Add character to your home with customized rustic wood signs.
Adding a personalized touch to your home has never been easier than with a DIY reclaimed wood sign. Not only does making one yourself give you the freedom to create something completely unique, it also adds warmth and character to any room.
Now you can learn all the details you need to create your own custom wood sign. It only takes a few basic materials to complete this design, from picking out the perfect piece of wood to adding the finishing touches. In just a few steps you can create a beautiful and unique sign to impress your family and friends!
Creating a custom sign with a more rustic look is a great way to create a one of a kind sign. If you have been here long enough you may remember when I made these custom orders out of my home and sold them. They went viral on Pinterest and we couldn't keep up with the demand.
However, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, my designs got knocked off in China. Before I knew it my farmhouse rustic wood signs were showing up in large chains across the USA. I soon couldn't compete anymore. After many tears, we decided to shut the shop down and build our dream home instead.
This has turned into one of the best things for us. It's funny how trials can turn into the biggest blessings. As a DIY'er, I like to encourage others to create their own pieces.
However, I didn't take pictures of the back of my signs before I sold them all. Hopefully this tutorial below can still help you create your own sign to love.
Supplies for Rustic Wood Signs
- Old large frame - I used to buy mine at thrift stores for around $10
- Primer spray paint - my favorite is Zinnser
- 100% Clear silicone caulk
- Reclaimed wood
- Reclaimed moldings
- Word cutout
- Miter saw
- Tape measure
- Hanging wire
- Chippy paint
How to Make the Perfect Custom Sign
Find the Ideal Frame
The first step is to find a frame that meets your desired look. And you don't want a simple frame either. Try to find something with curved corners or beautiful details. The thicker and more ornate the frame the better they turn out.
Remove everything from the frame, including the glass and staples on the back. Then paint the frame with 2 coats of the Zinnser primer. I usually leave the frame just like this, but sometimes distress it a little bit.
Find Rustic Wood and Moldings
To make a rustic wooden sign you can use almost anything for your wood boards inside the frame. I found the more variety in the slats the better, though it's preferred to not use new wood. My favorite option is to use real reclaimed wood with chippy paint.
However, I couldn't always find the style I needed so sometimes I created my own. To create my own chippy paint I liked to use milk paint. To weather old wood I used the technique in this blog post.
Putting Together Rustic Wood Signs
Cut your wood or moldings down to the size of the frame. Then place the wood into the grooves on the back of the frame and use LOTS of silicone on the top and bottom to hold the sign in. Use your finger to push the silicone down and spread it out. It doesn't matter if the back isn't flat, it will still hang on the wall just fine.
Adding Hanging Wire to the Back
Since the back is not flat, picture wire is the best for back board supports to hang. Attach the wire loops to each side of the frame and then string the wire through. Pull it VERY tight and make sure it is secured well. These signs can be heavy.
Adding Wood Letters
Although you can leave your sign blank if desired, I always added a word cutout that I designed and cut out on my machine. You can achieve this same look with buying a separate cutout, using wood letters to make a word or even using a wood cutout like a home. A store that has craft supplies would be a great place to check for a cutout.
Favorite Reclaimed Wood Signs
The natural beauty of reclaimed wood signs is that they offer a unique story for each and every one. They add a touch of rustic charm to any home décor, whether in the kitchen, dining room, or living room. You can’t go wrong – each one will provide a unique, one-of-a-kind look.
The wood for this sign in our entry way was an old cedar fence that was painted white. We had a terrible wind storm and it blew over, so my neighbors gladly let me haul it away. I love the grain of the wood.
If you can't find moldings or like the more uniform look, try using pallet wood. This is what I used for this sign below. I also place the cutout in the center of the board.
I love the combination of teals together and this frame is the perfect mixture of that. Look at that gorgeous cedar. All the weathering is just perfection for reclaimed wood signs!
One of the best parts of rustic wood signs is you can mix and match so many different ways. I used weathered cedar, white vintage moldings and spray painted some new molding navy for the perfect combo.
If you need a BIG accent piece rustic signs are perfect for that. I used a vintage gold frame with naturally weathered cedar.
Not only are these signs the perfect accent for your home, but they are a wonderful gift to give to someone else too. This sign was made from painted reclaimed wood moldings. Look at all the unique chippy goodness!
And I LOVE this chunky frame around this beautiful wood.
The Benefit of Custom Rustic Wood Signs
The beauty of DIY rustic wood signs is that they can enhance any home or office space without breaking the bank. With some old wood, a few tools and a little creativity, you can create a statement piece aligned with your style preferences and budget. From choosing the right type of wood to finishing it off with a protective coat, the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating your own rustic wood sign.
Life is too short to settle for something mediocre - express yourself and be proud of the breathtaking results. So grab some wood and get creative. You never know what you can create until you give it a try.
Even More DIY Sign Ideas
- Use canvas vinyl prints to cover up an old wood sign.
- Use wallpaper to create a beautiful sign
- Napkins are fun to use on a sign
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Love your work! Do you mind telling how you made the words from wood? I thought they were vinyl.
Hi, All of my words are cut out of MDF by my commercial CNC machine
Tonia Bolayog says
I love the the wood work. Specially reclaimed wood. Thank you for your idea. Keep up the great work.
Robin James says
Do you sell your work? I'm interested in the sign that says family in those blueish colors. If so how much?
Hi Robin, I do sell my signs you can find them in my Etsy Store startathome.etsy.com
Kimberly Michelle says
Hi. I love your work. Is there any way I could order one custome made? Like with somone's name?
Mette Hansen says
I just love your pictures!!! May I ask what kind of CNC machine you have?
Lisa Bracken says
Hi! I am amazed by your work. You definitely have a wonderful. I am a teacher too and think this is a great way to spend your summer. 🙂 I absolutely love the family in teal and mixed wood behind word. The frame is gold. I saw that you were sold old. Will you be making more of that kind? Thank you
Lisa Bracken says
Darn spell check changed words. ?
Lisa Bracken says
Wonderful...talent and sold out instead of old
Frances Savoy says
Can I purchase just the cut out words?
If so, let me know how!
I would love to know this too!
I'm also interested in knowing if you sell just the letters.
I'm interested in a CNC machine. How much do they cost, in general? Do you have a favorite brand? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Traci Koehler says
Do you just sell the words?
Very nice looking signs. I really like the cut out letters over the reclaimed wood. You don't see too many people doing that.
I love th family one with the teal, white and wood frames behind the word but I can't find it on your etsy page! Could I buy one?
Sheryl Smith says
I would like to purchase a sign..... How do I purchase?
Ali Garcia says
Hi! Do you do custom signs, I want it to say something specific
John C. Coonradt jr. says
I do a lot of work with pallet wood and would love to purchase a CNC machine . Where can I get one I know nothing about the machine. Your work is beautiful I have some ideas you might like to here about . Would help you a lot . Please get back to me. Jack
Angela wallace says
I too am interested in the wording. Do you sell it by itself?
Patricia Saylor says
If you have anymore aqua family signs please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org?I would Love to purchas one. Thanks a bunch
Love your signs
I really like the large turquoise family frame. What's the measurements and how much?
Hello maam for some reason i cannot find pricing on your "Family" sign on the website. Do you mind telling me the pricing on that please .
Do you do custom projects?
What is the name of this font?
I love the family sign you are holding on your website. Is this something you would make again, and if so, ship??
I would like to buy the big white frame with family on it. Please contact me.
Hi Erica it has already sold. I am sorry..but we have more in our Etsy shop http://www.startathome.etsy.com
Hello, do you take custom design requests? Looking to get a wood cut out of our business name to take with us to bridal shows!
we do! You can view the listing in my Etsy shop. Startathome.etsy.com
Hello! Love this project! I am working on the frame now. I just got done cutting the wood. How do you attach the wood to the frame?
Will there be anymore family signs with the teal accents?
Kelly Short says
Do you mind me asking how you attached the boards to the inside of the frames?? I am trying to use some old barnwood that our family had to make a gift for my family and not sure how to attach the boards. Thank you 🙂
ive been looking at the CNC machines but they are really expensive, I was looking for a low cost one but I don't know what is good. would you be willing to share what type of machine u use ?
Shelley Keever says
Do you have a family sign for sale like the one at the top of this page with the white chunky frame and aqua pieces in it? If so how much is it and how can I buy it? Thank you!
Do you sell the wood words? Love them.
yes we do! They are in our shop startathome.etsy.com
Lovely work! How do you attach the reclaimed wood to the frame? Glue, screws, nails? What does the back look like?
Do you do customized wall art?
Hi, I wanted to purchase the large family sign you are holding in that picture but in the turquoise colors and frame that is lower. How do I go about doing this? I tried your etsy page, but can't find it. Thanks!
I am interested in your white chunky frame that has the family sign in it. I am only looking for the frame only. Would you have one available or do a custom order for one. If you could let me know if that's possible I would appreciate it. Your work is lovely!