How to Make Small Decorative Signs

Written by drea christopher
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How to Make Small Decorative Signs
. (TOMOHIRO IWANAGA/amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images)

Whether you want to create a sign to welcome guests to your home, list rules in a classroom or adorn a kitchen or bathroom wall, make your own with craft supplies like a wooden plaque, acrylic paint and rub-on transfers. Personalised signs allow you to choose the theme, colours and embellishments to suit the nature of the sign and coordinate with the room decor where you plan to hang them. Design handmade signs as gifts for teachers, neighbours, friends and family members who will appreciate a decorative wall hanging.

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Unfinished wooden plaque
  • Newspapers or plastic sheet
  • Paintbrush or foam applicator
  • Acrylic paint
  • Fine-gauge sandpaper
  • Alphabet stickers, vinyl lettering or stamps and paint or ink
  • Rub-on transfers, rubber stamps or paint
  • Matt or glossy découpage glaze

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  1. 1

    Measure the space where you want to hang the sign with a tape measure to ensure you buy an unfinished wooden plaque in the correct size.

  2. 2

    Prepare your work space by covering a table with newspaper or a plastic sheet to protect it from paint spills and remnants from stickers or rub-on transfers.

  3. 3

    Use a paintbrush or foam applicator to apply two coats of acrylic paint to the plaque, allowing the first coat to dry before adding the second. Give the sign a shabby chic look by rubbing fine-gauge sandpaper along the edges and random spots on the surface to allow the original wood to show through.

  4. 4

    Add text to the sign using alphabet stickers, vinyl lettering, foam letter stamps and paint or rubber stamps and ink. Compare the size of the letters and how many letters you'll need to complete the message with the height and length of the sign to determine where to start the lettering to centre it on the plaque.

  5. 5

    Embellish the decorative sign by filling the empty spaces with rub-on transfers that match the theme of the sign, such as apple or pencil images for a teacher's room plaque. You can also create a border with rubber-stamped flourishes or a hand-painted design.

  6. 6

    Leave the sign "as is" when the design is complete or coat the wood with a layer of matt or glossy découpage glaze or sealer to prevent scratches.

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