If you’ve been following along, you know I love to make wood signs. I love taking a standard piece of wood and turning it into a rustic piece of art with a meaningful word or saying. I’ve made personalized signs, holiday versions, song lyrics, a sign for my new laundry area, signs with purposeful words, and this “happy as a clam” summer version. Well, today I wanted to share my new wood sign. And it’s a big one. Four feet to be exact. I love it and it’s the perfect solution to a large blank wall.
These wood signs are really simple to make and you don’t need many tools or supplies. I’ve included the DIY steps if you want to create your own. I also sell my wood signs on Etsy – click here to see some of those versions. This extra large “gather” sign is now available for sale too – click here to check it out.
To make your own sign, you’ll need the following materials:
- paint – I used leftover exterior white paint but you can use any paint or color you’d like. I recommend acrylic versus oil so it dries faster. I also used a dark gray paint for the type and a water based stain for the frame pieces.
- wood board – I bought a piece of common board at Home Depot – it’s 48″ long x 16″ high.
- wood garden stakes for the framing – I found these at our local hardware store and they are cheaper than buying wood trim pieces. You’ll just need to cut off the pointed ends.
- wood glue
- sandpaper or sander, saw, hammer, hanging hardware
First, you’ll need to paint and distress your wood board. Add two coats of paint if needed and let it dry completely. Then to add some “character” to your wood piece by using a hammer and banging up the wood for some good scratches and dents.
With your sander or sandpaper, sand down the entire piece of wood until you remove some of the paint and make the edges more smooth and rounded. I like to sand off some areas more than others to reveal the wood grain and give the piece a more random distressed look. If you sand off too much you can always paint it again, let it dry, and sand it again. It’s a very forgiving process.
Look at all that goodness. Once the wood is sanded and distressed to your liking, you’ll need to add the type. I love the word gather and I used my computer to print it out to the size I needed. Since this sign is so big, I had to print out the type in sections and tape it together. I also printed it out as an outline so it’s easier to trace and it also saves ink. I used the beautiful script font called Isabella.
I have a great tip to transfer your type onto the wood: After you print out your word or phrase and tape it together, tape the print out onto a window – but backwards. Then trace the outline of the letters onto the back of the paper.
When done, place the printout, front facing, onto the painted wood piece where you want it to go. Then rub the outline of each letter with the top of a pencil – this will transfer the pencil lines you traced on the back of each letter onto the wood.
The letters will be faint but it’s perfect as a guide for painting.
Then you’ll need to paint your letters. I mixed black and white acrylic paint to make a nice dark gray. I recommend using a thin tipped paint brush to get all the edges.
Don’t fuss to much about the painting, we’ll be sanding the type a bit too when done to add to the distressed look.
When you’ve done painting the type, let it dry completely and then sand the letters lightly. You can sand them as much – or as little – to get your desired effect.
Next, you’ll need to prep the frame pieces. I used wooden garden stakes because they’re the perfect thickness for this piece of wood – plus they’re much cheaper than regular pieces of wood/trim. Using my hand saw, I just cut them down so they fit the edges of my wood board. I didn’t cut them at angles for the corners like a regular frame. Instead, I just overlapped the wood pieces at the edges, also adding to the rustic worn look. Just be sure you consider the overlap when measuring where to cut these pieces.
I sanded these frame pieces (they’re very rough) and stained them a pecan tinted stain to contrast with the white and gray colors of the sign.
After the frame pieces were dry, I attached them to the edges of the wood with wood glue. I also added a few nails to secure them better.
Now just add the hanging hardware – I used wire – and you’re done!
I love how this piece completes this space and adds come nice meaning to the room. And it’s the perfect message for the upcoming holidays!
If you end up making your own meaningful wood sign, I’d love to see it – or check out my Etsy shop to purchase this version! This sign is huge and may not work in you home, so I’m happy to take custom orders too. I hope you have a wonderful day!
What specific app did you use to print the letters I’m having a hard time getting my letters large on my word document. At a standstill currently with my project. Thanks.