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A custom wood sign can add instant polish to your decor, check out my tutorial to make your own for about $20!

I wanted to pick a simple decor project this week. Rustic custom wood signs are straightforward items to make and can add a beautiful and unique piece to your home decor or even serve as a sign for a party or other significant event in your life. You can usually find these wood signs at most farmer’s markets, and many stores have started to capitalize on these inspirational signs. But they are expensive. However, you can easily make yours for under $20 if you know what you need and where to buy it.

To begin, you will require the following:

  • A premade wood sign:
    • I got mine at Walmart
    • You can also make your own, check out this tutorial, or;
    • Try another discount retailer (such as a dollar store).
  • A wood stain (I chose Varathane in “Weathered Grey”).
  • Paint for the wording (I chose just an acrylic craft paint that I found at my local dollar store in white).
  • Sponge or regular paint brushes (The more detailed you want it, the smaller the brush you’ll need).
  • Cloth (for any spills you want to wipe up, I just used a cut up pair of old jeans).
  • Stencils (Optional).
  • Ball Point Pen (Optional).

The last three items will help you if you are like me and struggle to make lettering. They aren’t required, but if you’re concerned about consistency in your lettering, I recommend them.

Sanding

To get started, if your wood needs a bit of sanding, go ahead and do that. Mine was craft wood at Walmart, so I just sanded with fine sandpaper to get rid of some of the “tags” that wood tends to have. Depending on how “weathered” you want your piece to look, you don’t need to invest in a lot of sanding time. You may even find that sanding is unnecessary depending on the wood you’ve found.

Staining

One of the first steps to creating your wood sign is to stain your wood piece!

Next, you want to stain your wood. What I recommend is doing one coat and seeing how that looks when it’s dried. If you need a little more, do another coat and re-evaluate until your wood sign is to your liking. I’m going for a reasonably weathered look, so I went with two coats. I also stained the back, but that is optional.

Crafter’s tip: be very careful prying the lid off (you can use a screwdriver or something similar that you have around), otherwise you may play “chase the lid” when it pops off and rolls away. I had to fish mine out from under the truck in the garage, for example!

Finding Your Saying

After staining, you next need a quote for your custom wood sign!

If you aren’t sure what you want to say on your wooden sign, I have a few brief tips for finding quotes.

1. Literature (This is where I got mine, love J.R.R Tolkien!)
2. Movies
3. Songs
4. Google “Witty Quotes about [your favorite subject]” and see what turns up.

Stenciling Your Saying

After you have stained your wood sign and found your saying, it's time to create your makeshift stencil!

As I said above, I suck at free-form writing, so I’m using a makeshift stencil. I use Canva.com to “pretty up” my saying with some nice font work. I just put my words at the largest setting (144 size font) and split them onto two standard sized pages so I could print them out after downloading them from Canva.

If it doesn’t precisely measure out the way you want with the sheet, you can cut up the paper so you can adjust the words as you need them to display on your wood piece. I just used some tape to secure the paper pieces to the wood.

What follows next, is along the lines of the tutorial I shared above.

I used my ballpoint pen to draw along the lines of the words, pressing hard so that when done, I had a faint outline of those words on the wood so I could then paint my letters.

Painting It On

After stenciling, you're going to want to start painting the letters on!

Now that you have your letters stenciled onto your pretty piece of wood, you can now paint. I wasn’t overly concerned with nailing the precise font of my saying, but the stencil helped me create consistent sizing in my lettering (which was freaking awesome!). If you’re looking to capture a font exactly (or near exactly), be sure to use a small detailed paint brush for best results.

Finishing It!

You're finished now, time to hang it up!

Finally, the last final step is to seal your piece; if you want to maintain a rustic look, you can find sealers that finish with a matte look. That means non-shiny, so it will keep the “rougher” look that you want to maintain. I completely forgot to get sealer (my bad), when I get some and finish it, I’ll let you know what I used and where I bought it.

So there you have it, a simple, quick process to create a beautifully rustic wood sign of your own! I hope you enjoyed it, if you did, please share it with your friends using the share buttons or pin this to Pinterest!

A custom wood sign can add instant polish to your decor, check out my tutorial to make your own for about $20!

Also, if you want to receive more crafty ideas, delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email down below. As a thank you, I will give you the very worksheet that I use when I need to complete a new craft for here on the blog!

Next week, I’m going to reveal whether or not you can make a crochet hat in about an hour, so be sure to check that out if you’re curious! Until next time, stay crafty my friends!

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