First You Make A Roux!

4 years ago (Already?! Wow!) my Mom and I made a snap decision to zip over to New Orleans during a visit to Florida. BEST.DECISION.EVER. because both of us fell instantly in love with the famous French Quarter; The music, the sights, the atmosphere (the ability to drink and shop at the same time 😉 ) and most importantly, the food! My Mom is a certified chef and so her priority was trying every authentic dish she could get her hands on!

We ate and shopped, we ate while we shopped! During one particular shopping excursion, we found a large metal sign that said: “First You Make A Roux.” If you ask her about the process of a roux, she will tell you what colour it should be and what ingredients they use to make a roux in different cultures. Me, I just make the things. Anyway, right then and there, my Mom decided that she needed such a sign in her life. The font and style weren’t really her thing but it was the saying she fell in love with. For years we searched high and low to find one she liked but we had no such luck. Obviously or I wouldn’t be making this post!


Well, lately I’ve been buying framed signs from Homesense in different shapes and sizes and painting over them to make my own signs for my taste, like this one! So it dawned on me, not too long ago, that now that I have the experience, I could simply make her a sign for Christmas! She gave me the measurements for the space she wanted to hang it in and I set to work.

I made this entire sign myself. I built, grooved and inlaid the sign, painted it with chalkboard paint and lastly set to work designing the layout in Illustrator. It took my partner and me almost 8 hours trying to find the perfect font and layout for such an awkward size, but we did it. I then transferred my designs to the sign by tracing them on parchment from my computer screen, chalking the entire back of the parchment, taping the parchment, chalked side down and retracing my lines. This method works sort of like carbon paper but for dark surfaces. From there it was simply a matter of colouring inside the lines with chalk marker!

Because this won’t be getting much interaction, I sealed it with clear finishing spray paint so that she can wipe it occasionally when it gets dusty, without damaging the design.

There were tears when she opened it Christmas morning which I think means, she liked it! I look forward to seeing what else we can make now with the experience of building our own custom frame, under our belts! Merry Christmas Mom! You FINALLY got your sign!



  1. You really need to duplicate this sign. You really did an outstanding job. I’ve been on a quest to find this saying for a while. None compare to yours, so I’m still empty handed! You would bring a smile to many many people.


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