DIY Wooden Sign


DIY Wooden Sign

I stumbled across a fun tutorial a while back and bookmarked it immediately. I have a habit of squirreling away DIY projects to work on when I have free time. Because, you know, I have SO much free time. *cough*

I had a single wooden pallet-style shelf that I bought {accidentally, at that} at Ikea years ago and decided to finally find a use for it. Of course, you could use any flat piece{s} of wood you happen have. I followed Diddle Dumpling‘s directions loosely, my main goal was getting a faint outline for words onto the wood.

On with the project!

Gather your tools:

  1. Wood
  2. Distressing tools, I just used an old emery nail file
  3. Acrylic Paint
  4. Paint brush{es}
  5. Permanent Marker or paint pen {to fill in letters}
  6. Printer
  7. Fonts that you love
  8. Photoshop Elements or a similar program – the key here is the ability to flip the text

Start by prepping the wood. I took an old emery nail file to the boards. These files are great to re-purpose for crafts! This one gets a lot of use…

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign

Then I applied a very light amount of paint. Not perfect, not at all saturated. It was a relatively dry application, starting in one corner and dragging as much as I could across the board. I only added more paint when needed. Then, I went at it again with the emery board. Wherever I felt like it. The whole process is simple and there are no rules with it – I think that’s why I loved this project so much!

While the wood dried, I got busy in Photoshop. Choose words in whatever font {I have a healthy adoration for fonts} – just make sure it will fit on your display. Obviously you can cut each and move them how you want them displayed on the board later.

Once you have the words all ready, double check that the text layer is selected, and rotate the layer {this is so it is readable once the ink transfers}. In Photoshop Elements 11 that is done by selecting the following; Image < Rotate < Flip Horizontal – The end result will look like this…

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign
Print it out on plain ol’ white paper. Cut out the words/phrase if you need to and position them on the wood. Lightly dampen a paint brush with water and gently brush the back of the paper.

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign
Gently rub the paper back and forth diagonally, I used a pen lid. This encourages the ink to transfer to the wood. Keep going, but not so aggressively that you tear the paper. If you need to re-dampen the paper at any point, do so.

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign
Peel back the paper gently; the letters should be transferred, perhaps faint {maybe that depends on the color paint?}. At this point, you may fill in the letters and make it stand out. I used a permanent pen because that was simply what I had on hand, but a paint pen would work equally well. Let everything dry. Give your wooden sign another once over with the emery board if you feel the need.

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign
Then you can hang it – over a doorway or on the wall – I have ours in our kitchen displayed on the counter. Because of its lift, my sign doubles as a platter/dish holder on our table. Perfecto!

DIY Wooden sign
I have another pallet-style shelf to transform. I’m just trying to decide if I should do a quote for this one. And what room to put it in? Maybe a sweet little Family quote like this one {feel free to print it for your own DIY Wooden Sign Decor!}…

DIY Decor: Wooden Sign

click to be taken to the full image size

What words, quote, or phrase would you use on your Wooden Sign?

This post contains Amazon associate links to products I used for this project.


About Author

Erin is a hopelessly devoted wife & momma to a five year old girl and a one year old boy. For the past year she has been on a quest to get back to the basics...


  1. Wicked-cute, and really simple! Despite the fact that I am a DDIY’er . . . Don’t Do It Yourself’er . . . I think I might give this a try. I have a few pallets that I bought for another project that we don’t have a need for any more and this would be a great way to use them!

  2. neat project.i probably dont have software like that.even if i did i probably wouldnt know how to use i do like the quote live well,laugh often

Leave A Reply

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)