When it comes to DIY projects, I need very specific, easy-to-follow instructions. Any directions that tell me to “be creative” or “just freehand…” give me that same queasy feeling you get after a major “Pinterest Fail”. This process of creating your own easy DIY Farmhouse Sign allows you to personalize your own wall art so it looks like it was free-handed by a professional. However, this method doesn’t include any special equipment, guesswork and, well…intimidation.
One of my favorite places in our home is our office. There I sit on a daybed to do my Bible study, work on the blog and sometimes fall asleep with our sweet puppy in my arms. There has been a large empty space on the wall over the daybed. I’ve been looking for something really special to hang over this space since I spend so much time there.
One evening when cleaning out the garage, I noticed the old piece of plywood that my father-in-law had painted for my husband when he was little. Many toy planes had taken off and landed on that old piece of wood, so I couldn’t bear to throw it out.
I realized the “runway” was the perfect size for a farmhouse-style sign over my daybed. Using the back of the “runway” for my sign would allow me to keep this spider-infested ‘keepsake’ intact while freeing up some space in the garage!
Don’t you love it when a plan comes together!?!
Supplies Used for your Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
(some affiliate links are used for your convenience)
- 2’x4’ piece of plywood (1/2” depth) – like you see HERE.
- Sander (optional)
- Sanding Pads (optional)
- Hand saw (optional)
- White Paint – I used Sherwin Williams in Pure White
- Small Brush for touch-ups
- 1” wide trim for frame – I used 12’
- Stain for Trim – I used Minwax Provincial, because I had it on hand.
- Sharpie Paint Pens
- Liquid Nails
- Picture Hanger
- Scotch tape
- Paper Cutter or scissors
Painting and Staining
- If you don’t have a scrap piece of wood, go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and look for a 2’ x 4’ piece of ½” plywood. If you want different dimensions, just ask and they will cut it down for you at no additional cost
- Because the back of my sign was in such bad shape, I had to sand it down quite a bit and prime it. (I had used it for multiple spray paint projects). Normally, you will just want to sand down the surface lightly before applying paint. As always, I used my mouse sander.
- Before you start painting, nail a picture hanger to the back of your plywood in the center. I accidentally bent part of the hanger while hammering it. But in my defense, I had a 12-week old puppy trying to help me out. How can I possibly focus on anything with this cute face around?!?
- Apply a thick coat of white paint and let it dry overnight. You’ll notice that you might not have full coverage after just one coat leaving some streaky places, but I kind of liked this as it gave it a rustic, farmhouse feel.
- Cut your frame pieces to the correct size. Remember to always measure twice and cut once! I used a hand saw but you could have your home improvement store do this as well.
- Use a cheap brush to stain your frame pieces. Just brush on a light coat. When I was sure I was done with staining, I just threw my brush away. This way you don’t have to deal with the hassle of cleaning the brush with mineral spirits. Let the stain dry overnight.
- While the paint and stain dry completely, you can work on the layout of the verse or quote. I used a free program called Photoscape X that you can download HERE. Just click on Windows or Mac and then click “Get the App.” Next, it will take you to a screen where you have the option for the Free Trial, which is all you need. (The Photoscape Free Trial lasts forever).
- To save you a step, download the blank template HERE or if you want the exact same verse and layout, you are welcome to my template HERE.
- Upload the blank template into Photoscape by clicking “Editor” at the top left and by opening the file on the left-hand side.
- Click Edit at the top right and Resize just under it. (Be sure to measure your sign. Although you might have bought a 2’ x 4’ board, wood shrinks after being dried and treated.)
- Resize your sign template by clicking the Inches option and entering the size of your sign in inches. Click “Apply”.
- Now start working on your layout by selecting “Insert” at the top right and then “Text” to the right of that. Insert your wording with any fonts already on your computer and expand text boxes easily to get them the size you prefer. Click “Apply” when done and click Save at the bottom right.
- Convert your jpg file to a pdf for free by going to zamzar.com. (It has to be a pdf file to open it in Adobe Reader, which allows you to print the poster format). Just upload your file and select that you want a pdf and it will email you the new file. Easy Peasy!
- Go to Adobe Acrobat Reader(This is the last program, I promise!) and open the pdf version of your sign. (Download Acrobat HERE if you don’t already have it.) Click on the print menu and click on Poster under Page Sizing and Handling and it will set up your sign to print separate pages. You also want to select the option for “Cut Marks”. Now, you can print!
- Once they are printed, now cut the TOP and RIGHT sides of each piece of paper along the marks with scissors or a paper cutter.
- Now tape each piece together, lining up the little cross-shaped cut marks.
- Shade over the back of the wording with a sharpened pencil like so.
- Flip your template right-side-up and position it where you want it on the plywood. Now tape the edges with scotch tape to keep it in place.
- Take a ballpoint pin or pencil and trace over your wording. This will transfer the lead from the paper to your sign, giving you something to fill in.
- Now, take your Sharpie paint pen and start filling in the lettering. Tracing the letters and filling in the letters took me a little over an hour – so half of a Hallmark movie or 1/3 of The Bachelorette finale depending on how you look at it.
- Phew!!! Now that you are done with all that lettering, give yourself a pat on the back, a gold star or better yet, a pint of Blue Bell! Hey, why not all three!?!
Finishing Touches for your Easy DIY Farmhouse Sign
- Last but not least, it is time for the frame. Since the frame doesn’t serve to provide any support, I just used liquid nails to glue each piece on the edge. My sign was not completely square so I was able to fix that by ensuring my frame pieces were squared up. No one will know the difference!
- I used some of the white paint and a small brush to touch up some major mess-ups – and there were several!
The beauty of farm-house style is that it embraces imperfection. As I was filling in my lettering with the paint pen, I was really unsure of how my letters would turn out, but when I stepped back, I was impressed with how it all came together. This was the best part of the whole project!
You’ll notice my framed Blueprint that I shared about in my post The Blessing of No : Why God Never Laughs At Our Friends. I love surrounding myself with reminders of how God has been faithful to me. Also, my quiet time space would not be complete without my metal bucket of everything I need for my devotional time. My friend Lillian at Embracing the Lovely shared this idea in her post How To Make A Devotional Basket for Your Quiet Time and I had to make my own!
Another great thing aspect of this process is that it is so cheap! You are bound to have of the items in the supply list already on hand. The only thing I didn’t have was the wood trim and the paint pens, bringing my cost for this project to $15.12!
Matthew 11:28-29 is actually my grandmother’s favorite verse. She was the spiritual matriarch of our family. As a young girl, she spent her time harvesting cotton from her family’s farm. Picking cotton until her hands bled, she knew the importance of work but also about the necessity of rest. I’d love for you to check back next week as I talk more about this verse and our God-given responsibility to rest!
How do you think it turned out? What verse or quote would you love to have on a painted sign?
To save your Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign for later, pin it here:
Be sure to follow the fun here!