How to Make Rustic Signs


Signs can be an important advertising element for any business. Signs can also welcome visitors to your home. Rustic, old-fashioned signs can be particularly appealing and offer a warm welcome to visitors. Designing and building a rustic sign doesn't have to be difficult, even for someone who isn't artistically inclined. By choosing the right wood and applying a little paint, you can create signs with a rustic feel that will lend an air of country warmth and charm.

Step 1

Find a piece of wood to use for your sign. The older and more worn-looking the wood is, the more rustic it will appear. If you can find a good piece of tree wood with a wide enough surface for your message, it will be the perfect base for an aged, homemade sign. Cedar is an excellent wood choice. If you use newer wood, you'll need to stain it to give it an older, more worn appearance.

Step 2

Use a wood-burning pen to inscribe your sign. Doing the lettering with a wood-burning pen adds a rustic touch to your sign. You can also use a wood-burning pen to add decorative engraved elements to your sign. Country motifs such as farm scenes or home-sweet-home elements are best for rustic sign-making. Remember, don't overdo it. Keep the designs simple. Rustic signs tend to be uncluttered.

Step 3

Paint your sign using warm, natural colors. Avoid bright neon and hot colors. Dark brown, tan, green and other earth tones are ideal. Don't over-paint. Let the wood show through, which will help give a more rustic, aged look to your sign. You may even want to go with a simple stain rather than paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wood-burning pen


  • Country Craft Sign Ideas
  • Wood Burning Tips
Keywords: rustic country charm signs, old-fashioned signs, aged homemade signs

About this Author

Carl Hose has been writing since high school. His work appears in the zombie anthology Cold Storage, which he co-edited. His work also appears in Champagne Shivers, DeathGrip: It Came from the Cinema, DeathGrip: Exit Laughing, the horror anthology Loving the Undead, the erotic ghost anthology Beyond Desire, and issues of Lighthouse Digest. Hose's nonfiction appears in Blue Review and Writer's Journal.

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