I made a New England themed gift basket for a charity auction and wanted to have a little something from NH included. Since I was down south, I didn't have many shopping options, so I came up with a slate sign with the infamous motto, "Live Free or Die".
Brief History Lesson: General John Stark, a NH soldier from the Revolutionary War, couldn't attend the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington in 1809, but instead sent a letter with the phrase in entirety, "Live Free or Die: Death isn't the worst of evils." The General wasn't the first to utter this phrase, as it was used during the French Revolution 1789-1799. But, it is forever associated with NH and their bold choice for a motto.
So, I found a blank slate and decided to paint my own sign.
I started with this simple blank slate. I found it at JoAnn Fabrics for $2.99, but it's on sale on the website for even less.
I used a white colored pencil and lightly sketched the letters onto the sign, using a ruler to make a straight line. I penciled lightly, so that I could erase any errors.
When I was happy with way it looked, I took out white acrylic paint and the tiniest of paint brushes and filled in the letters. I did 2 coats of paint plus touch ups.... to make it appear opaque.
And here is the end result... Simple and easy. I didn't bother to varnish it, but could have. Because it's slate and the edges are somewhat ragged, I thought that if the paint cracked or chipped, it would add to the rustic look.
And here it is attached to the gift basket.