Our last name is french, and my husband's great-on and on great-grandfather stowed away on a ship from France to the new world in the late 1600s and his name was Pierre Crapeau, and he grew up in Bordeaux France.
So he became the identity of my vintage, french, crate.
From our junk pile the previous owners left, I cut weathered wood for the front.
Using masking tape to make straight horizontal borders, I penciled in the text using a print out of fonts I liked as the guide.
Then using acrylic craft paint in burnt umber, painted the text. I watered it down quite a bit for a bleeding affect, and to make it look worn and old.
The wood texture made the painting interesting, but I liked the imperfections it created.
Here's the finished crate front:
Our ancestor's name: Pierre Crapeau
His birthplace/ heritage: Bordeaux, France
Approx Year of Birth: 1670
Definitely not perfect on the text painting, but I'll call it "character"
Next, I finished building the crate.
It is a challenge to build with weathered, old wood because it had warped, different thicknesses, and some parts would just crumble.
I used nails rather than screws, to help it look old, as I assumed screws weren't available in the 1600s. And I learned it takes skill to hammer in nails straight, I was a lot better by the end of the project than the beginning.
I decided to use a 1x10 pine scrap as the bottom, so the magazines would have a smooth surface to sit on and to make the building easier, since all 4 walls were already weathered, making things difficult.
I really like this project.
I hoped it would seem more like a company or business, or wine crate, something rather than the name of a person.
I figured the ancestor identity was a hidden bit of info most people wouldn't recognize, but I guess we'll see.
It would kind of seem like a casket or headstone if it's too obvious all the info is about an individual.
So now it's on a shelf to hold all our magazines and journals we collect.