Rustic Bench as Wedding Guestbook

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About This Project

white wood

Having already built a rustic bench to go with my Farmhouse Table, I knew it would be the perfect guest "book" bench for my wedding. For only $15 (I had the lumber for the top on hand), and the help of all my bridesmaids during my bachelorette weekend, we built this bench in just about an hour. Everybody had a hand in it, which makes it even more meaningful. It sits at the foot of the Farmhouse Bed my husband and I built from reclaimed barnwood from my father. I love that we have something so hand-made and sentimental to commemorate our wedding celebration. It makes me smile every time I look at it!

Required Skill Level: 
Starter Project
Estimated Time Investment: 
An Hour or Two (0-2 Hours)
Finish Used: 
I sanded the entire bench with 80,150,200. I primed the entire bench (including the underside, just to cover all my bases) then painted 2 coats of semi gloss white, sanding with 200 between coats. To make the center design, I printed out my art onto computer paper, covered the back with graphite (just scribbling with a pencil) then taped it to my bench. Trace the outline of your art with a pencil and a firm hand. When you remove the paper, you'll see the outline of your design. I traced it with silver paint pen, then filled it in. After I had all my signatures I sealed the top with two coats of Mod Podge (but polycrylic would probably work too).
Estimated Cost: 
$15

Comments

What a great idea. Thank you for posting the photos. Your husband is very lucky to marry a creative woman like you. This would be great for a anniversary or birthday too.

I love this bench! We built one for our living room- but I never thought of building one as a guest book for your wedding. So creative and wished I'd thought of it before we got married. What a great keepsake! Also- thanks for sharing how you did the transfer of your names/date onto the bench- this technique will come in handy!

I love this idea... I'm gonna barrow it.
Insted of putting our names... I'm gonna use our wedding invitation and then add two pictures of us (one on each side)... :)

I was inspired by your project. There is a fundraiser for my kids' teacher who has been sick for months. I made her a bench and plan on having her friends and students sign it for her. I was curious if you just used Sharpie markers or invested in paint pens? I do plan on top-coating it, so I would want something that doesn't smudge.

Thanks so much!

Definitely use paint pens, I used the Elmer's Painters brand in silver but they also come in other colors. I've also used ones with finer tips, but make sure they're paint pens not Sharpies. For some reason the paint clogs up the sharpies even if it's dried and cured. You may also try some gel pens, you can test them on a scrap piece or the underside. I think your kid's teacher will be so pleased to get this gift!

I fixed a wedding bench for my daughter. Purchased brown waterproof markers. Painted Polycrylic and it smeared the brown markers, so now it looks like it has a smear of pink all over the table. I don't know if spray would have been better, probably would not have smeared, but would have changed the color anyway. I am so disappointed, don't know what to do to correct the problem.

Oh no! That would be very disappointing. I'm sorry that happened. I guess "waterproof" doesn't always mean water soluble. If you want to get crazy with it, I would take detailed photos of all the signatures, repaint the table, print out the photos to scale and trace them to "re-sign" all the well wishes so they look identical. I'm sure others will have some less labor intensive suggestions for you though.

I fixed a wedding bench for my daughter. Purchased brown waterproof markers. Painted Polycrylic and it smeared the brown markers, so now it looks like it has a smear of pink all over the table. I don't know if spray would have been better, probably would not have smeared, but would have changed the color anyway. I am so disappointed, don't know what to do to correct the problem.

I fixed a wedding bench for my daughter. Purchased brown waterproof markers. Painted Polycrylic and it smeared the brown markers, so now it looks like it has a smear of pink all over the table. I don't know if spray would have been better, probably would not have smeared, but would have changed the color anyway. I am so disappointed, don't know what to do to correct the problem.

I've also used ones with finer tips, but make sure they're paint pens not Sharpies. For some reason the paint clogs up the sharpies even if it's dried and cured. You may also try some gel pens, you can test them on a scrap piece or the underside. I think your kid's teacher will be so pleased to get this gift!

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