Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Please Do Not Disturb

I have been on the hunt for a "Do Not Disturb" sign to hang on my front door while Owen naps for nearly a year now (as long as we've lived in this house, for sure), but can never seem to find one. At one time, I considered stealing one of those plastic door tags from a hotel, except that I always had a vision of a cute, wooden, painted one from a craft store or something, but so far, I've not run across one.

Then, just a couple days ago, it occurred to me to DIY one. I recently learned about a beautiful product called, Mod Podge – maybe you've heard of it. I am absolutely baffled at how, given my love of pretty paper and textiles (see more about that in this recent post), this product has managed to miss my radar all these years. It's not new. According to its web site, it's been around since the 60s. It's known as "the original all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish" for decoupage projects. I am in lurve!

Ok, so on to my project details...

I started with these materials (all purchased items came from Wal-Mart):

  • 5x7 wooden plaque ($1.12)
  • Wooden painted owl decoration ($.97)
  • Mod Podge ($7.47)
  • Wide ribbon ($1.97)
  • Ruler
  • Paper trimmer
  • Paint brush (not pictured)
  • Hot glue gun (not pictured)
  • Brown Sharpie (not pictured)
  • Drill (not pictured)

The "print" is something I designed during Owen's naptime today (appropriate, eh?) on my handy publishing software (InDesign), using a paisley image I found on Google images as a background. I wanted the message on the sign to be a little friendlier than just "Do not disturb!!!" in case a neighbor should pop over to deliver a plate of freshly-baked cookies (a girl can dream). But simply saying "Please do not ring bell" or "Shhh...baby sleeping" – all Post-It notes that I've tried in the past – doesn't work either. You see, Kinnick, our dog, has a very shrill, very loud, very constant bark when alerted to anyone approaching the house, so even a soft knock on the door would set off the doggy alarm, disturb the wee one's nap, and effectually render the sign completely useless. So, I went with the phrase, "Please do not disturb. Try us again later. Thanks!" Friendly, but gets the point across, I think.

This being my first experiment with Mod Podge, I have to admit it was a little rough.

It's kinda hard to see here, but the ink on my print-out started
to bleed as I brushed on the Mod Podge. You can see some
purple-ish "bruises" around the bottom corners of the "P' and
"l" in "Please." Suggestions on how to avoid this???

Here you can see some air bubbles that eventually (and fortunately!)
worked themselves out – magically, in fact.

Here's an example of BOTH the ink bleeding thing AND some 
more air bubbles.

After two coats of Mod Podge, I hot glued the owl on (he was so cute and so cheap, I decided to use him as my inspiration for the colors on the sign). Then Ryan drilled the holes for me, I tied on the ribbon and, here she is!

Well, it sure beats what I've been using.


  1. Oh my word, Mary, that is adorable. With the Modge Podge, your letters ran probably because you used an ink jet printer and so when the ink got damp from the Modge Podge, it ran. The only thing I can think of to do differently would be to adhere the paper first and then stencil letters or use sticker letters, or use a Cricut to cut letters from paper...

  2. Cute, cute, cute. I love it!

  3. great mod podge project - it turned out adorable. i love love love that owl! :)