lol

  7. Amazing job Angie…love this!

  8. Looks great to me Angie … yes, you needed room on the left side for the chalk and eraser.
    Not a bad mistake … more like a plan. Thanks for sharing.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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