How to Make a DIY Wood Sign

Taryn Whiteaker
Written by Taryn Whiteaker
Updated June 28, 2016
vintage bakery wood sign
Distress your wooden sign with sandpaper to give it a vintage look. (Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers)

A custom wood sign adds personality to the home.

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There are a lot of different ways to create a wooden sign. I'm going to show you a very simple tutorial for a plank wood sign that anyone can do. Once you get the base built, you can stain it, paint it, draw on it, stencil it, etc. The possibilities are endless. I love a good farmhouse sign, so I put a vintage twist to mine. You can make your sign more fun with bright colors, or even personalize it. Let’s get to work!

Supplies needed:

  • Seven 21-inch 3-by-1 boards 

  • Two 18-inch 3-by-1 boards

  • 14 1.5-inch wood screws

  • Wood glue

  • Clamps

  • Rag

  • White chalky paint

  • Black paint

  • Small paintbrush

  • Stencil of choice

  • 220-grit sandpaper

Making your custom sign

Start by laying out your pieces of wood. Gently sand down the edges if needed.

boards for DIY project
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Place a thin line of glue on the side of each 21-inch piece of wood and stack them together. This step isn't always necessary, but it helps to fill the cracks between the boards.

gluing boards for DIY plank woord sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Clamp the wood together.

clamping wood together for wood plank sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Gently wipe away any excess glue.

wiping glue off DIY wood sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Let it dry for at least 12 hours.

Flip the piece over and place the two 18-inch boards on top and secure them using the wood screws. Make sure one screw goes into each plank.

making custom wood sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

At this point, you can paint it, stain it or leave it natural. I gave mine two coats of white chalky paint.

adding white chalk paint to custom wood sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Pick out your stencil. I created mine using my Silhouette machine, but you can buy your own at the craft store, on Amazon or Etsy.

stencil supplies for DIY wood sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Place your stencil where you want it, and gently brush on a small amount of black acrylic paint. Remember to not oversaturate the brush to prevent seepage.

painting custom wood sign
Photo courtesy of Taryn Whiteaker/Design, Dining and Diapers

Let it dry, and then slowly remove the stencil. You can use sandpaper to gently distress the sign, or leave it as is. Now you have a beautiful custom sign to display or give away as a gift!

What type of stencil would you use on your custom wood sign? Let us know in the comments section below.

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