Happy Summer! I haven’t posted in a while but I can assure you I have been picking up goodies at my weekend yard sales with big plans in mind (now to find the time to finish them)! With the arrival of summer comes the need to spruce up my homes curb appeal. I planted some flowers of course but I wanted to add something cozy and cute to my porch – what better way to do this than with a welcome sign!
I know we have all seen those expensive handmade signs on our newsfeeds, but they are actually super easy and inexpensive to make yourself! For this project I used:
- Tongue and groove cedar boards
- Wood glue
- Wood Stain
- Chalk (the good kind – not your kids sidewalk chalk)
- Printer and paper
- White Acrylic paint and paint brushes, $6
- Miniwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Top coat
- Foam brush
Step 1 – Cut and glue wood. Decide how big you want your sign to be. I wanted mine to be tall so I could lean it against my house. I was in my dads garage one day and noticed he had lots of left over cedar boards so I snatched them! I found they were a little too skinny on their own so I glued them together using wood glue and clamped them together overnight.
Step 2 – Stain your wood. Pick a colour you like, or use some leftover stuff you have on hand. I used a dark mahogany stain I had from staining my kids swing set. You can even distress it if you want with some sandpaper – I didn’t care enough so I went the easy route and slapped on one coat of stain using a brush.
Step 3 – Print out your stencil and transfer it to your board. Use this method from Anastasia Vintage! You don’t need any fancy equipment and it works like a charm. Essentially you are making a poster the size of your sign, printing it out, taping it together, colouring chalk on the back of the poster, laying it flat on the wood and then tracing the letters. What you are left with is a chalk outline on the dark stain for you to use as your guide when you paint. I added some leaves clipart to the top and bottom of my sign that I found on google images. Side note: use good chalk – I’m talking Crayola people! The cheap sidewalk chalk is too powdery and doesnt work.
Step 4 – Paint in your letters and do a top coat! Get a paint pen and trace over the chalk outline of each letter. This will give you a permanent outline so its easier to paint. I picked up a small jar of acrylic paint for $1.15 to paint in the letters. You will need to have a steady hand but its pretty easy and fool proof. You will need to apply a couple of coats because you are painting white on dark stain. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect – imperfections give it character and from far away it looks amazing. I also did a top coat using a foam brush to protect it from the outdoors elements.
I ended up making one for my sister and I. Here are a couple pics of the final “porch appeal”. I couldn’t be happier! This project cost me a whopping $6 because I used supplies that I had on hand. I’m going to try this same technique to make a growth chart too – stay tuned!