DIY Hand Painted Wood Sign

DIY Hand painted wood sign

As obsessed as I am with Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Markets, and Fixer Upper, I actually haven’t known about this world for very long.  See, I haven’t had cable since i was a sophomore in college.  So HGTV was a distant channel I remembered watching Decorating Cents with my mom back in the day.  But this time last year, we signed up for Sling TV.  And in January I saw my first Fixer Upper episode.  It was an obsession at first watch.

After bonding over the love of the show with a coworker, I found out Magnolia Market existed.  And it existed online! So that night I checked it out.  I immediately fell in love with a sign that had a biblical verse.  “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)  I had always wanted to do something with that verse above our front door and was excited to find it – designed by Joanna no less!  To my disappointment, it was too wide to fit the space.

Why not hang it somewhere else?  Well, every morning when I walk into the kitchen, I pass our long hallway.  And every morning I turn to my left and look down to the front door.  I don’t know why or if I am expecting to see something, but I liked the idea of seeing the sign there first thing to start my day.

A look down our hallway.
A look down our hallway.  That wall mirror was a DIY project too!

Flash forward to now, and I made my own sign!  I wasn’t sure how I was going to transfer the letters onto the wood but it ended up working really well.

First, I purchase a 6×36 inch sheet of balsa wood from Hobby Lobby for about $7.  I then used Google Draw to make the sign and downloaded it.  After that, I imported it into Excel and resized it to 6×36.  It printed out on 4 pages that I cut the excess off and taped them together.  Meanwhile, I used white acrylic paint to paint the balsa wood.

It's hard to see, but if you look close you can see the indented outline of letters.
It’s hard to see, but if you look close you can see the indented outline of letters.

Once the wood was dry, I taped the paper sign onto the wood one.  I then used a ball point pen and traced the outline of the characters.  I used some pressure to dent the wood but nothing that made my hand hurt once I was finished.  All that was left was to paint in the letters!  I used a black paint pen but it didn’t cover well in some places so I filled in gaps with a black Sharpie.  I used a silver Sharpie for the bottom part.

Using the paint pen.
Using the paint pen.

All that was left was to add brackets to the back and hang it!

DIY Hand painted sign

Things I found helpful:

Leave one side of the paper sign taped to the wood sign so if you notice letters you can’t see, flip the sign down and retrace.  I also left the paper sign taped on when I put the brackets on the back.  This protected my paint job from getting scuffed while the sign was upside down.

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