I’m on a big upcycling kick right now, and one of my favorite things to do is craft all kinds of fun and sweet wooden signs. These big signs are super trendy right now—think large railroad-depot style signs listing travel destinations—and couldn’t be any easier to make at home.
Hand-Carved Wood Signs
You’ll need a Dremel multi tool for these, such as one that drills and cuts tile. Home-Dzine has a full tutorial that offers plenty of tips for using the multi tool for this project. Other supplies needed include salvaged or new wood, 300 x 250 millimeter, steel wool, gel stain, sealer, pencil and paper and an orbital sander with 180-grit sanding pads. If you opt to sand by hand, you’ll need plenty of elbow grease. Hand-letter or trace your sign onto paper, then transfer this onto the wood. Use a tile cutting bit with a depth of 3 mm in the multi tool. Don safety glasses, start the tool and cut into the first letter. Slowly trace the outlines. Paint the interior of the letters with gel stain, then sand off rough edges and hang your sign.
Easy Painted Wood Signs
This project comes together in an afternoon and is perfect for any skill level. No fancy power tools needed here! While these signs make cutesy kitchen decor, I’m thinking of suggesting my sister create wedding reception signs like this for her summer 2013 wedding and I myself might make a garden sign or two to hang outside. Love these, via Diddle Dumpling blog!
To get started, find some salvage wood. Pallets are an easy free choice, but the wood tends to be narrow so something wider works better. Sand the wood first; you don’t want to nick your finger while working. Next, distress to your heart’s content. Whack that think with a hammer or some chain. Pound teensy nail holes to mimic bug damage. Really beat it up. Next, use a dry paintbrush to lightly brush an acrylic over the wood. Let it dry while you pick and print your words. Type a work, pick a font then use an imaging tool to flip the letters backwards. Print out the word on a sheet of paper. Place the paper over your dry wood (the letters should be un-reversed now) and brush the paper onto the block with a wet brush. Emboss the word onto the wood by lighting pressing with a marker top. Stop here or distress the finished product with sandpaper. Easy-peasy vintage sign!
Wood Photo Blocks
Save money by making your own wood photo blocks with this tutorial from blogger Cari Stewart. You’ll need gel medium, decoupage paste, wooden paintbrushes and wood in your desired size, such as 8-inches-by-10-inches or 16-inches-by-20-inches. Cut a large piece into several smaller ones to save money. Use reclaimed or new wood. Sand your wood and print your preferred image onto plain paper. Coat the wood with gel medium and press your picture directly onto the wood, ink side down. Leave this to dry. Wet the paper with a sponge then peel it away to find your photo transferred to the wood. If your image looks cloudy, apply veggie oil to restore the shine. Preserve with decoupage paste. How easy and fun! I’m totally DIYing these for holiday gifts next year.
Pin these projects to your craft list now then add your own spin to them later. The equipment that you collect to make these will come in handy for many craft projects to come, so consider this a worthwhile investment.
About the Author: Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses.