DIY: Firefly Quote Sign | Everything’s Shiny Cap’n.


There are some phrases uttered in movies and TV shows that just stick with you. “Live long and prosper,” “Sorry Shaun,” and many more become entwined in our every day life so it’s just plain natural that we use some of those phrases to fancy up our living spaces. Right? Firefly is brilliantly written and several of the phrases – and colorful words of exclamation – have become a part of my diction. My personal favorites are “Gorram,” “So here’s us, on the raggedy edge,” “I’m a leaf on the wind…,” and several more that would probably take up an entire blog post. Then there’s a completely different post dedicated to the colorful Mandarin slang and cuss words which are down right hilarious. The quote that seems to come up the most has inspired me to make some pretty for my house.

What phrase, you ask? Well, this phrase specifically comes from Kaylee in Firefly’s full-length feature film, Serenity.



If something’s going on that’s not so great, there’s a pretty good chance of me uttering these three words… then running away to take care of whatever is going on.

Anyways, a few days ago I was browsing craftgawker and I came across several homemade signs using favorite quotes. I may or may not have fallen in love with this certain type of DIY. As a graphics person, using words as art is perfect for me. So why not? And it’s not like our house doesn’t already have some type of DIY Firefly art. A few years ago I made a series of watercolor portraits of some of the main characters. I’ll finish that series one day, and then I’ll be sure to blog about it. 😉

Once we finish our kitchen and dining room area this sign will hang up there – for the time being it will have to float around the house.

Supplies and tools:

  • 1 – 6x26x1 inch plank of wood (it was a scrap I had lying around)

  • 4 – 2’’ screw eye hooks

  • Rope or Heavy Twine

  • Dremel – Sanding bits, high speed cutter bits – already had.

  • Sandpaper – fine grit and medium grit

  • Paint Brushes

  • Wood Stain – Dark Walnut

  • Cream house paint – Paint samples work wonders for this.

  • Polyurethane Sealant Spray – Satin Finish

  • Paper towels

  • #2 Pencil, eraser, and ruler (to keep things straight)

  • Compressed Air

  • Protective eye-wear, ventilator/breathing mask, and gloves

TOTAL PRICE: <$30 – Not bad for something awesome that you can showcase in your home.


  1. Draw out your initial design on the wood.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-2

  2. Put your protective eyewear and gloves on. You really don’t want to get sawdust in your eyes. If you’d like to put your ventilator mask on now that’s fine. You’ll be able to skip the whole sawdust up your sinus cavities. Not. Fun.

  3. Using the Dremel with a small, round high-speed cutter bit cut the outlines. Switch to a larger high-speed cutter for the larger areas.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-1

  4. Once you have cut the outlines on “SHINY”, switch bits on your dremel to the rough grit sanding bit and sand out the insides of the letters roughly at a 45 degree angle. It seems odd but it will look like the details of tree bark and that’s kinda cool.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-4

  5. After you have cut out everything to your liking, take your medium grit sandpaper and smooth out any rough edges you have, including the sides of the wood. You want this sign to look very aged.

  6. After it’s completely sanded to your liking, take a damp cloth and wipe down the wood to try and remove the majority of the wood dust. Once it has dried take your compressed air and spray off any remaining dust.

  7. Next, if you’re not outside, make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area because wood stain fumes are gross. Cut the sides of a trash bag so that it’s one long piece and put it down over your working area. Go ahead and switch to any clothes that you don’t mind getting messed up.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-5

  8. Following the instructions on the stain can, go ahead and stain the entire piece of wood.Once finished let it dry for 15 minutes then wipe away any extra, non-absorbed stain.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-6

  9. When the stain is dry use the cream paint to fill in the letters. Fold up some paper towels and dab up the excess paint – this will give the ‘SHINY’ letters more of an aged look. Let everything dry. If you would like to add some more ‘vintage’ or grungy detailing you can do so now. I added some random dabs of white paint along the edges. You want this to look not-perfect. Just pretend it’s something that Kaylee is making for Mal or Simon.

  10. Once all of the paint has dried clean up any ‘whoopsy’ moments with fine grit sandpaper. This should be fairly easy to do since the paint is on the surface. Weather it more if you’d like. DIY-KayleeSign_NN-8

  11. Spray the wood with the polyurethane sealant. Do about 3 coats and lightly sand and blow off any remaining dust in between layers. Tip: putting it on top of a cardboard box makes things TONS easier to spray and you don’t have to worry about spray sticking to the surface you’re working on. Oh and it speeds up drying time.DIY-KayleeSign_NN-9

  12. Use the DREMEL and drill 4 evenly spaced holes on the top side of the board (at 1”, 6”, 19”, and 25” if you’re using the same sized board) then screw in the eye hooks.

  13. Loop the the rope/twine through the eye hooks. You can be as ingenious as you’d like with the way you string up the cord. Tie into a secure knot. I was planning on using twine but I couldn’t find any on hand. Instead I just used leather cording.

  14. Hang up your creation and be proud. It’s awesome!


To be completely honest: I LOVE THE WAY THAT THIS TURNED OUT!  It didn’t take too long (except with the whole curing time for the stain and polyurethane coating) and it’s something that I am truly proud of. It’s not perfect and it looks like it’s been through hell and back but at the same time it looks like it was made with love. And I love it.


Yep still cool!

Thanks for checking out our lovely little project. As the inaugural post for the DIY portion of Firefly Week I couldn’t imagine a better post to kick things off with. You can use any quote you like, just make sure it means something to you. Simple and customizable FTW! Be sure to check back every day this week since we’ve got various DIY projects.

For a sneak peek on upcoming posts for this week – follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. If you want to make one of these yourself, let us know how it turned out!


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