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After my trip to Spain this summer I was inspired to make this wall hanging to decorate my new apartment. It now hangs above my ugly air conditioning unit, and makes the space seem more fun and inviting!

Everywhere I went in Spain I heard people using the greeting “hola,guapa,” which translated to English means hello pretty, or hey cutie. Its not always used in a cat-call kind of way, but in an endearing way. The receptionist at the hotel and the middle age woman down the street that took in my laundry always greeted me with a smile and “hola guapa!” I think its such a perfect saying, a greeting combined with a compliment. A perfect way to liven up a drab apartment and a fun little message to brighten your day!

This DIY can be adjusted with any message you want, something positive, funny, inspiring, or meaningful.

Tools/Materials: 

  • 1″ by 6″ by 24″  piece of wood (pine)
  • wall mounting bracket and screws
  • primer (white acrylic paint will work fine too)
  • painters tape
  • paint brushes- 1 small/fine tip artist (for the letters) and several large artist brushes (for the stripes)
  • assorted acrylic craft paint (3 to 5 different colors: brights, neutrals, and black)
  • 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock (2 pieces, plus extra if you mess up)
  • exacto knife and cutting mat

Directions:

  1. Cut your 2 x 6 piece of wood to size, I used a jig saw because its what I had lying around, but make sure the edge is straight (right angle), you don’t want a wonky looking decoration. Use some fine grain sand paper to sand and smooth out the edges and prep it to be painted. Wipe off any dust with a rag.
  2. Paint the entire board with a white primer as a base coat. That way when you paint the stripes you won’t be able to see through to any knots or wood grain, and won’t have to bother with additional coats later.
  3. Attach wall mounting bracket to the back of the piece of wood. Measure and mark the middle of the length of the board. Then place the bracket centered on the marked middle point an inch or so down from the top edge of the board, screw in.
  4. Tape off random width stripes, get wacky, fat stripes, skinny stripes, the kookier the better. Make sure that your tape is at a right angle, aligned with the board. We don’t want diagonal or uneven stripes. You can paint a few stripes at a time (not neighboring stripes) but will have to wait for the paint to dry to remove the painters tape in order to paint stripes that are right next to each other. This may take some time, but the result is worth it. If you rush the taping, painting, and drying process your end result will look messy. I would pick a variety of colors of acrylic craft paint , some brights mixed with a neutral so it doesn’t look too juvenile.
  5. I was initially planning on only painting stripes, but I thought it looked incomplete, so I added a black border/frame around the edge to finish it off. If you feel so inclined, tape an inch wide border around the front face of the board. Use a thick brush to paint the area, along with all four sides with black acrylic paint.
  6. While the border is drying, prepare your stencil. If you have a stencil in a font/size that you like, by all means use it. I didn’t have one that I liked, so I made my own. Type out your message in your desired font on MS word (print it in landscape page set up so you can fit more words onto the page). I like to use Sans Serif fonts, its easier on you in the long run. Print the message onto card-stock.
  7. Using an exacto knife and a cutting mat, cut out the printed letters to create a stencil. For letters like o, e, d, p, b, etc leave little uncut tabs that remain attached to the paper on both sides so that the center parts of the letter won’t be cut out, leaving you with an empty circle instead of an actual o. You get me? Sorry that was a little unclear (you’ll get it once you see it)
  8.  Once you’re done with the stencil and the paint is dry, center your stencil on the board. Use a measuring tape, don’t just eye it. If you do you will be off and it will look strange when you’re done, I guarantee it. Tape it down, so it doesn’t wiggle and get misaligned when you trace it.
  9.  Using a pencil, lightly outline the letters of the stencil.
  10. Using a thin (the thinner the better) brush and black acrylic paint, fill in the letters, writing out your saying in black paint. If you mess up, get to it quick with a wet rag and wipe it off. Take your time. This is the last step, no sense rushing and messing up now!
  11. Success! Let it dry and hang it somewhere for all the world to see!
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