The Problem with Hand-Painted


“Crafting verses Craftsmanship”


For the longest time, when a store front wanted a new sign on their window or advertise the reduced price on a seasonal fruit they’d have to contact their local sign painter.

As with most things, technology and digital capabilities have made this a relic of the past. Now a business owner can call a local screen printer and have a banner made in a matter of minutes. Where once there would have been a beautiful design with depth and character, has now been replaced by a banner that will soon fade in the sun, tatter in the rain, and droop with age. Far too often it will remain in place after all its gloss is gone and every comprise made in purchasing this over a hand-painted sign comes to light.

This is not an indictment on screen print signs or vinyl. They have their place and they serve a purpose.

In recent years vinyl cut-outs have made their way into our homes. With little work, crafters are able to print and stick words to wood for a faux paint piece.

This is where paint has a problem.

Sign painting by hand is not a quick and simple solution. Hand-painted items take time to design, layout, prep, and execute. It is not something anyone can do by purchasing a supped-up sticker-maker. Painting by hand takes hours of practice and patience.

Hand-painting also makes work for the client. Unlike vinyl, hand-painted items require design input from the client. Every new piece is a collaborative effort and the results are something genuine.

The problems for paint are real and present an obstacle. The thing is that these problems are  symptoms, not a diagnosis.

These “problems” are there because the end result is something that has to be achieved. These problems are part of the process to burn away impurities and refine the finished product. A product that worked its way into creation and earned its place.

That’s where the problems for vinyl are far greater than anything with paint.

Paint is one of a kind. Vinyl is ubiquitous. It’s a cookie-cutter design with little to no individuality. It’s crafting verses craftsmanship.

Vinyl is opening a door on the freezer aisle and picking out a box. Paint is your grandmother slicing each piece of apple herself and spending all day working on a pie, made in a way only she could do.

In the end, the problem with paint is a problem worth having.

And now I want pie.

Let Us Know



Who do you look up to?

Who makes you grateful?

Who inspires you?

Who in your life needs to know they are loved?

Let us know. We want you to let us know who these people are. We want to make something for them, FOR FREE. This is a gift from you to them by us. Your only cost is your time. Take your time and tell us who deserves something and why. Each month we’ll pick the recipient and let the person who nominated them decide what they will get from us.

This is not a give-a-way event. This is not a raffle or a stunt to get more followers. There will be no winners. There will only be people we get to meet in an awesome way. This is an honest attempt for us to recognize people for who they are, what they’ve done, and the impact they’ve made on those around them.

So let us know.

Halfway There


“Show up every day for two years.”  | Sean McCabe


When my wife and I launched ScrapMills Signs & More we really didn’t have an idea of where it would take us. We had goals that we wanted to reach and only knew of one way to get there; By continuing to work hard on each order we received.

Growing this type of business was something neither of us had ever done before so we sought out as much information as we could find. A great resources we came across was I read all his blog posts and started listening to his podcasts.

Out of all the advice we found the piece that resonated with me most was show up every day for two years.

So that’s what we’ve been doing. We show up.

It started out slow for us but by the end of last year we couldn’t believe how many signs we had made in our first nine months.

It’s now been a little over one year since we started. In that short time our business has thrived. At only three months into this year, we had already received half of the orders we had in 2015.

We’ve now reached one year but we think of it more like getting halfway. We are looking ahead to the two-year mark now. We aren’t seeing it as a finish line. Just checkpoint on the road, reminding us to keep showing up, every day.



Problem Worth Solving

About, Design

“Problem solving is hunting. It is a savage pleasure and we are born to it.” | Thomas Harris


“I know I want to get something, I just can’t figure out what I want yet.”

“I had a few ideas but wasn’t sure how they’d look.”

“I was looking at getting them something but wasn’t sure what they’d like.”

At least once a week we speak with someone who says something along these lines. People will have an idea of what they want, but not really sure how it would work.

And the truth is, we love that.

We love using our experience to offer a solution. We love the opportunity to take an idea a customer has and finding ways to make it happen. We want to stretch ourselves and our abilities and coming up with a unique design for a customer is the most enjoyable way to do it.

We hope that you’ll continue to come to us with an idea, a song lyric, a thought, a verse, a saying, a name, a word, a shape, or a quote. We’ll come up with the rest.

The Tagline



Since our launch, our tagline as been “hand-painted custom signs” and it’s worked. It’s short and to the point. But while it’s been accurate, it’s been uninspired.

Sure we make hand-painted custom signs, but I think we do more than that. We want to be more than that. It was time for a change.

We wanted to change it not because we wanted to separate ourselves from everyone else who makes things from reclaimed wood. We wanted to share what makes us who we are, why we do what we do, and why we like doing it for others. We came up with this:

“Making who you are, a part of where you are”

You can buy things from any store and hang it on your wall or put it on your shelf, but we want to offer something more than that for our customers. We want to take a little piece of your individuality and allow it to make wherever you are, reflect who you are.


Buying Us


“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” | Simon Sinek


I’ve always liked this quote and think it has been appropriate for the work my wife and I do. The business we run is nothing so unique that it can’t be found anywhere else. We didn’t invent the market for reclaimed wood. Instead we are one of literally thousands of places that make items made from scrap materials. That’s where we hope our story sets us apart from the rest.

We started our business out of necessity for our own home. We wanted nice things in our house but the prices we had to pay never equaled the quality of what we bought. I decided to try to make a few things myself. I enjoyed the process as much as my wife enjoyed the outcome.

Now that’s what we try to provide to our customers. We try to give them something nice and meaningful for their home at an affordable price. We think everyone should be able to live in a space that reflects their own personality.

That’s why we love doing what we do and, with your help, hope to continue doing it.


On Simplicity

About, Design

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”  | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As our business has grown, so have our tastes and preference for the work we do. There are a ton of websites and online stores where you can purchase reclaimed wood signs. We want our work to be different. We have discovered that when given the option we would most always lean towards the feeling of simplicity in our projects.

And there’s a reason for that.

Our goal is to allow our work to occupy a space, not take it over.

We enjoy letting our signs be discovered, rather than be something that jumps out for attention as soon as you walk into a room. We hope anything you get from us becomes apart of your home and feels organic, like something you’ve owned for years. We work hard every day to make this evident in each thing we create.

The greatest thing about this work is that we enjoy the process as much as the finished product. Thank you for supporting us along the way!



In the Shop



We’ve been spending more and more time in our little shop. For me this means the garage and for my wife it’s on the dinning room table. We have been cranking out some orders and getting to work on the last few items before Christmas season really begins. We are excited to say that we are expecting to be very busy for the next few months. We have several upcoming shows including Oktoberfest in Cullman, AL and Crafts for Clean Water in Meridianville, AL.

We hope to have tons of work to post soon. Until then here’s a few of a most recent favorites.

Thanks again for checking us out. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Working Away


work table

We first want to say Thank You! We’ve had more success than we really believed we could. Since the time of our launch we have had a consistent stream of incoming orders. We’ve been busy working on everything from weddings gifts and anniversary presents to commercial signs and nursery decorations.  You’ve kept us busy and we love it.

We’ve been growing our Facebook page and Instagram accounts everyday. We’ve done several craft shows and have more on the way. We’ve met a ton of new people and have gotten to make some great things for the folks we already know.

We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has followed us so far. We are excited to see where it takes us and glad to have you with us!

Thank you,

Tyler & Lauren

Our First Booth


First Booth

We are just unpacking from our first craft fair booth and we are happy to say today was definitely a success. We received several compliments on our inventory and set up. We would like to thank the Somerville Playhouse for the opportunity today. They have a great venue and tons of cool stuff. We were really impressed!

We love getting feedback on our work and new ideas for projects. Thank you all your support!