Wood sign making is a versatile craft and assorted projects are easy to customize for any age or skill level. Children can use wooden shapes already cut to create easy signs and master woodworkers can use burning and carving tools to create elegant signs. Wood signs are popular for their durability and quality, as well as their many uses. An expertly crafted wood sign can last for centuries if displayed indoors.
Burned Business Sign
Wood burning is the process of burning shapes into wood using a rod with a hot metal tip. The heated rod creates intricate details by controlling the burn, unlike an open flame, which would simply scorch the entire sign. Wood-burned signs usually appear rustic and old-fashioned. However, highly skilled artisans can use wood burning to create a variety of styles from abstract to Victorian.
1. Use a large, rough, oval piece of thick wood to create a rustic business sign.
2. Carve a 1-inch-deep oval area into the middle of the sign, leaving a 2-inch-wide wood frame around the edges.
3. Burn the business name in large, plain letters across the middle of the carved area.
4. Cover the carved area with a pale honey stain, leaving the letters black, and cover the frame area with dark honey stain.
5. When dry, cover the dry sign with clear, waterproof varnish.
Decorative Kitchen Sign
Wood signs are as popular for decorating as they are for displaying information. Add some old-fashioned charm to your kitchen with a homemade farmhouse-style sign.
1. Start with a thin, smooth, 1-square-foot wooden plank.
2. Carve wavy edges around the sign and paint a golden sunflower in each corner.
3. Paint the phrase, "Mama's Kitchen" in yellow letters with black outline across the middle of the sign.
4. Paint a thin strip of blue-and-white checkered ribbon 1/2 inch inward from the wavy edge to connect each sunflower.
5. Let the paint dry and cover the sign with a clear glossy varnish.
6. Add a loop of spiral-curled wire to the top of the sign and secure the loop to a peg or nail to hang.
Painted Welcome Sign
Adults of kids can create a simple "Welcome" sign. The project requires only a wood plank and some acrylic paint.
1. Start with a thin, 2-foot-wide wood plank in a square, rectangle, circle or oval shape.
2. Sand the edges of the plank smooth to prevent splinters.
3. Trace the word "Welcome" across the middle of the sign.
4. Trace decorative flower and leaf shapes around the edges of the sign.
5. Paint the lettering with light aqua blue paint. Fill the flowers with assorted colors and the leaves with green paint. Leave the remaining wood plain.
6. When the paint is dry, cover the sign with a thick, clear, waterproof varnish.
Raised Address Sign
Forget the boring painted or metal numbers commonly used to display a house address and hang a decorative wooden address sign instead.
1. Use a thin, rectangular, wood plank about a foot long for the sign base.
2. Sand the wood and cover it with cream paint.
3. Use wooden numbers already cut or custom-cut to create a raised address.
4. Paint each number a different bright color, such as emerald green and ruby red.
5. Glue the numbers to the sign and cover the piece with a clear waterproof varnish.