DIY: Large Wooden Sign
I've gotten a bazillion emails & questions about Winnie's nursery sign, and wanted to share with you the DIY scoop. Let me first start by saying I'm not a great "diy-er" - partially because I don't enjoy it and also because I don't have the time for it (or make the time - whatever way it shakes out).
Once in awhile, though, I get an idea in my head, and I'm not able to find it out there in the world (shocking, I know.) I knew EXACTLY what I wanted Winnie’s nursery sign to look like and I wasn't able to find anything that I loved, that was the size I wanted and that was as simple as I was going for. SO, I bit the bullet and did the project myself. Desperate times call for desperate measures, friends.
Here's what you'll need:
A few notes here: I bought a sheet of birch wood (.5" thick) and had home depot cut it to size. They'll usually do this for free! The wood for our sign was somewhere around $20 and I still have a decent size piece left over for another sign (that I'll probably paint in 5 years when I don't have toddlers). You really can use your eyes on this part though, and pick whatever wood looks best or matches your space the best. Half an inch thick seems to be perfect, as it doesn't bend, but isn't too heavy to hang on the wall.
(I just bought a sample of black wall paint from the paint section and it was more than enough.)
You'll probably want a variety of sizes ... the letters are all hand painted, so getting the edges straight takes a bit of finessing.
Printer & Carbon Paper
Electric Sander or Sand Paper
I used a weathered oak stain (here) but choose a stain that matches your space & wall color best!
Eye Hooks & Picture Wire
As for the process:
1. Choose wood and cut to size
2. Give it a light sand to get rid of any major textural spots
3. Chose your design (I designed mine in InDesign, but you can use something as simple as Word to print your letters. The font I used is Playfair Italic.
4. Print your letters (just the outlines, so you don't use all your ink!) Depending on the size of your sign, you may have to print one letter per sheet of paper.
5. Lay your letters out and slide a sheet of carbon paper under each letter that you're tracing. You can use one sheet and move it under each letter while you trace.
6. Once all your letters are traced, you can start painting! My sign took a few hours to paint, but turn on a good movie or Real Housewives (my personal vice) and it'll go quickly! The letters don't have to be perfect, as you can erase most imperfections with your sanding.
7. Wait until your sign is completely dry, and then you can begin sanding. I used an electric sander, but a sanding block would work just fine. Go through and sand out some of your edges, some of the letters and wherever else you think might need a little softening. This is totally in the eye of the beholder, so get creative!
8. Erase any carbon lines with a pencil eraser and wipe your sign down with a dry cloth to remove dust from sanding. You're ready to stain!
9. Apply stain with a clean rag (they sell these at the hardware store with the stain/paint) according to the directions on your can. A little bit goes a long way here. This will give the sign a finished look. Don't forget your edges!
10. Let the stain dry completely and your sign is FINISHED! We used eye hooks and a heavy duty picture wire to hang our sign (they usually show the weights they can hold on the packaging). Make sure you install the wall hook into a stud, as these aren't the lightest pieces :)
And that's that! A few hours, less than $50 and you have a beautiful, custom piece of art for your home! Please tag me @henandco on Instagram if you make one of these - I'd LOVE to see your final product!