Quick and Simple Farmhouse Sign Tutorial
I have promised and promised to spill the details on my farmhouse signs– sorry to build it up so much, it’s not THAT special. These signs are relatively easy to make and look fantastic on your wall.
Although I sell these signs on my Etsy shop, I really want to strive to be as transparent as possible for all of you. I know that these signs are extremely popular but they can be pricey when purchasing. This is why I decided to make a small DIY tutorial for you in case you’d rather make your own than buy. However, if you would like to buy a farmhouse sign you can find them HERE.
So with that, let’s start making your very own farmhouse sign!
Materials Needed: (the only thing I won’t include is sizes)
- Piece of thinner wood — for main part of sign, can be any size
- long piece of wood for frame — the color of wood you choose will effect your stain
- wood stain for frame
- Solid chalk paint color for background — I recommend either antique white chalk paint or black chalk paint (I use black).
- Chalk paint for lettering
- Assorted Acrylic Paint Set for flowers and accents
- Sand paper — I use fine grit for paint details and a coarse grit for sanding the wood.
- Wood nails, screws, or wood glue — I use screws because they guarantee the extra hold for crazy shipping.
- Optional: Matte finishing spray and chalk wax sealer
- I used a hand saw to cut the long piece of wood for the frame.
- Table saw for center wood piece (or have a worker it cut it at Home Depot. It will cost you a couple of dollars after two cuts).
- Hammer for wood nails, drill for wood screws, or clamps for wood glue.
- wood – around $15
- chalk paint (depending on how much you get) – for two colors it will be around $16 – $20
- Acrylic paint – $8
- Stain (small can) – $3-$5
- Wood screws – $7
- Sand paper – $5
So, not including the optional categories you’ll spend around $60 to make a farmhouse sign from scratch. This is a very rough guess (I tend to guess higher that way there are no surprises).
Because I sell these signs on Etsy I do like to make sure they are in great shape SO I do add chalk paint wax sealer and a matte finishing spray. You could also buy a sealer for the wood stain but I haven’t had a need for it yet.
Do you have all the supplies? Great! Let’s start making signs!
Step 1: Cut
The first thing to do is to cut your wood. I like my main piece of wood to be around 3 feet long and 2 feet high although you can do any size you would like! Once you have a main piece of wood the next thing to do is measure and cut the frame around it.
For the frame you can choose to have the corners meet at a diagonal or flesh to each other. In the picture you’ll notice I chose to make the corners plain and simple rather than a diagonal meet.
Step 2: Sand and stain
Sand all the wood with a rough grit sand paper.
Once you’re done sanding you’ll need to stain the frame. I chose a dark stain but you can do whatever your heart desires! In this step I will also paint the main piece of wood with a white primer so that the wood doesn’t suck the life out of the color I add on top. After the primer I will add the base coat chalk paint color (usually a charcoal black).
Step 3: Attach the frame
You can attach the wood frame however it works best for you. For myself, I found that the wood nails were not sturdy enough for my liking and I didn’t want to purchase clamps for wood glue. This resulted in using wood screws. I don’t mind having the nail/screw heads showing anyways, it adds to the rustic charm.
Simple as pie, right? WRONG! Pie can be so hard to make (especially the crust). Attaching the frame may take you a couple tries, don’t give up!
Step 4: Add lettering
I’m sorry ladies– don’t hate me– but I hand letter everything. It just works so much easier for me! It’s quicker and I can eyeball the word placement more correctly.
I know that there is a way to trace words onto wood via transfer paper but I have never done it. You can also print the words out on printer paper and trace over it on the wood with a pencil. This pencil technique will create a small indent where in the wood but fair warning it takes a lot of wrist/arm strength!
Of course you can use a letter cutting machine if you have one!
If you would like to learn more about my hand lettering process, check out my chalk lettering tutorial.
Or, if you need a 101 on chalk paint. Check out my free course HERE!
After you have the outline of your letters, it will be time to paint them. I like to use chalk paint so that I can sand the words when finished to make a more rustic look but you can use acrylic paint instead.
I use my Simply Simmons Watercolor & Acrylic Brush (Size: 4) paint brush for almost everything I do! I love this paint brush and the straight lines I can create with it. The size is a little big for fine details but it fits my hand so well that I can easily navigate the pressure I need. But hey, it’s cheap and it works.
You won’t find me without this paint brush.
Step 5: Embellishments
Of course you know that I absolutely adore flowers which is why I add them in all my paintings. I always tell my husband that if I weren’t so afraid of spiders (and all bugs) that I would be a farmer florist because then I would die a million happy deaths! However, because I am afraid of spiders I have resorted to only painting flowers.
If you would like to receive a free flower doodling tutorial, check out my course 5 Lessons to Discovering a More Creative YOU. In lesson #3 (I believe) I show you the steps to creating a beautifully drawn flower.
You could also add a decorative animal skull (seems to be popular right now) or arrows to spice up your sign.
Step 6: Seal
This is when I sand the letters to add a rustic charm and rub a little wax sealer over the chalk paint. After I have added the wax I will usually add a very thin layer of my matte finishing spray to seal the acrylic paint as well!
And you’re done!
The process does take a while and wood can be pricey which is why these signs are not usually a budget friendly ordeal but aren’t they beautiful?
Take a picture of your finished farmhouse sign and share below! I would love to see it.
What is your favorite way to make a farmhouse sign?