I am so excited to finally show y’all how I make a rustic wood sign. It took long enough, right? I have 4 of these signs hanging in the house, and I was so excited to get the chance to use some reclaimed wood for a holiday-themed Trash to Treasure challenge with my blogging tribe and Kimm at Reinvented!
Everyone knows Andrew and I hoard all the salvage and reclaimed things in the garage. All the people (in the world) know I will gladly accept any and all wood… I’m just waiting for the day someone gives me a whole barn. Last week, Andrew came home from work with a dismantled old crusty, dusty, chippy workshop desk in his trunk from a coworker. Y’all, that is like… true love.
I knew a few of these pieces would make a beautiful wood sign, so I picked out a few to see which I was going to make go-jus for this Trash to Treasure challenge.
After I found the piece I liked to make the wood sign from, and cleaned it off, I knew I wanted to do “O Holy Night” in a fancy font, and have it stand on the front porch. I mean, when I officially transition to Christmas porch décor. It’s still fall, y’all. Handmakers gotta make!
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I design the typography for a wood sign in the most basic of ways… I use Word or Open Office. I pick my fonts, and blow them up to the dimensions I need for whatever size sign I have. All my fonts for non-commercial products are from dafont.com, but I also am in love with these insanely affordable fonts for graphics, printables, invitations, and all the typography things from The Hungry JPEG.
From here, you can either print it out, or trace it from your screen. Typically, I would print it, but at the time I made this, my kids were napping and the printer is upstairs. I stay off the 2nd floor unless it’s absolutely necessary because… crabby children I do not want.
I traced my letters on my screen very lightly with a pencil. Lay them out on the sign how you want them; trim around them and tape if you like. I live on the wild side, and just hold them down.
With a ball point pen (it’s got to be a ball point pen), trace the letters onto the wood, making sure you press hard. If you have hard wood, you’ll need to press really hard. If it’s a softer wood, you won’t need to push too hard to make the indent. This slab of wood was much harder than I thought, and was really beat up, I ended up having to press extra hard.
After you trace all your letters, get that paint pen and start filling it in. I had to use a flashlight to see the indents on the sign, just because there were so many distressed areas.
The paint pens I use were recommended to me from Sarah at 1915 House, and I really have no idea why I never bothered to try these before! They dry pretty quick, the paint comes out continuously and smoothly, and this ultra fine tip is perfect for swooshes and details. I have used the fine tip too, and it’s great. If anything, I’d typically go with a fine and an ultra fine, just to fill in the thicker letters a bit faster.
I decided to not distress the letters after I finished, but you can certainly sand some down if you like. This sign is probably one of my favorites, and I have another few boards that are painted white and are super weathered, so what should I put on ’em?!
So, have you started making anything for Christmas, decorating for Christmas, or are you a typical procrastinator? I am a total procrastinator, despite this being done… don’t let it fool you, I am always late with my Christmas decor! Please feel free to pin the heck out of this post…