I’m giving you all the details today on how to make a sign! Earlier this week I share my Fall Mantel which had my Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please as the focal point. This type of sign is super easy to make. I followed the basic same steps as I did on my Large DIY Sign that I made last year.
Make a Sign
There are so many possibilities once you’ve had the fun of making one of these signs! You can make different sizes, different sayings… use paint or different stains on the sign sides. Only your imagination can limit you. If you can handle some basic power tools and are a little crafty, you can tackle this!
Supplies Needed to Make a Sign: (affiliate links provided for your convenience)
- engineer print
- particle board panel
- common board
- Mod Podge
- paint brush
- old credit card
- sand paper
- Kona stain
How to Make a Sign:
Step 1: What is it going to say?
The first thing you need to decide on his what you want your sign to say. If you’d like to create your own Autumn Leaves and Pumpkins Please sign you can download the image I used here. (this is for personal use only)
Step 2: Create your font image
I use Photoshop Elements to create most of my graphics, but you could use Canva to create this sign too. Even a wood processing program like Word, or Google Drawings would work. My font graphic is an 18″ x 24″ size. So you need to make sure that you change your page settings first to your desired size. Then have fun creating your graphic. Get creative with fonts and sizes!
Step 3: Get that Engineer Print
So here’s the exciting part! I go online to Staples and I get this fun sign printed for under $2! It’s called an Engineering Print / Blueprint. Here’s the location on Staple’s site: Engineering Prints. If I send it over in the morning, it’s typically ready by the end of the day at our local store.
Step 4: Lay your Print Flat
I place my print paper under something heavy to help it stay flat. The engineering prints are on thin, typical copy paper weight, so they want to curl when they are large like this.
Step 5: Cut your Wood Pieces
For the sign I created here I cut the base piece (the piece the sign will go on to) at 18.5″ x 24.5″. We had a scrap piece of particle board panel that just needed a little trimming. We used our miter saw to trim it down. Any piece of thin, smooth wood will work for the sign backing.
For the edges we used 1″ x 2″ common board pieces. These can be found at your local lumber / hardwood store… and these pieces are CHEAP! For a couple bucks you’ll have the wood for your trim. The top and bottom pieces are 17″ and the sides are 24,5″.
Step 6: Attach the Paper Sign to the Backing
You’ll need Mod Podge, a cheap paint brush and an old credit card for this step. A second set of hands will help too! Start by brushing on a generous, even coat of Mod Podge all over the particle board panel (or whatever you are using for the back of your sign). Then I started at the top of the sign and I carefully adhered the top of the sign to the top of the wood. My daughter was holding the bottom of the sign paper. I used my old credit card and slowly started to smooth and press the paper sign onto the wood. Working my way from top to bottom. My daughter slowly lower the paper with me as I was smoothing.
Now when your sign looks like this, all bumpy, DON’T FREAK OUT! I had gently smoothed over the sign before this photo. You don’t want to over smooth or press too hard or you can rip the paper! When the sign dries it will smooth out.
Step 7: Stain the Sides of the Sign
I used Kona stain for my sign (I LOVE this shade). Before you stain give your cut common wood pieces a sanding. I then take a wet paper towel and lightly wipe them down so I can easily remove any sawdust. I use an old rag to rub the stain onto the wood. I did it outside and it was in the upper 80’s. I let the stain sit about 5 minutes and then used a clean rag to wipe off the excess stain. I love this stain because it dries FAST! After 1 hour I flipped the pieces and finished staining the other side. Once it’s all dried completely it’s time to assemble.
Step 8: Attach Sides to the Sign
I used my nailer to attach the sides to the sign base. If you’ve got a really steady hand you probably could just use a hammer and nail, but the nailer is SO MUCH faster & easier! A second set of hands here helps too. For my sign I placed the thin side against the base of the sign, so the thicker side is sticking out. You can make it how you prefer though. We shot the nails in through the backside of the sign into the sign edges, so no nail holes showing.
Now you get to stand back and admire your beautiful sign!
Once you know how to make a sign, you’re mind will be spinning on all the other ones you’ll want to make!