There’s something about wood that feels warm and welcoming. For that reason it’s a great material to work with to create warm, inviting, and beautiful elements for your wedding. I may have gotten carried away with incorporating wooden signs into the details for last month’s styled shoot (check out the inspiration board here) at the Brant Beach Yacht Club on LBI. Nahhh… I didn’t. It was so much fun to work with wood to create these beautiful calligraphic signs to be used as part of the shoot. And, I have no doubt they will be used again!!! Just imagine the large sign with a beautiful garland of eucalyptus, hydrangea, roses, and anemones! They looked gorgeous! Wait until you see the photographs from Idalia Photography!!! OMG. So pretty!
The theme of the shoot: “All you need is Love.”
Which is soooooo true. But a little sunset, a little moonshine, and a little cake never hurt anyone.
I can’t wait to show you how we used these in the shoot, but it’s going to have to wait until after it gets published! Hopefully we can announce it soon! In the meantime, you will all have to settle for my instructions below, and make your own.
How to Make Your Own Wooden Welcome Sign:
- Cost $40 in materials (compared to $100s–seriously– on Etsy)
- Plus tools (The tools are expensive, so if you don’t have them, try to borrow them)
I made one 30 x 24″ sign and a bunch of smaller signs with the materials I purchased. To give you an idea, I looked at a few Etsy listings where signs of this size were priced around $85, and that’s without paying for shipping. So you can save your self a pretty penny by getting a little down and dirty with the tools!
Here’s what you need:
- Two 6 ft. x 1 inch x 8 inch piece of select pine. They actually measure 7 inches, but the sticker said 8–I should get my money back, right!?! I got these at Home Depot. You can probably shop around for cheaper wood, or one large piece of wood, but I like the wood “panel” look that this sign ended up having.
- One 6 ft. x 1 inch x 2 inch piece of pine. This was used to brace the back and hold all three pieces together. You can see how i used it in the picture below of the finished sign’s back.
- 1-1/2 inch wood screws. Used to attach all three pieces of wood together. You will need at least 12. The above photo shows how I screwed the 1×2 inch piece of pine to the back of the larger pieces to hold it all together. I found that one screw per board was not enough. So use two for each board; 12 total.
- Metal ruler
- plastic gloves
- A foam paintbrush
- Wood stain in your chosen color (I used Minwax in the color Mahogany)
- Sharpie paint pens (I used a fine point size; ultra fine point is too skinny)
- A power jig saw
- One large rag (to work on; I used an old beach towel)
- One small rag (to wipe off stain; I used an old sock)
- An electric sander
Here’s what you do:
- Build you sign: Cut the wood to the size and shape you want, and attach the pieces together.
- Sand the edges. No one likes a splinter. Wear a face mask and eye protection. No one likes a bride in an eye patch.
- Stain the wood and let it dry over night. Follow the instructions on your stain. I used plastic gloves to protect my skin form staining. I used a foam brush, brushed the stain on, and then wiped it off. You can do additional coats, depending on how dark you want the stain to be. Since my stain was pretty dark after one coat, that’s all I used.
- Layout your design in pencil. You can erase mistakes (happy accidents) or even use a stencil. I did these boards free hand, after looking at tons of references. I also printed out my letters and had them in front of me while I worked. If this is beyond your ability, you can have someone else help you, or trace your design with tracing paper, a stencil, or use a projector.
- Color in your letters with the sharpie paint pen. It took two coats, because my stain was so darn. You will find that the first coat absorbs into the wood.
That’s it. If a huge welcome sign seems overwhelming, start with something small. I did these small table number signs with little wooden plaques I got at the craft shop for $1.49 each. (You can see the difference between two coats of sharpie–in the top “Twelve”–compared to one coat in the “12.”)