I had the opportunity to purchase some safe deposit boxes from my friends Ben and Deborah Pugh of Old Barn Woodworks. Check out their social media…they make amazing furniture and decor in an old barn in Lamar MO, where my studio is also located on the town square.
I immediately envisioned the boxes as drawers, and have been using them to make small pieces of furniture.
Sometimes I just don’t even know what’s right in front of me…I’ve had two hundred of these boxes sitting in front of the right side of our double doors for over 6 months…it was there when I did the Silver Dollar City event (slaps self in forehead). It just never dawned on me to cut ’em up!
I began using them to make lit signs last week, and I love them!
To save time (sketching designs takes me awhile…I used to do it in batches…sketch half a dozen pieces late in the evening, then haul them out to the shop and cut them the next day), I asked Mom to snag us a free leopard print and honeycomb print digital file and use the Silhouette to cut me some plastic stencils that I could transfer onto the metal boxes and then use the design to guide my cuts. I’ve done honeycomb in the past, but sketching it took forever so i was just freehanding it, which wasn’t as perfect as I’d like it (not very perfect usually passes muster, so it was bad haha).
I just re-finished the inside of my workshop that is attached to the house so that I can safely cut there and do my videos, so painting the stencils on the boxes and cutting them was my first plasma project in the space!
I love how they turned out, but I think the solar lights should be brighter. I wonder if they shine brighter when they’ve had a day of full sun on the solar cells…They came charged, with the little pull tab to turn them on, but I just am not happy with their brightness. I’ll try a different kind after I run out of these. On the Longhorn Skull House Number light, I added a third light and am happier now with how it looks.
On the Leopard Stencil, I used a marker to make a rough oval shape, then followed it when making the Leopard Oval porch sign.
For the Leopard Headline porch sign, I just used 3″ of the bottom and top of the stencil. I have some great ideas to use the leopard stencil for other designs, so stay tuned for that!
The Flamingo makes me super happy and I think it’s my favorite so far…it makes me feel like it’s summer even though it’s only 60 and the wind is blowing 30mph outside. The flamingo stencil is perfect for plasma cutting!!!
All of the lights I’ve talked about so far are made from larger boxes…I also used my small boxes to make a McGuires sign for my workshop and a Welcome Y’all sign (that has a typo, there’s not an apostrophe in Y’all in the photos, but I fixed it haha…). These can say whatever you want! Just let us know at checkout.
All of these solar signs are totally customizable! You can note any customization you’d like at checkout. Get a house number, a last name, a sassy or silly saying…just let me know. You can also order the color you want your box to be. I’ve only messed with gold and flat black so far, but I’m open to suggestions!
The stencils are made specially to be able to use with a plasma cutter. I modify the design so that the crucial pieces in the center do not “fall out”…they stay where they belong! This takes some time to do….so I’m of a mind that if I’m going to spend that much time laying the stencil out, I may as well offer it as a product! The stencils are also totally customizable…If you’d like a custom stencil, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there’s empty space on your stencil sheet, we’ll fill the void with extra swooshes and swirls for free!