How to Create the Perfect Rustic Wood Sign | Vintage, Paint and more...

Monday, December 11, 2017

How to Create the Perfect Rustic Wood Sign

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What a difference a couple of days can make - Monday we were having beautiful warm, sunny, 70* weather and today it's raining and absolutely freezing - the temp was 32* this morning.  No wonder our family has the sniffles.  And, I saw snow is falling in some of our most southern states - so crazy. But, at least it looks and feels like Christmas now.
Also, on Monday I shared our Rustic Christmas Mantel with you and promised I would give you the tutorial on how to create the rustic wood BELIEVE sign that is sitting on it.  This is a fairly easy project that can be done in one afternoon as long as you plan ahead for the drying of paint.

Vintage Paint and more... Rustic Christmase mantel featuring a buffalo plaid deer head in a yarn wreath, a yarn snowball garland and a rustic wood believe sign

I love how this sign adds so much personality to our rustic mantel. And, how it looks with that cute little yarn snowball garland draped over it.  So, let's get on with the tutorial so you can make your own. 

How to Create the Perfect Rustic Wood Sign

Materials you will need:

I used scrap pieces of 2x4 that were leftover from some other projects my son had done.  I had him cut the pieces to fit the letters for the word believe but you can use any word you like.  He cut mine like this:
  • B - 7inches
  • E - 5 inches
  • L - 9 inches
  • I - 5 inches
  • E - 5 inches
  • V - 6 inches
  • E - 5 inches

Vintage Paint and more... a rustic wood sign using scraps of 2x4's and stenciling believe on them

So, you will need 4 pieces 5 inches long, 1 piece 6 inches long, 1 piece 7 inches long and 1 piece 9 inches long.  I made them so the letters would have an undulating top instead of a straight line.  Miss A painted all of our pieces with a deep red craft paint we had - you can use the color of your choice.  I chose the red to go with the red and black buffalo plaid fabric I have fallen in love with this year and am using a lot of in our Christmas decor.

Vintage Paint and more... using a free hand written pattern to trace onto wood blocks for a rustic wood sign

After they dried I outlined each block on a piece of white paper and traced around them.  Then I free handed my word - you can use a stencil or print-out for yours.  I tried to make sure each letter was connected as though it was handwritten on the blocks - see #1 above.  Then when the sign is standing up it will look like one cohesive word. I also numbered each block at the bottom (see #2 above) so I would know what sequence they went in.  

Vintage Paint and more... using chalk and plain white paper to make a rustic wood sign

Next, I covered the back of each piece of paper with chalk.  This is done by merely rubbing the side of a stick of chalk over the back and covering it with the chalk residue.  This now becomes your tracing paper.

Vintage Paint and more... using a pattern to trace a letter on a scrap of painted wood 2x4 to make a rustic wood sign

Tape each piece of paper to the corresponding block it belongs to with the chalk side down.  Then simply trace over each letter with your ink pen.  This will transfer the chalk residue onto the block making a perfect pattern for you to follow to paint.

Vintage Paint and more... chalk tracing on a painted piece of wood to make a rustic wood sign

This is what the block will look like after you are done tracing the letter and the paper is removed.  See how the chalk transfers to the block leaving a perfect pattern for you to paint?

Vintage Paint and more... painting the chalked pattern letter on a piece of wood to create a rustic wood sign

Now simply paint in the lines of your pattern with the paint you have chosen to use.  I used black chalk paint - continuing with the theme of the buffalo plaid.  Any chalk residue on the block will come off easily by wiping it with a wet rag after your paint has dried.

Vintage Paint and more... a rustic wood sign with the word believe diy'd using scraps of 2x4's and painting letters on each piece

This is the BELIEVE sign when it's all done.  Such an easy project to make.  I think it adds to the fun of this year's mantel.  Just think of all the different words you can use to add to your decor.  And, it was all done with items I had lying around the house.

Vintage Paint and more... making a rustic wood sign using scrap pieces of painted 2x4's and tracing a pattern on them with chalk then painting each letter

What word would you use to make your sign?  I love to hear from you so tell me about it in the comments below.
Until next time - have fun creating something you love.

I will be joining the parties found on the Where I Party page.  Please be sure to visit them as you will find so much great inspiration and projects at each one.

If you like this post you may also like these:

Vintage Paint and more... a diy farmhouse Christmas wreath made with yarn and a decoupaged deer head
                                                      DIY Farmhouse Christmas Wreath

Vintage Paint and more... little Christmas trees made with button hole looping and poster board to make a pretty Christmas centerpiece
                                                                 Little White Trees

Vintage Paint and more... an easy rag wreath made with red and black buffalo plaid strips
                                                       Easy Buffalo Plaid Rag Wreath


  1. I am going to attempt to make one of these, as I love how simple it is #happynow@_karendennis

  2. Such a cute sign! I love it against the larger sign too. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  3. this is delightful! I do believe I need a silver one that spells 'sparkles'!
    thanks for sharing the tutorial - and Happy Pink Saturday!

  4. Such a cute idea! I've been wanting to make some block letters but wasn't sure what I wanted them to say or what size to make them. Pinned.

  5. Great tutorial - I really love the 'santa' colors you used on your blocks! Thanks for sharing with Party in Your PJs!

  6. I've seen the tutorials about using chalk and paper to transfer an outline to a sign before, but the extra steps you've taken (with the different sizes, and making the letters connect) really makes this project stand out. Super great ideas!

    1. Thank you, Susan - I am so glad this tutorial was helpful for you.

  7. How clever and cute is this sign - I love your clear instructions too

  8. Great tutorial & so cute! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  9. Simple and so pretty! Thanks for sharing at our link party!

  10. Perfect colour to set of your mantel. These believe blocks are beautiful, but the backdrop steals the show. I love it.

  11. Love this wood sign. Thank you for sharing the tutorial!!
    And that deer wreath is also great! I want to try making both of them!
    ig viewer