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How to Make a Sign: 3 Easy Methods


Maybe it is because of apps like Pinterest and Instagram. Or, it might have something to do with HGTV's climbing to the 5th most popular television station on cable. Whatever it is, the fact of the matter is: Do It Yourself (DIY) projects have made a comeback.

The DIY industry has grown so much since the 2008 Recession. In fact, it is on its way to being a multi-billion dollar industry.

There are so many projects you can make at home these days, and the complexity of the project is up to you.

If you are looking for some easier methods, scroll down to learn about three easy methods on how to make a sign.

1. How to Make a Sign 101: A Chalkboard Sign

Whether it is in people's rustic homes or at their wedding, chalkboard signs are in right now.

And lucky for you, they are super easy to make. The first thing you want to do is gather the supplies you will need:

  • Chalkboard paint

  • 1/4 inch birchwood plywood (18 x 24)

  • Paintbrush

  • Chalk marker

  • Pencils

  • Access to a computer and printer to print out the font

Once you gather your supplies, you are on your way!

The first thing you need to do when making a sign is to paint the board once, wait an hour, and then paint another coat.

While you are waiting, go on your computer and choose what font you want for your sign. And, of course, select what you want it to say. If you don't have a versatile printer at home, it is OK. Stores like Staples can help you create a sign by printing the words out for you.

The next step is to season your chalkboard. All this means is to cover the surface of your chalkboard with chalk completely.

Erase the board. It is now ready to go!

Take your printed message and cover the whole back of the paper with chalk. Place it on your new chalkboard and trace all the letters and symbols with a hard hand.

When you peel your paper off, you will see a tracing of all the letters you drew over. Now, take your chalk paint and fill them in! Congratulations, you are making signs!

2. Making Antique Wooden Signs

While you can have a beautiful sign made for your home or business, sometimes it can be fun to do it on your own. If you want to make an antique wooden sign, you will need the following supplies:

  • A piece of wood (at least 2'x3')

  • Basecoat

  • Top coat

  • Various paint colors

  • Electric sander

  • Large and small paintbrushes

  • Tape

  • Ballpoint pen

  • Minwax

  • Computer

  • Printer

The first thing you will want to do is sand the whole piece of wood. This method makes it easier to paint and smoother on your hands. Then, with a brush, follow the grain of the wood and paint it with the base coat.

Once the base coat is dry, you can add the top coat to the wood. While your top coat is drying, you should go on your computer. Print out the stencil of what you want your sign to say or have a symbol of. If this is your first time, try to do something simple.

Tape down the paper, and trace your design. Make sure to press hard with the pen, so it shows up on the wood. After the tracing is on the wood, it is now time to paint in your stencil.

Sand the board one more time. Then you will want to wax it. Once the wax dries, you have yourself a nice new sign!

3. Creating Vinyl Signs

Unless you own a printing shop, vinyl signs are 80% DIY and 20% getting them printed out at a store.

The first thing you need to do with vinyl signs is decide how large you want it to be. Once you make this decision, open a word processor on landscape format.

Look at your font options. Play with a few of them. Remember, with vinyl signs, something easy to read is ideal. You will also want to use a color palette that has a lot of contrast without being hard to look at.

Start with what you want your message to say, and go from there. It is much easier to add graphics to words than doing it in reverse.

Once you are happy with how everything looks, make sure to double check it for spelling or grammar errors. Then, save it to a USB flash drive.

You have done your part. Drive the USB to the printing store, and they will take care of the rest.

Signs Say Something

These signs could be for your business, a special occasion, or as a decoration in your home. But taking these small steps can make it go from DIY to, "Where did you buy this?"

The joy of DIY projects is sometimes you do not always get it right on the first try. And that is OK. The more you practice how to make a sign and other crafts, the better you will be.

Want a beautiful handmade sign, and you do not have the time to make one yourself? Please feel free to contact us!

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