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Tag: Art

How To Make A DIY Wedding Sign

When two of your best friends ask you to make their wedding sign you say YES PLEASE!  They are the coolest, the nicest and most deserving couple.  Being able to make their wedding sign was an honor.   And let me tell you, it was such a gorgeous and amazing wedding.  Congrats to Katie and Phil!  

They wanted their wedding sign to include a gold frame, glass, a few pops of color and a simple yet pretty easel.  Since it was a welcome sign, they wanted the welcome message, their names and the date included on their sign.  (And some pretty flowers for festive flare).  They got married outdoors so everything needed to be sturdy enough to hold its own on a grassy surface.  This was the first wedding sign I’d made working with glass.  And I am officially a HUGE FAN of painting on glass. It glides on so smoothly and the finished product is just stunning.  Take a look at the items I used and what I learned during process of making this custom wedding sign.  

Click the images below to find out more about the sharpies and other supplies I used.


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    1. I used Sharpie’s brand of oil paint pens with a medium point. I like the boldness of the medium point, especially since I wanted people to be able to read the sign from pretty far away.  You’ll notice using these oil paint pens on glass makes for such a smooth and effortless application. 
    2. This is the gold I used and it also comes with a silver paint pen. When you’re drawing with the gold and it seems really dark, don’t worry!  It’s super gold and shiny in the light, especially outdoors!
    3. These colors are great for flowers and leaf accents.
    4. I used a lot of white so a I would recommend having at least 2 white pens to make sure you have enough for you sign.


The couple provided the glass, frame and easel. Although I believe they purchased their frame and glass from a local art shop here in Boise, I found similar and affordable, nice quality items on Amazon as well.



An acrylic glass sheet will work perfectly!  Be careful of the size of your frame/glass to make sure they match.  I recommend buying the frame first and then buying the glass.  Just to make sure everything fits!

7) Simple and elegant easel worked perfectly and was sturdy even on the grass during their outdoor wedding.

I sketched out the entire sign on butcher paper before I began. I measured the frame to make sure it would be centered on all sides of the glass and would sit just right inside the frame. I then taped the drawing to the back of the frame.  Having the frame and glass already assembled is key.  This way you know exactly how it will looked as a finished and framed piece.  If you keep the glass out of the frame while you make it, there’s a chance some of your drawing/text might go beyond what’s visible and land behind the edges of the frame. And we definitely don’t want that!  Note, I was fortunate enough to have the frame already assembled and ready to go which made it easy peasey.  Also, make sure the hooks on the back of the frame match with where you’re drawing the top of the sign!

What I learned in the process: you can wipe off mistakes and even scrape off parts after they’ve dried. The magic of oil paint!  You also use more white than you think to make the letters as opaque as possible. It’s still not 100% smooth (the large white parts in the names) when you look up close, but perfection is boring anyway. 😀  I also learned when you first start to put the paint pen on the glass, your paint pen touches the glass faster than you’d expect!  I’ll explain…since the glass is clear and you’re staring at your sketch/outline that’s behind the glass, all of a sudden your paint pen is on the glass when your brain thinks you still have a ways till it hits the paper still!  At least my brain did!  But it’s no biggy b/c you can fix anything along the way!


The final product!  Photograph by E+E Photography.



Happy Making!




Items used (or similar items used) to make this DIY Wedding Sign:
Clear Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet – 1/8″ Thick Cast – 24″ x 36″
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Marker, Medium Point, White Ink, Pack of 3
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Bright Colors, 5 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Extra Fine Point, Assorted Metallic, 2 Count – Great for Rock Painting
Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Markers, Medium Point, Assorted Colors, 5-Count
Craig Frames 314GD2436DAC 0.75-Inch Wide Picture/Poster Frame in Ornate Finish, 24 by 36-Inch, Ornate Gold
Loew-Cornell 65-Inch Natural Wood Floor Easel

Custom Cow Painting

I am so excited to share this new custom cow painting I made for @jeff41005!  It just arrived to his home in Kentucky and the kind words he said about the piece warmed my heart!  That is why I do what I do. Making people happy, adding some joy to their home and spreading love through art, you really can’t beat that.

When he emailed me about his custom painting, he wrote that he wanted something similar to my giraffe painting with blues/greens and to make it extra fun and funky.  As a lot of you know, I’m a big fan of incorporating collage and mixed media into my paintings.  I used portions of paper and also portions of a 1947 Life Magazine to create the mountains.  Below are a couple in progress shots specifically with the cow.

I had a BLAST making this for him and love knowing this will be hanging on his walls. 😃  Thank you Jeff for your appreciation in my art and I hope your cow enjoys its new home!

The finished piece!  So happy with how she turned out!  

Thinking about getting your own custom piece?  Let’s chat!  If you want a custom painting for a Holiday gift, now is the time to reach out and get the ball rolling!  You can be as involved or not involved in the process as you like.  Jeff gave me a few things he wanted and then said just go for it.  If all you want to say is “Make it similar to this piece with these colors, with this animal,” I can definitely do that!  Or if you’re more of an abstract art fan, I can do that too!  Fill out the contact form here and I can’t wait to get started on your custom painting!  No size is too small or tall. 😀




Why I Changed My Business Name

This is my old logo and business name, Happy Home Studios. I still love the name and the logo.  I was Happy Home Studios for close to 5 years and it was hard to let go…at first.

After focusing more on painting/drawing and fine art prints, I realized my passion was in making art, not necessarily in crafty items.  I still love making concrete planters and coasters and am still debating adding those back to the shop, but my inner “ness” is all about paint on canvas and ink on paper.

I think with Happy Home Studios I was trying to be what I was “supposed to be” as a brand. Although I did enjoy everything I made while working under the name HHS, something didn’t feel quite right.  It felt like I was trying to fit myself into this box.  A box constrained to home goods and home decor.  Also, nothing was really BLOWING MY MIND as far as fulfilling my creativity.  While I was making the tote bags and coasters, all I really wanted to do was draw and paint.  Okay cool, so why not keep HHS as your biz name but switch to paintings/drawings primarily?  Great question.

My name has endless opportunities, no matter my passion, my name comes with me, it follows me wherever I go.  I’m proud of my name.  I feel lucky to be a Hanigan. So to me, the change just made sense.  I thought, if it’s that important to me, I should just make the switch. So I decided to go for it – make the transition and update the old website to guide people here, to my shiny new website. Right after I made the decision, I bought new business cards, made a sign and participated in my first local art show as “Emily Hanigan Art” and my oh my did it feel good!

It may sound like it was an easy peasey quick decision, but I hesitated for a quite awhile. My original hesitation to make the switch came from thinking, “But I’ve made a following with Happy Home Studios already! What if people don’t know I changed my name?!”  Um, first off, I’m not necessarily raking in thousands and thousands of website views a day or anything…yet 😉  And I can guide people here with the wonderful power of social media.  My business is still growing and I’m still learning. So I figured why not grow and learn doing something I’m 100% passionate about and with a business name easy to take with me anywhere.

Owning a website with my actual name makes me feel like the possibilities are endless.  Stay tuned for more painting and drawing collections…hoping to do a “Seasonal Collection” down the road. 😀

What do you use for your business name? Your actual name or a different moniker? What made you decide one way or the other?



If you’d like to get super into all things related to my art or support my work financially, follow me on Instagram (my fave), subscribe to this blog and/or support me on Patreon


Weekend in the Studio

I had quite a productive weekend in the studio!  Here’s a small sample of current projects I started over the past few days.  Ink drawings on paper using lines, shapes and spaces.  Stippling has also been making its way back into my work lately.

Sometimes the best form of meditation for me is putting black ink on white paper and just watching the lines form.

Stay tuned for more future projects.  In the mean time, I hope you’re enjoying your week, getting your make on or just doing whatever makes you happy.



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