Winnie the Pooh’s “Thotful Spot” – Distressed Frame DIY with Free Printable

"Thotful Spot" Sign Tutorial - distressed frame how-to plus free printable inspired by Winnie the Pooh!

Disclosure: I was provided with a screening copy of this movie and compensation, but the opinions and this DIY project are entirely my own!

One of my favorite characters from my childhood was Winnie the Pooh. I had a stuffed Pooh bear that I kept on my bed with my Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls. Pooh was part of my stuffed animal “family” and I played with him for hours at a time, thinking up adventures similar to the stories shown in some of the magical Disney animated movies I loved to watch.

I recently watched a screening copy of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and was reminded instantly why I loved this movie and Winnie the Pooh in particular. The characters are all stuffed animals belonging to Christopher Robin. When the film opens, you see them scattered about his bedroom, and this part of the film is not animated. Right there, at that moment, I remember thinking this validated what I already knew as a smart little girl: that my own stuffed animals were real, but maybe only I knew that.

I remember pretending that we had our own Hundred Acre Woods behind our home. Yes I had many childhood friends, but my Mom has told me countless times over the years how I could play by myself with my stuffed animals and dolls for hours and hours.

This film has such a magical way of bringing these characters to life. The personalities of each animal are very distinct, not unlike the current animated movies popular today. The friendships between the animals and how they help each other out are important lessons for children, all tucked inside the imaginative forest where they live.

Winnie the Pooh image © The Walt Disney Studios - from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh thinking.     This image © The Walt Disney Studios

One of Pooh’s favorite spots to think is his “Thotful Spot” which even has a wooden sign designating it as such. When he goes there to think, he sits down and puts his stuffed paws up to his head and says, “Think, think, think!” as he tries to come up with a thought. Total cuteness! But also something that stayed with me after I watched the film.

I liked the idea of having a designated spot to do my thinking. Guess what? I already DO have that spot, of course, here in my craft room in our home. I know I’m very fortunate to have an entire room devoted to crafting, and maybe what I needed was my own sign to remind me of that. Because, afterall, this is my own thoughtful spot. Or rather: Thotful Spot!

Thotful Spot Framed Sign!

Start with an unfinished wood frame (approximate size 12″ x 14″) that has an opening for an 8″ x 10″ picture, or in this case an 8×10 printable sign!

An unfinished wood frame is the base for this project.

Paint two coats of ivory – or your choice of light-colored paint. Let dry thoroughly.

We’re going to make this frame look weathered, sort of like it’s been outdoors in the Hundred Acre Wood for a very long time. To do this, we need to apply a resist, which will prevent your top coat of paint from adhering completely in certain areas. This will help your bottom color to show through in a nicely distressed way. There are many ways you can apply a resist, and one of the easiest is to simply use a wax candle.

Simply rub candle wax along the edges and anywhere else you want your base color to show through.

Take the edge of a candle and simply rub it on the edges and anywhere else you want the bottom color to show through. You can see all the bits of candle wax below, amongst my pretty collage of arrows. (Hah!)

The arrows show you the bits of candle wax left behind. Just paint right over those!

No need to wait, just start painting your top coat onto the frame. Cover your frame completely including all waxed areas. Just one thick coat is needed for this step.

You can already see how the paint doesn’t quite cover those areas that have wax on them:

This image shows how the paint won't truly adhere to some of the candle wax resist.

Let this dry thoroughly – I let mine dry overnight.

Using a sanding block, simply sand over your frame and the wax helps easily remove the paint from those areas. Instant gratification! And instant weathered look! You can apply an acrylic sealer to finish.

Here’s the sign that I made, which I’m happy to share with you. I liked the way Pooh’s own sign was, so tried to imitate it a bet with mixed up capital letters.

My Thotful Spot - free printable from The Shed by Pet Scribbles

To download just click on the image above, right-click your mouse, choose “Save” and then save it to your computer. Easy peasy!

I printed mine out on an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of textured ivory cardstock, and added two pieces of ribbon (just adhere them to the cardstock with a tape runner).

Textured cardstock and ribbon match the distressed wood frame.

And now I have my very own Thotful Spot!

My Thotful Spot sign, inspired by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!
On the top of the frame, you can see how the candle wax allows the ivory color to show through the blue…
The ivory paint covered by the candle wax now shows through the blue paint layer.
And here’s a look at the bottom part of the frame…
Zoomed in detail of weathered frame made by distressing the paint layers.

I hope you’ll watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh when the Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital versions are released on August 27th. You’ll love it and so will your kids! Winnie the Pooh has a Facebook page too – because of course this is 2013! (He’s got 7.9 million friends, by the way!)

So… Do you have a Thotful Spot? Let me know in the comments!


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  1. says

    This is so cute! I wish I had a baby again so this could be added to our nursery. Also love the tip with the candle. I never thought of that.

  2. says

    This is a great tutorial! I’m hoping to use a similar technique to make some wooden photography backdrops–thanks for sharing!