Thursday, September 19

DIY Family Rules Art {free template}

I always love seeing family rules art. Seriously, who ever thought it up was a genius. But I've never found one that was right for us... either the words weren't what I wanted or the size was wrong or the price was just too much for us. So I finally jumped right in and made one that fits our home (and our family) perfectly. And I even made a template so you can make one too! I will warn you, this takes longer than you think it will. But it will save a good chunk of change and you'll end up with a sweet piece of art. :)

Here's all you need to make your own:
  • 1 x 12 pine board cut to 41.5" long (you can buy a 4' long board and have them cut the extra off for you at the store)
  • primer
  • background paint (I used leftover white paint from our kitchen)
  • letter paint (I used black acrylic, but a paint pen would probably be easier!)
  • download the template here (sorry guys, it's pretty grainy. I didn't save my files right and I'll have to start over when I get a chance. But it should be good enough to get you going!)
I started by listing all my favorite family rules quotes. Some I've seen on other pieces and some were new things that are important to our family.

Then I started playing around in photoshop to see how things fit and what looked good. I knew I wanted my art to fit the space above my entertainment center, so I decided to use a 1x12 board cut to 40.5" long. So the overall dimensions are 40.5" wide x 11.25" tall. In photoshop I started with my favorite quotes since I wouldn't have room for all of them. And this is what I ended up with:

Before I started painting I printed out the template and taped it up on the wall to check the size. It was a keeper! (it prints gray to use less ink)

The next step was prepping my board. Once it was cut to size I did a coat of primer and two coats of white paint.

Then I got my stencil ready (download the template here). My first thought was to use an exacto knife to cut out the letters and make a big stencil... but sweet mercy I would have finished that when I was was 80. So plan B. I used a pencil to color the backs of the letters like in the pic below.

Then I taped the template down on my painted board and used a pen to trace the letter. Make sure you push hard enough to transfer the pencil from the back of the paper onto the wood.

It was hard to get a clear pic, but when I pulled the paper off I was left with light pencil outlines of all the letters:

Then came the (other) tedious part - painting the letters. I used a tiny little paintbrush to fill in each letter (and some of them are pretty small).

And then the next day I worked on it some more. With a helper. I don't recommend this method. ;)

But at long last the painting was done and it was beautimus!

Some of the letters are a little wonky and such from me not following the lines right, but I'm really happy with how it turned out! Once it dried we just added picture-hanging hardware to the back and hung it up in its new home.

Not too bad, especially considering we spent less than $10 on the whole project! We already had the paints, the hanging hardware was just $1 at Dollar Tree, and we picked up the 4' board from Lowe's.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to decorate up there. And, you know, clean all the junk off the shelves and stuff. Someday, guys.

And what post is complete without a little boy? Here is B soaking up the summer on his bike. And yes, in his undies. Boy likes to stay cool. It will be a sad day for us when winter comes.

Anyone else have family rules art? Did you buy it or make your own? What's your favorite family rules quote?

See and easy way to help girls build self esteem here


  1. hey there, really love this idea.... did you post the template? thanks!~

    1. So sorry, I had a template but I'm having trouble getting it to work right. I'll see if my handy husband can help me get it working. Hopefully I'll have one up soon!

  2. Love this!!! Agree that a template would be nice. I have photoshop but have never used it. I guess it is time to figure it out. Thanks!

    1. I'm working on one! Hopefully it will be ready soon, I'm kind of at the mercy of my kiddos. ;)

  3. LOVE this Georgie!! LOVE your family rules!! LOVE how you did the "be" quotes. Love the size of the board and the fonts, love, love, love!! Just one question.....did you find the need to take a bubble break after all that tedious work? ;)

    1. Thanks Cha Cha! And yes... there were many bubble breaks. ;)