DIY Wood Sign


If you know me, you know I am a little sentimental about so many things – especially teaching my kids kindness and truly being a good example to others.  For this reason, you may find inspiring signs throughout my home. Making DIY Wood Signs are a way to send a message to my kiddos every day.  It’s also a reminder, not only to me, but everyone that steps into our home as well.  A home should tell a family’s story and these pieces give a glimpse of who we are.  

The sign I am going to show you today was from a bathroom challenge.  Do you remember when I transformed this tiny space from this…

to this?

It was such a fun bathroom to design and is the powder room on the first floor.  There is so much I love about this space, but my heart goes pitter patter at the Wooden Sign I made.

It’s time to share with you how I did it – it was super easy and didn’t take much time to complete.  

Here is what I used for the project:  (Affiliate links are added for your convenience)

  • Vinyl Lettering – I used a Silhouette Machine to create my lettering, but Vinyl Letters can be purchased online or at a local craft store as well.  
  • Wood – Thin Eucaboard was used here.  This is the same type of wood used for the DIY Large Map I created.  (Any thin board should do the trick).
  • Frame Pieces – We used reclaimed wood, but 1×2 or 1×3’s can be used as well (these can be stained to any desirable color – I especially like this stain).
  • Paint – Using several colors gives depth and a unique vintage look.
  • Nail Gun – Our Ryobi 18V Brad Nailer works like a champ! Love this thing!
  • Picture hangers for hanging purposes.

Using the silhouette machine, I created the vinyl lettering for the sign.  Being a beginner with this machine I found tutorials via Pinterest to guide me and found this machine gave me extreme flexibility with fonts and design.  Love that!  (FYI – I have tutorials pinned in the Silhouette Projects board/Pinterest)

After creating the vinyl letters, I prepared the wood to be painted.  Here is where it gets really fun!  I believe these signs should have texture which gives a worn look and creates dimension.   The letters do not look painted on and flat this way.  If you are scratching your head – hang with me, I will show you what I mean.

This is the same technique used when I created these signs

for my son’s bedroom.

After cutting the thin board to size, Benjamin Moore – White Dove (primer/paint) was lightly painted on the board.  

Unique DIY Wood Sign

I didn’t mind if the raw wood was showing in areas as this was a base coat.

A taupe color was painted as the first layer.

Layering to create a unique Wooden Sign

Notice how haphazard the strokes are.  I used a very dry brush and wanted to see the white showing through in areas.

A dark graphite was applied next.  Same strokes, same dry brush, same haphazard way.

Create Texture for a Unique DIY Wood Sign

I wanted to see the layers through the darker color.  Way ugly, right?  I know… I know!  You may be thinking I need to start over here, but don’t worry,  this is all part of the layering process.

I then drew lines where the vinyl lettering would go.  I used chalk and drew a straight line with a straight edge.  This made placing the vinyl in position so much easier.

DIY Wood Sign Using a Layering technique

Here you see the white vinyl in place over the dark paint.

After placing the vinyl down it is important to get good adhesion or paint will seep under the lettering.  I use a brayer to roll over the lettering so there is no paint seepage. 

It was now time to paint the entire piece of wood – even paint over the lettering.  I used a dry paint roller and it created such cool texture.  This is getting the roller wet with paint and then removing most of the paint off before applying to the surface.  Like dry brushing – taking off a layer of paint before rolling it on to the board.  

DIY Wooden Sign Layering

Here you can see what texture it created.  Notice some darker paint is showing through.  I wanted this effect to create dimension and more texture.  You can also see where the “I” and the “N” did not get brayed enough.  I had to be very careful to make sure the roller was super dry or paint would seep right under those letters.

After everything is dry, it’s time to take off the vinyl letters.  Remember when I mentioned the “ugly” part?  Here’s where the “ugly” turns into the most “beautiful”.  The layers of paint give texture to the letters and give a worn/vintage look that gives a one of a kind piece of art.

Using this tool from my silhouette cameo

I carefully removed the vinyl letters.

And this is what the letters look like…  

After removing all of the letters, I created a wood frame to border around the sign.  I stained boards, and unfortunately, we cut them incorrectly!  This is when you have a moment of measure twice (or more) and cut once.  Because we were under the gun with the One Room Challenge, I scoured the garage for some remnant wood pieces.  That’s when I remembered holding on to a couple old discarded frames from years ago.  

I thought we threw them out, but thank goodness we didn’t!  To my surprise – they were the perfect size to use!  It’s amazing how things work out.

We had the wood for the frame, but the board used for the sign is super thin, so we created a wood border inside of the sign.  This gave us plenty of wood to nail and attach the outside frame.

Using wood glue, we attached 1×2’s to create an inside border.

DIY Vintage Sign

 After gluing the pieces, they were clamped until dry.  

After the drying process, the clamps were removed and it was time to nail the outer frame onto the sign.

Here you can see the inside frame where the exposed wood frame will be nailed to.  

We attached the longer horizontal pieces on the top and bottom of the sign first.

Then attached the shorter vertical pieces on both sides.

Voila!  The sign was complete!

After adding the appropriate picture hangers on the back, we were able to hang this unique wooden sign in the bathroom.

There are many things I love about our newly designed bathroom, but this sign definitely is my favorite.  

Here it hangs in our bathroom reflecting in the mirror.

This is an easy project and the technique gives dimension and texture that you only see in one of a kind art pieces.

So, tell me, are you inspired to create your own DIY Wood Sign?  Let me know!

Also, if you have questions… leave me a comment, I am here to answer them for you.

Don’t forget to pin this page for future reference.

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Until next time,


Every. Single. Moment.


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