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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Surprise and rusty horseshoe lamp.

Last year one of our Grandsons turned 22.
His Mom wanted to make it a special day for him.

He was a little shy about making a big deal of his 
22nd birthday. 
but ... 
Mom wanted to tease him a little.

Her idea was to buy some wooden block letters to decorate the table, only to find they were too expensive.

Bravely, I told her I could make some letter blocks ...  
I only had a couple of days so I had to work fast. 

I printed out Happy Birthday Justin on my computer.
I chose the Birmingham Tilting font ...
 love this font for signs.

I cut the letters apart to determine the placement and the size of block that I needed. 
I used reclaimed boards from a sign crate that were 3/4" thick and 6" wide ... the 3/4" would stand up nicely ... I cut them down to 5" wide.  Height and width was varied to fit the letter or letters. Some were one letter to a block ... up to as many as three letters to a block. 

I painted the blocks white with 
Zinsser primer.

 ... and the back with Valspar Chalkboard paint.
I used green painters Duck tape to protect the white sides.


Letters were cut with my Silhouette Cameo stencil cutter on black contact paper. I did not stencil them, I just pulled the letters and placed them on the blocks. I had to mark each block to remember what letters went where. 


Since this was being seen from both sides of the table, 
I had to think of a way to decorate the back. 

    I chose meaningful, birth to graduation pictures to add to the back of some of the blocks. Printed them out in black and white on my printer. I used Mod Podge to attach them but that was too cloudy, so just ended up using spray adhesive. 

On this tall block, we wrote his birth date.
Justin came into a ready-made family of three brothers 
and one sister.

 On another ... time of birth was on the back of the Y.
 ... this is the back of Bi.r.t.h.d.a.y

Of course, he did not want everyone to know it was his birthday and was a little embarrassed with his Mom making a fuss over him.  

Well ... much to our surprise ... Justin was very impressed 
and pictures were enjoyed by all. 

Purple ribbon was all I had, but that worked out with the colorful table decorations.


The next week-end, they had twin men coming to the Ranch to hunt and celebrate their birthday, so she used the Happy Birthday blocks on a side table in the dining room to welcome the birthday boys. 

Our Daughter bought this rusty horseshoe lamp with a rusty- pierced-tin-wonky-shade at a garage sale for 50¢. 
I cleaned the rust, painted it hand-rubbed bronze ... rewired it and attached the lamp cord to the back of the horseshoes so that it did not show. It made a really cute lamp and just perfect on that table. She added a huge fall acorn decoration that really looked nice.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have many happy birthdays.

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Linking to:

Revisionary Life...Thrifty Life Thursday     Revisionary Life

 Linky Party



  1. Adorable! Especially with the addition of the photos on the back!

  2. To the World Greatest, Most Craftest MOM in the World. I LOVE You and don't know what I would do without your talented mind. Without you I would not be Me. with all my heart Kathie

  3. You are very talented I always enjoy your posts, Thanks!

  4. a lamp...for fifty cents!! And it turned out so pretty!! I love the effect and the table decor.
    also, what a great way to decorate the table for Justin.

  5. You're so resourceful, It turned out great!

  6. Wow - what a labor of love! The blocks look great, and I love how you made them relate on the backs with photos and birthdate. You are a clever girl! Thanks for sharing this and the horseshoe lamp, Audrey.

  7. Wow, this is amazing. Your grandson is a lucky young man! And you certainly worked magic with the lamp!!!!!

  8. Those blocks turned out so nice and special for his birthday! My Dad probably would have loved that horseshoe lamp as he loved horses! Nancy

  9. Yup, talented and trusty Grandma pulled through! lol! The blocks turned out great and I bet he loved them!

  10. Love the Happy Birthday blocks! Don't you just love Mod Podge?

  11. Hi there Audrey!
    This turned out so great! I like the 2 SIDED block idea. Looks like you enjoyed getting this party started. :)
    and for your grandson... I bet it was nice to be honored on his birthday.
    I like the lamp-- great job on making repairs...and a good price too. Getting extra mileage from the blocks is a bonus.
    Take care, Pat

  12. So clever to cut out the letters for the birthday tablescape. They can be used over and over. The font is very attractive. Of course that lamp is wonderful - so rusty good. I am catching up on my favorite blogs and came to see you with the fancy new header. What is that gorgeous thing? Is it a real clock?

    1. hi Donna ... thanks for the nice comment. My header picture is the drawer front in a small table we built and blogged about in Dec. 2011 when I first started blogging.
      (It's All In The Numbers.Chalk Painted Benches).
      I cropped just the drawer front and used Pic Monkey to enhance it with the texture tool. The center clock face under handle is transfer, but used plastic hands. Glad you like it.

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