Rustic Welcome Sign

Hi again, everyone!  I guess it’s feast or famine around the Humble Home!  I haven’t posted in months, now, all of a sudden, three posts in a matter of weeks!  Here’s what we’ve been working on today…

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My neighbor, Donna, was out to lunch with her in-laws the other day, and her father in law fell in love with a sign he saw hanging in the restaurant.  He is 94 years old, and Donna said he has never asked them for anything in all his years, so naturally they inquired about the sign.  Unfortunately, the establishment was not willing to part with it.  This is where I come in…

Donna, knowing that I am crafty in nature, is frequently asking me if I can make this, that, and the other thing.  So naturally, she came to me with a picture of the sign and asked if I would help her make it.  Obviously, I said of course!  And that brings us to today’s project…

Your supply list for this project it short and simple…

  • (2) 6ft fence boards – These will run you about $2.50 a piece at Home Depot.
  • 6 inch letters spelling out whatever you’d like your sign to say – The ones we chose are from Michael’s and cost $2.99 each
  • A small can of stain and a disposable brush – We used Minwax Special Walnut.  It cost about $5 at Home Depot.
  • A small can of the cheapest white paint you can find – We used old ceiling paint I had sitting in the garage, but if you can’t find any white paint laying around, you can pick up a quart of Glidden Ceiling Paint at Wal-Mart for about $8.
  • A can of spray paint for your letters – We used Krylon Color Master in Deep Grey, matte finish.  It cost $6.99 at Michael’s.
  • Sandpaper or sanding block – I used my Dewalt orbital sander, but I assume you’re not going to go out a buy one for this one project, so sandpaper or a sanding block with work just fine.
  • Some kind of saw to cut the boards to your desired length – If you don’t have a saw, do a little advanced planning and have your boards measured and cut at the store before you bring them home.
  •  Hammer and nails, or a Brad Nailer – You know I’m a power tool junkie, so I used a brad nailer.  It’s a small nail gun that shoots tiny finishing nails.  This really will make this project so much easier, so if there’s any way you can get your hands on one, I would strongly recommend it!  I use all Dewalt tools because of the interchangeable accessories, but HERE is a super cheap little nail gun you can pick up at Lowes for about $25.

First, lay out your fence boards.  Flip them over a couple of times, move them around a little bit, decide how you think they fit together best.  Then lay your letters on the boards.  Decide how you like them arranged… spacing, alignment, etc.  While you do this, pay attention to how much space they are taking up on your boards, so you will know where to cut your boards.  You should mark your boards so you will remember where to cut them.  (If you are having your boards cut at the store, you will want to do this either in the store, or before you go to the store.)

After you get that all figured out, put a coat of spray paint on your letters.  To get a nice finish, apply lots of light coats.  Applying too much paint at once with cause drips and runs.  Spread them out somewhere where they won’t be in the way.  Hit them with a coat of spray paint, then forget about them for a while.  This will give them plenty of time to dry while you work on other steps.

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Now let’s get back to our fence boards…  apply a light coat of stain to the entire surface of each board.  Don’t forget to cover the sides also.  Let that dry completely.  While you’re waiting, you can apply another coat of spray paint to your letters.  Once your stain is all the way dry, sand it to your desired look.  The more you sand, the more natural wood tone will show through.  There is no right or wrong here.  Sand it until you are happy with the look.

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Once you finish sanding, dust your boards off really well, and apply a light coat of white paint.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Remember, you’re just going to sand it off as soon as its dry.  While you’re waiting for your white paint to dry, you can add another coat of spray paint to your letters.  In the picture below, the board on the left is what mine looked before sanding, and the board on the right is what it looks like after I sanded it.

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Here is a picture of the boards after I finished sanding both of them…

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If you haven’t already cut your boards, you should probably go ahead and do that now.  You are going to need to use the leftover pieces to make the supports for the back of your sign.  Just cut the leftovers into three little pieces, slightly shorter than the width of both boards.  Flip everything upside down, and lay it all out like this…

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Make sure the painted side of your little boards is facing toward the front, so that it will be the side that shows through the tiny space between your long boards. Use your nail gun to fasten the supports to both boards.  I used about 3 nails in each side of each board.  Once you have all your supports attached, turn the whole thing back over.  Go get your letters, which should be dry by now, and arrange them on your boards the way you like them.

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Once you finally have everything EXACTLY where you like it, use your nail gun to shoot several nails straight through your letters and into your boards.

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Donna’s father in law is planning to lean his sign against his house, but if you would like to hang it, I have a super cute idea.  You can drill a hole in each of the top corners, string a rope through the holes, and tie a knot in each end so that the rope can’t slide out.  Here’s an example on another sign we made a long time ago…

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And no, I am not Coastal Carolina Alumni.  This belongs to my husband.  I went to UNC.  GO HEELS!

So here is our finished product…

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Donna is thrilled, which makes me so happy!  And I got to spend a fun day crafting with one of my dearest friends, so I would call this project a huge success!

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Thank you so much for stopping by Humble Home!  You can also find us on Facebook @HumbleHomeDesign, on Instagram @humble.home and on Pinterest as HumbleHome. Check out our new Etsy shop called HumbleHomeDesign!

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3 thoughts on “Rustic Welcome Sign

  1. It was a great day for me, too. I got to catch up with you over lunch and make something special for my father-in-law!! still can’t believe we did this in one day even considering I️ made you walk for your lunch. Next, we need to make a Go Heels sign to replace the Hog Pen sign!! Just think the holidays are coming and I️ have a list of projects. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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