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Easy DIY Farmhouse Sign {No Special Equipment Needed}


When it comes to DIY tutorials, I like very specific, easy-to-follow instructions.  Any directions that tell me to “be creative” or “just freehand…” give me an instant stomach ache.  This step-by-step process of creating your own easy DIY farmhouse sign allows you to personalize your own wall art without any special equipment, so it looks like it was free-handed by a professional.  

How to Make Farmhouse Style Signs, No Special Equipment Required

Many tutorials on how to make framed farmhouse signs include using a Cricut or Silhouette machine.  However, with this tutorial, you can make your own farmhouse sign without special equipment or the added cost of vinyl.

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.

Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign

I realized the “runway” was the perfect size for a farmhouse-style sign over the daybed in my office.  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 may be used at no extra cost to you.  See my full disclosure here.)

  • 2’x4’ piece of plywood (1/2” depth) – like you see HERE.
  • Sander (optional) – Check out my guide on how to use a sander and sander buying guide.
  • Sanding Pads (optional)
  • Hand saw (optional)
  • Brushes – I love this set!
  • White Paint – I used Sherwin Williams in Pure White but any white paint will do.
  • Small Craft Brush for touch-ups
  • 1” wide trim for the frame – I used 12’ of trim.
  • Stain for Trim – I used Minwax Provincial because I had it on hand.
  • Sharpie Paint Pens – these worked really well because I could use the different sized tips.
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Liquid Nails 
  • Picture Hanger
  • Scotch tape
  • Paper Cutter or scissors

DIY Framed Farmhouse Sign – Painting and Staining

Step 1: Prep the Wood

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 and I show you how to use one in this post.Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign

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?!?  

This is how he looks all grown up as you can see in my post on how to make DIY Windmill Wall Art!

Anyway…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.

STEP 2: DIY Farmhouse Sign Frame

Cut your frame pieces to the correct size. Remember to always measure twice and cut once!  I used my jigsaw (The Easy Way to Use a Jig Saw) but you could have your home improvement store cut it as well.

Just brush on a light coat of stain.  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.

Step 3: Make Your Farmhouse Sign Stencil – Template Setup

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 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.)
Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
  • Resize your sign template by clicking the Inches option and entering the size of your sign in inches.  Click “Apply”.
Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
Easy, DIY Farmhouse Sign
  • 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.

Easy, DIY Farmhouse SignEasy, DIY Farmhouse Sign

  • 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 it!

  • Once they are printed, now cut the TOP and RIGHT sides of each piece of paper along with the marks with scissors or a paper cutter.
  • Now tape each piece together, lining up the little cross-shaped cut marks.

This image transfer technique is so versatile and I use it in this post also:  How to Make A Scroll Sign

Step 4: How to Paint Farmhouse Signs, the Easy Way

Shade over the back of the wording with a sharpened pencil like so.

How to Make DIY Farmhouse Painted Sign - No Equipment Required!  Many tutorials will require you to have a Cricut or Silhouette but this tutorial gives you a professional look of a free-handed sign that is super easy to make! Use your own quote or use my free verse printable and add a rustic frame for this wood sign to give your home some Fixer Upper charm.  No stencil required and use any font you'd like!  #farmhouse #fixerupper #handpainted #diysign #wallart #rustic #tutorials #farmhousesign #paintedsign

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.  This is a much easier alternative to a farmhouse sign stencil.
  • 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!?!

Step 5: 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!

How to Make DIY Farmhouse Painted Sign - No Equipment Required!  Many tutorials will require you to have a Cricut or Silhouette but this tutorial gives you a professional look of a free-handed sign that is super easy to make! Use your own quote or use my free verse printable and add a rustic frame for this wood sign to give your home some Fixer Upper charm.  No stencil required and use any font you'd like!  #farmhouse #fixerupper #handpainted #diysign #wallart #rustic #tutorials #farmhousesign #paintedsign

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 farmhouse 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!

Another great thing aspect of this process is that it is so cheap!  You are bound to have some 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!

How to Make DIY Farmhouse Painted Sign - No Equipment Required!  Many tutorials will require you to have a Cricut or Silhouette but this tutorial gives you a professional look of a free-handed sign that is super easy to make! Use your own quote or use my free verse printable and add a rustic frame for this wood sign to give your home some Fixer Upper charm.  No stencil required and use any font you'd like!  #farmhouse #fixerupper #handpainted #diysign #wallart #rustic #tutorials #farmhousesign #paintedsign

Notice those letters are far from perfect but it only adds to the farmhouse vibe of my sign.

home office ideas for women

You can see that I have moved this sign around quite a bit.  It is currently in my home office.  Click here to see the full home office reveal and Home Office Ideas for Women.

I like to move things around every so often so it now hanging in our living room! You can see more pics in my post about the coastal blue dresser makeover.

diy wooden sign

You can see the before and after of my coastal blue dresser makeover here and how I did the DIY driftwood finish here.

If you like DIY painted signs, you can get the same look by using my free printables.  I also give you a couple of tricks to show you how to make them look like they are hand-painted!

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 read more in my post Why You Struggle to Rest and What to Do About It to share why I picked this verse for my DIY Farmhouse Sign!

I use the same process to make this Christmas sign using the same process.  You can download the template and also an SVG file here:  DIY Letter to Santa Sign

Related Posts:

DIY Letter to Santa Sign

How To Make Printables Look Like Painted Signs (Free Scripture Wall Art!)

How To Build a Farmhouse Table (Beginner’s Guide)

Best Furniture Reveals from Renovated Faith!

Why I Don’t Use Chalk Paint on Furniture

My Better Alternative to Chalk Paint

DIY Fingerprint Wreath Wall Art

How to Sand Furniture in Less Than 5 Minutes

Milk Paint vs. Chalk Paint vs. Latex

DIY Letter to Santa Sign, part of Easy Front Porch Christmas Decor on a Budget

How do you think it turned out?  What verse or quote would you love to have on a painted sign?

To save for later, pin it here.  Be sure to comment on the pin to let me know how it turned out!

Did you like this post? Be sure to share it with others. Have a wonderful week!



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  1. Larry J Tucker says:

    I can’t get my text to show up on Photoscape X, I followed your instructions but can see text, I must of missed something can you help.

  2. Hello, I tried to upload the blank template using Photoscape but it says the file is in the trash by owner?
    Not sure how to access it? Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know. It should be restored now! Thanks Bethann! – Karin

  3. First of all I love your sign, that’s how I did in the past making my salon signs. The only thing that broke my heart was that you used a piece of wood that your husbands father made a landing strip on 😨 hopefully you used the side not showing the landing strip.

    I am probably much older than you but I’ve come to know those things our fathers did for us are priceless to us and while they live they to enjoy seeing you still loving what they did.
    I probably would have glued a plane to the runway and used a scripture relating to one of these > fathers, love, respect, joy, etc.

    That’s just me though. You still made a great sign and I totally am enjoying your blog ❤️

    1. Shirley, OH yes! I absolutely used the other side! One of the reasons I used it was to keep such a precious memory intact. I figure it’s in better maintained on the back of my sign hanging in the office than in our humid garage where it was previously. Thank you so much for reading the post and I hope you have a fabulous day! Karin

      1. ❤️❤️😍❤️❤️great! I love your blog and creations and free gifts 😁

  4. Could you tell me how to find new fonts to use in the PhotoScape X program? My computer does not have anything that is pretty to use on other signs, unfortunately 🙁

    1. Hey Tasha, Great question. Just add fonts like you normally would to Word and they will automatically pop up in Photoscape like they normally would under the font selection. Hope this helps!

  5. Hello.This post was extremely motivating, especially because I was browsing for thoughts on this subject last Thursday. cdkddkkkccefkegd

    1. So glad to hear that! That is the purpose of this blog. My hope and prayer is that women will stumble upon the blog for DIY help and come away encouragement in their faith. Thank you for stopping by!

  6. I’m loved this step by step and it makes it super easy with all the pointers you give on where to get stuff! I can’t wait to try it out myself!!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Sonya! That was certainly my intent. Thank you for stopping by!