How to Make a Custom Wood Sign


A custom wood sign is rustic, but classy at the same time. It may be used for a sign in a child's room, a name sign for your yard or business or a directional sign for your neighborhood. All it takes to create a custom wood sign is some wood, a pattern, a router and a few other supplies. It's simple to make a professional-appearing custom wood sign, but it also takes some patience and time, as the steps don't occur overnight.

Step 1

Decide the size of the sign you want. If it's for a sign indoors, the length shouldn't be more than 12 to 24 inches. If you want a sign for an outdoor name post, it could range from 3 to 6 feet. Its width should look appropriate for its length.

Step 2

Find a piece of wood that has a starting size larger than you need. A quick walk through the woods should give you many options. Your tree in your back yard may offer just the right size of limb to make your sign. If not, go to the local home improvement or craft store. The store will have several decorative and plain pieces from which to choose. Saw the wood down to the size you need. If the wood or limb has an interesting bend, it's sometimes nice to incorporate this into your design.

Step 3

Determine what you want on your sign. Most people prefer it to say their name or a loved one's name. You may, however, want a design on your sign. This could be a club design or the logo of your favorite sports team.

Step 4

Create an appropriate-sized pattern on paper. Sand your wood piece until it is smooth. Using carbon paper, transfer your pattern to the wood.

Step 5

Route the design into your wood. You may need to take several breaks, depending on the size of sign. The vibration of the router is rough on your arms and hands. Wear a mask and goggles when doing this, as there is much loose sawdust.

Step 6

Paint in the letters with the black spray paint. You can use any other color than black, but black tends to show up the best. Wipe the surface of the sign to get rid of as much paint as possible. After the paint dries, sand the surface of the sign down to get rid of the remaining paint.

Step 7

Varnish the surface of the sign. Allow the sign to dry, and follow with at least two more coats of varnish.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always operate power tools carefully and with the proper safety equipment.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Router
  • Carbon paper
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Black spray paint
  • Mask and goggles
  • Varnish
  • Foam brush

Who Can Help

  • Tips on How to Make a Custom Wood Sign
Keywords: custom, wood, sign

About this Author

Vicki Pritchett, writing and editing professionally since 1996, is published online in a variety of places including eHow,, LIVESTRONG.COM and Pritchett has a Bachelor of Science in socio-poltical communication from Missouri State University and became certified as a leadership facilitator from the Kansas Leadership Center in 2010.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Make a Custom Wood Sign