How to make outdoor wood signs

Written by g.k. bayne
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How to make outdoor wood signs
Grab market share with a sign on your business. (TiggyMorse/iStock/Getty Images)

Making an outdoor wooden sign does not have to be a task that is difficult to accomplish. While elaborate signs may have raised or carved letters, you can make your own outdoor wooden sign a work of art with a bit of paint and a few stencils. It should take no more than an afternoon to complete, and after the sign has dried, it will be ready to hang.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Lettering stencils
  • Carbon paper
  • A wooden board
  • Tape
  • Artist's paintbrushes
  • Exterior house paint

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  1. 1

    Lay out the design you want to create on a piece of paper with a pencil and the lettering stencils. By doing this, you will be able to determine where to place the lettering for the best effect. A 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 inch) board is a great size for your first wooden sign.

  2. 2

    Lay a sheet of carbon paper on the wooden board.

  3. 3

    Lay the piece of paper with your design on top of the carbon paper.

  4. 4

    Center the paper and carbon paper on the board. Tape the corners to hold it in place.

  5. 5

    Use the pencil to trace the outline of each letter and any artwork from the paper to the wood.

  6. 6

    Remove the paper and carbon paper. Your design should be transferred onto the wood.

  7. 7

    Use artist's paintbrushes to fill in each letter with exterior house paint. The colours you use are your choice; you may want them to match your home or you may choose brighter colours to make the sign more attractive.

  8. 8

    Allow the pain to dry overnight or until no longer sticky to the touch, and hang your completed sign in an area where it can be enjoyed.

Tips and warnings

  • For larger signs, multiple boards can be joined using wood biscuits or wooden dowels. If you don't have a wood shop, you can often have this done at a local timber merchants for a few pounds.
  • To hang your sign permanently, drill two holes into the sign at the top and bottom and attach the sign to a post or pole with screws.
  • You can also design the layout for your wooden sign on your computer. Open your word processing programme and choose the font and size of letter you want. Type the information you want on your sign and then print the document. Trace the outside edges of the letters and artwork onto the board.

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