Now some of you love DIY projects but don’t have many power tools, if this sounds like you, this tutorial is for you! DIY wood signs are actually easy to make, in fact you can make them without any power tools. Let me tell you how…
- 1- 1″ x 2″ x 8′ lumber cut at Home Depot – trim pieces
- 1- 1/4″ x 2′ x 4′ plywood sheet cut at Home Depot – backing
- Stain (Have you guys seen these cool stain cloths? So easy and no mess!)
- Vinyl and contact paper
- Acrylic paint & foam paint brush
- Fine grit sandpaper (I used 220 grit.)
- 1″ Panel board nails
Making DIY Wood Signs
Buying the wood
The first step in making your DIY wood sign is to purchase and cut your wood. I got mine at Home Depot and had them cut it for me, no power tools! You’ll want to cut the plywood into 12″ x 12″ squares. So if you get the 2′ x 4′ plywood sheet you’ll get eight 12″ x 12″ squares, or enough to make eight 12″ x 12″ signs.
Next you’ll have them cut your 1″x 2″ for the sides of your sign.. Have them cut it into four 12″ pieces and four 10.5″ pieces. You’ll have just a tiny bit of wood left over. This is enough wood for two signs.
Prepping the wood
Use fine grit sandpaper to sand the top of the plywood and any rough edges on the trim pieces. I used a sander for this part, but is totally doable without one.
Stain the plywood and the 1″ X 2″ trim pieces then let dry.
Cutting & Applying Vinyl
The next step is the trickiest part. Using the downloadable file, cut your vinyl and weed out the excess, meaning everything but the lettering. If you don’t know exactly how to cut vinyl on your Cricut Explore look at my tutorial for that here.
After, varnish the vinyl to the contact paper and then remove the vinyl backing. I use clear contact paper which works almost as well as transfer paper but is a fraction of the cost.
Varnish the vinyl to the middle of your stained plywood piece. Peel away the contact paper from the vinyl. Here’s a tutorial on how to transfer vinyl.
Next take your foam brush and acrylic paint and paint lightly over your vinyl. If you press too hard it may peel up your vinyl so be very careful with this step. In fact, I like to dry brush it so it’s not a solid color of paint, but the stain shows through. When the paint has dried, use a sharp tool like craft tweezers, a sewing pin or needle to peel each letter off.
Adding your trim pieces
Take your pre-stained trim pieces (two-12″ pieces and two 10.5″ pieces) and arrange how you would like around the border of your plywood on the front side. Make sure the parallel pieces are the same length. For example, put the longer pieces across from each other, not perpendicular.
Flip the boards over and nail 1″ panel board nails through the back of the panel and into the trim pieces. I used 3-4 per each piece of trim for a total of 12-16 nails per project.
Distress with fine grit sandpaper if you’d like.
I also made my husband a few DIY wood signs with BYU logos for his office decor and I all did was search for old school BYU logos on Google and save the image and import into Cricut Design Space to cut your vinyl. You can find a tutorial on this here.
Here are two designs that I made that you can use for your DIY wood signs, just right click and save to your desktop.