First off, I wanted to do a 34x34 board like shown, but I had the option at Menards of a 24x24 ($4.98) and a 48x48 ($15) which I would have cut down. I decided for the cheaper price to go smaller. I figured if I wanted to I'd be able to mix other things on the wall along with the wall art.
So, I started with a 2'x2' piece of sanded plywood. I let the boys go to town painting 3 different shades of pink on it (I let it be messy with some bare spots as well... this would be the under coat so it wouldn't really matter). They have been really helpful in all the nursery projects and I'm glad they're getting to be a part of preparing for Sis' arrival.
After that dried, I put a nice coat of a light mango orange color, and then over top lightly brushed/glazed some burnt orange. Then, let it all dry.
I had to do a little Photoshop handiwork to get the "stencils" for the wording, but luckily it wasn't very tricky just slightly time consuming. I used the fonts Marcelle Script and Tin Doghouse for this. I created a 24"x24" canvas in PS, laid out my lettering exactly how I'd want it to look on the board and then cropped out 9 different 8"x10" sections (the bottom section being 8"x4" which I resized that canvas to 8x10). Then I printed all the 8"x10" pieces out, taped them together like a puzzle and voila!
The next part was a little trial and error. First I attempted to cut out the letters (and got "Yo" cut out and decided that was taking too long). This method also would have left me with lots of pencil outlines (ick). The next method I tried was just tracing the rest of "You" and using the imprint in the wood as my outline. That was easier but the imprint was still tricky to see (probably would have been easier in daylight, though). The final method, which was my favorite, was to color pencil all over the back of the paper and use that to "carbon copy" onto the wood when I traced the lettering. This worked nicely... it left a faint pencil outline but it covered up well when I painted.
So, then I painted in the letters... (I put one full coat on and then went over some lighter spots with a second coat, but didn't worry too much about it being super even).
And finally I sanded (after it dried). I used some hand sanding (with sandpaper) but found that the orbital sander was much quicker and easier.
And... voila! I just need to put the hanging hardware on and put it up!