Blog,  Decor

How To Make A Wooden Sign – Unique and Inexpensive

I see you there. Yeah, you. The one staring exasperatedly at the wall trying to figure out WHAT on earth you’re gonna hang there. Kasandra, how did you know?! Well, welcome to the story of my life…

Hah! Kidding!


But really – I think you’ll enjoy making your own wooden sign. I’ve been that frustrated person far too many times and have decided that making stuff myself is easier, more enjoyable, and leaves me with an accomplished feeling – more so than anything I’ve ever bought.

I’ve been casually searching for a large mirror or sign to put above a console table in my living room for quite some time. When my kitchen remodel all but took over my life, I ended up with lots of scrap wood.

Scrap wood equals cheap (which is totally my jam). Lots of scrap wood means probably enough product to dive into a new project. Whoop!

Here’s the before picture. See that tiny little photo frame? It’s really not that small, but looks itty bitty in that space!

Wooden Sign Before

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Scrap Wood = Cheap DIY Project

I think the coolest thing about this project is it’s versatility. With a few basic steps, you can customize signs to be any size, paint color, finish, font, etc. that you want!

Supply List

To get this project going, you’ll need:

  • 1/4″ or 1/2″ thick plywood sheet
  • Scrap wood at least 1/2″ wide and long enough to cut to the length you need for the sign frame
  • Paint/stain for the frame
  • Paint/stain for the sign background
  • Paint and paintbrush for the letters. Or these Sharpie Paint Markers that I LOVE! Trust me, the markers are way easier.
  • Letter or vinyl stencils. Or, if you’re good at freehand, that’s totally cool, too.
  • Wood Glue

Recommended Tools

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Finish Nailer – definitely my new favorite tool!

Now on to the fun part! For now, you might as well sit down and stay awhile. (Corny? Yep – you’ll see what I mean in a minute.)

Steps to Make Your Wooden Sign

Don’t let the fact that I list 10 steps here scare you. I promise, this is EASY. Seriously, one of the steps is literally waiting for paint to dry.

  1. Determine the size you want the sign and cut the plywood to that size. If you have a table saw for this part, that’s great!
  2. Measure each side to double check the length, then start making your frame using those dimensions. Ex. you have a square sign and each side is 20″ long. Cut one end of the board at a 45 degree angle using a miter saw. Now measure the short side of the board, mark it at 20″, then go ahead and cut the other end of the board at a 45 degree angle, making sure the long sides match up and the short sides match up. Wa-la! You have 1/4 of the frame cut.
  3. Repeat with the other 3 sides.
  4. Lay out the plywood and “frame” it (don’t make anything attach together at this point) to make sure your corners line up and everything fits together correctly.
  5. Once you know it all fits, finish the frame by first using your wood glue to put the corners together, then tightly secure them but putting a nail or two into each corner with the finish nailer.
  6. Paint/stain the frame.
  7. Paint/stain the sign background.
  8. Wait at least a couple hours.
  9. Apply your design using your stencil and either the paint markers or a paintbrush.
  10. Once that paint has dried, secure the frame to the plywood. Simply lay the plywood on a flat surface and place the frame over it, then nail the frame to the plywood using the finish nailer. I’d recommend 3-5 nails per side.

I didn’t add a sealant or topcoat of any kind. You can if you want, but I don’t think there is any need to. Now you can lean it, add hooks to hang it, gift it, or whatever you choose!

And for the after. Much better! Don’t you think?

If you’re planning to create your own wooden sign, I’d love to see how it turns out! Email me some photos, and I’d love to feature your sign on this post!

Don’t forget to pin it for later 🙂

Wooden Sign Pin