The Best of 2017

New Years brings new dreams, goals, and challenges. One of my many goals for the new year is to blog more frequently. I haven’t been giving the blog/website the attention it deserves as I have been focus on growing a social media presence, but I don’t want my email subscribers and readers to be left out!  I have a lot of great DIY projects I plan on doing and I can’t wait to share them with you!

So as the first blog post of 2018, I want to recap everything that happened in my first year of business!

New Years also brings many great memories, but this year I’m taking time to look back on one whole year in business and all the wonderful experiences it has brought! If it wasn’t for you and the rest of the Prairie Pine Designs customers, followers, and readers, I wouldn’t be in business. So this New Years, I wanted to personally thank you for your support and business! As of today, I have been able to plant 86 pine trees! I can wait to see this number continue to grow. Thank you for helping make a difference. 



Workshops weren’t even on my radar when I opened shop last January, which is hard for me to imagine since I love instructing them so much! I started offering DIY WOOD SIGN WORKSHOPS this past fall. It started out as a one time class that morphed into many more! Now, I have a fully booked January 2018 calendar full of them and am currently booking more for the rest of the upcoming year. 


2017 has been the best year yet, and I can’t wait for 2018 to begin! I have some amazing things to be thankful and grateful for this year, Chalk Couture being one of them. When I joined to be an independent designer five months ago, I never imagined that this brand new company would take me this far. I just wanted to get all the great products as a deep discount and to to use them in my wood sign business. Little did I know that I would build a team and guide others in their creative journeys in a few short months. December has brought wonderful leadership milestones for me within the company, and I am looking forward to growing, building, and crushing more goals in the New Year. 



I was really honored to be asked it make handmade signs for a storefront in Morton, MN! Having my signs in a store is definitely one of the top highlights of 2017! It is my goal to reach out to more local small business in Minnesota to have Prairie Pine Designs locally accessible for those who would love to shop for wood sign home decor! 🙂 If you’re not a MN native, you can also shop via the new online store!



Whether it’s consulting with you about a personalized design, meeting you at a DIY Workshop or vendor event, or chatting with you online via the blog or Facebook Live, I have the the opportunity to meet and grow relationships with so many amazing people! That has truly been the best part of it all! 

Thank you for an amazing year! If 2018 is anything like 2017, I know it will be a great year!


So you’re probably wondering, what does growth  have to do with a DIY blog? Well, not a whole lot to be honest. But, I know that there are many Prairie Pine followers who own their own creative business just like myself that are continually searching for ways to learn, grow, and monetize their gifts and talents. That is why I feel compelled to share.

Over the span of 2017, I did something I had never done before. Actually, I did several things, but what it all comes down to is one word, GROW. I chose the word “GROW” as my word for 2017. You may have heard others do this before. It’s a lot like a New Year’s Resolution. You pick a word for the year that you want to work on and achieve. For me, it was growing. I wanted and needed growth in all aspects of my life including spiritually, financially, emotionally, and especially in my new creative business. I also thought this word choice felt fitting to the Prairie Pine Designs business as I am continually pledging to plant a trees and watch them grow as the business grows….


One way I wanted to achieve this growth is by learning as much as I could about as much as I could.  The best way I thought of doing just that is of course by reading. It has been my goal for 2017 to read one book a month (12 books for the year). If you knew me throughout high school and college, you’d know that I hated to read. I still do. It’s not that I don’t enjoy learning, but I dislike how long it takes to read a book cover to cover. I don’t like taking that time to sit down to read when I could be doing something productive like crafting or cooking. Ha. 😉 So, I knew this was going to be a big challenge for me. That was until I discovered how awesome Audible is!

Audible (along with podcasts) have allowed me to listen to more books this past year than I ever have read in my whole life (true fact)! There have been days where I have listened to multiple books from start to finish in just a few hours! After discovering Audible and listening to great podcasts, I have grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, in myself, in my relationships, and in my business. Below is a list of books and podcast I have personally come to love and use as I continue my growth in this business and in myself.


This list contains Amazon affiliate links for your shopping convenience

Start With Why – Simon Sinek

The Magnolia Story – Chip & Joanna Gaines 

Business Boutique – Christy Wright 

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – John C. Maxwell 

Expert Secrets – Russell Brunson

Covering Your Business in Prayer – Jennifer Allwood 

This book isn’t found on Audible, therefore I haven’t read all of it yet. I actually own it via pdf version and am always referring to it with wherever I am at in my business at that time. You can download your own for FREE here. 

Freedom Journal – John Lee Dumas 

This “book” is actually a daily goals journal. I have had this journal for over 6 months now and still haven’t completed my #1 goal. But, that’s okay. It isn’t meant to be 100 consecutive days…it can be however long you need or like. I have discovered that by writing down my long term goals, along with my daily ones, keeps me extremely accountable.



Podcasts have been so helpful! I am subscribed to about 30 different ones, but here are my top favorites….

The Jennifer Allwood Show

Smart Passive Income – Pat Flynn 

Business Boutique – Christy Wright


Dave Ramsey Show

Elevation Church – Steven Furtick 

Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield 

It is my hope that this small list of resources inspires you and your journey of growth whether it be for your creative business or yourself. I am also always open to new suggestions! Have a book recommendation? Please leave it in the comments below! I’d love to hear and read what you all suggest!

Find this helpful? Please Pin!

FAQs & Resource

Here you will find all of the frequently asked questions along with links and resources so you can find everything you need! These post do contain affiliate links which do not cost you any more but pay me a very small commission when you purchase which lets me bring you more tutorials. 


What machine do you use to make your lettering and stencils?  

I use a Silhouette Cameo 3 to make all my vinyl lettering and stencils. The Silhouette is a die cutting machine that has a few different models. The Cameo 3 is the newest version that allows you to create so much more than just stencils! It can cut cardstock, vinyl, fabric, felt, fondant  and so much more. The possibilities are endless with this machine!

I also love using my Chalk Couture REUSABLE silk screen transfers whenever possible. You can find these transfers here. To learn more about Chalk Couture and how to use the products, visit my post all about it here.

What is your favorite paint?

I like making my own chalk paint, which you can find the recipe for here. Otherwise, I love using my chalkology chalk paste and Waverly chalk paint from Walmart.

What is your favorite stains?

I like to use a few different stains and techniques. My go to stain color is Dark Walnut from Minwax which you can find here. Otherwise, I like to make my own by using brown, black, or grey chalk paint and applying it with a baby wipe. I also enjoy making my own stains which you can find steps on how to make here.

How do you apply your stain?

If I am using the Minwax stain, I use rubber gloves and shop rags. If I am using chalk paint as a stain, I apply it with baby wipes.

What kind of wood do you use for your signs?

Most of the wood used for Prairie Pine Designs wood signs is pine. But, I do use other types on occasion. I also enjoy working with reclaimed wood.

How do you seal your signs?

There’s a few different ways I seal signs depending on the style and what they are being made for. For outdoor signs, I use outdoor semi gloss or matte polyurethane spray. For indoor home decor, I like to use Waverly matte wax which you can find at Walmart.

What do you use to make the wood frames?

I use 1” x 2″ pine furring strips, which you can find at your local lumber yard or home department store.

What are your favorite paint brushes?

I use these foam brushes whenever possible. I also love using makeup sponges for clean application over stencils.

Where can I buy pretty designs and fonts? 

There are multiple places to by fonts and designs. When creating signs and/or designs, you have to buy the commercial rights to the fonts and designs you use. I

What other tools & supplies do you use that are helpful?

Battery Powered Brad Nailer

Orbital Sander

Vinyl Stenciling – Oramask 813

CB09 Silhoutte Blade

Transfer Tape

Dental Pick

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can email me at or sign up for my newsletters where you will get tips and tricks straight to your inbox!

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The Exclusive VIP Group!


Want to know a little secret? Is it still considered a secret when I am telling everyone?! Lol. There is an exclusive Prairie Pine Designs VIP Group!

What does being a VIP mean?

In the Prairie Pine VIP group, you will be able to collaborate with me, the sign maker, and take part in awesome monthly deals, giveaways, and upcoming events!

How do I become a VIP?

Head on over to Facebook and search for “Prairie Pine *VIP*” and click join or click here! I scan through every request, so it may take a day or two before you are accepted. But once you are, you’re in! That’s it! It is as easy as that 🙂

I love using our Prairie Pine Design VIP group to post progress pictures of current projects and designs. I also love asking everyone’s opinions on certain designs and signs and post exclusive deals just for you all. Hope to see you all there!