DIY Tutorial: Wooden Wedding Signs

After a weeks break to make room for the Boho Blog readers survey launch, we are back in full force today with another DIY Tutorial. Today it comes from regular to the Blog Lauren from Flat Broke Bride. Lauren is currently planning her own wedding and has become a DIY expert in the process.

Today Lauren is showing us how to put together a Rustic Wooden Wedding Sign. I am seeing so many weddings these days using wooden signs to help direct guests from part of the wedding to another so a very popular item for the blog today.

Wooden wedding sign


I’ll pass the Blog over to  Lauren…………….

‘Here is yet another super easy and fairly cheap project! I spent a whole afternoon in the local Home Depot to get the stuff for this one. Let me just say I am LOST when it comes to hardware stores…I’m sure I look lost too. I’m sort of a true girly girl when it comes to power tools and nails and whatever. I’m actually surprised no one came up to me and said, “Uh the shoe store is down the street…”

‘I actually did pretty well at Home Depot; I got all the stuff I needed at a very low-cost. You can get the most updated expert advice on the top woodworking tools on the market with WoodjoyTools.com. The good thing about this project is that it sort of requires you to buy cheap crap! You are making a rustic sign out of new materials, so the cheap stuff actually works best! All in all this will cost you about $15-$20. It cost me just over $10 but that’s because I lucked out with some of the materials.’

Wooden wedding sign Wooden wedding sign

More details on the stuff you will need

  • Hammer…will be used for instant aging of wood
  • Acrylic NON-glossy paint, colour of your choice AND black paint…my suggestion is to go with a light colour for the background where the black will pop against it! I went with a grey-ish blue. Here is where you can save a little money, paint stores or home improvement stores often have colours that weren’t mixed correctly or very cheap sample paint. I got three jars of sample paint for about $6.
  • Block of wood…I went with something that looked sign-like HOWEVER here is where I lucked out. Home Depot had this wood lying around that they were going to just throw away. It hadn’t even ended up in the scrap wood pile, so they just gave it to me for free. Right place right time! Gotta love it!
  • Cheap & nasty brush. No need for fine art, top o’ the line paint brushes! You need a brush that will fall apart as soon as you buy it. The crappy brush will make your paint job look sort of rustic and old.
  • Small, decent, paint brush. This one needs to be a little better quality and rather small. The size pictured there worked for me, but I would have preferred something a little smaller.
  • Pen, sharpie, the end of a paint brush, anything with a hard, dull edge. You will use your pen/sharpie with the cap on to press against the wood.
  • Printed out paper with your words or image on it. I used an ink jet. I’m not sure if a laser printer will work, try it and let me know! Now the idiot in me did something HORRIBLY wrong when I took this photo…the letters are the wrong way! In order to transfer them to the wood you need to print them out backward! Don’t make my mistake!!! PRINT YOUR WORD(S) OUT BACKWARD! I used Photoshop, but I’m sure Word can work too!
  • LOTS of newspaper or, in my case, junk mail, to put down on the rug OR do this outside.

Step 1) Alright! Now we are ready to begin! Let’s start by distressing our wood. Start by taking the claw end of your hammer and really going to town. This is a great project to work off any wedding stress you may be facing! Hack and bang away on all sides of the board until it’s as worn and beat up as you like it!

Wooden wedding sign


Step 2) Now you can start painting. Take your lighter colour paint (or the not-black paint) and paint your entire board. This photo was taken while I was waiting for the front to dry. See how crappy the paint job is? That’s good! You want some of the wood to show through. You want it to look horrible without really looking horrible. Don’t paint in all the nooks and crannies! Make sure it’s slapped together!

Wooden wedding sign


Step 3) Once both sides are painted and dry, it’s time to transfer the lettering. Place your paper face down (this is why the wording needs to be backwards) where you want it on the wood, wet your brush (after you’ve washed the paint off of it) and ring it out. *I used a sponge brush but you don’t have to.* you want the paper to be damp, not soaking wet. This is when the ink in the paper transfers over.

Wooden wedding sign


Step 4) With the paper wet, and still on the wood, take your pen/sharpie/paint brush end, and trace over your letters, making sure all of the ink gets pressed into the paint. Here you need to be delicate and firm at the same time. You want to press the ink into the wood, but you don’t want to rip the paper. However, if it does rip, not the end of the world…just don’t scrape around that area anymore.

Wooden wedding sign


Step 5) Now you can peel the paper off! It looks SUPER rustic for sure! If you want to keep it this way, by all means! However, if you prefer your letters to be a bit darker, this is where the black paint and a steady hand comes in.

Wooden wedding sign


Step 6) First take some of your black paint and dilute it with water. You can choose to make it as light or dark as you want…I just guessed. Now, with your small brush, trace over your lettering. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, that’s the beauty of “rustic art!”

Wooden wedding sign


Step 7) If you want, paint a little arrow showing where “You Do” (tee hee). And you are all done! For good measure I wrote the same thing on the other side with the arrow pointing the other way…mainly because I’m not sure how everything is set up yet…so it is beneficial to do both sides.

Wooden wedding sign


So if you finish both sides then you are REALLY done! Attach to a sturdy stake to go in the ground and Voila! I have a few more to make, but here are the most important two! Ceremony & Reception

Wooden wedding sign



Thanks so much to Lauren for this fab DIY Tutorial

To see more of her posts you can read Lauren’s blog here:
[email protected]

‘I’m broke and planning a wedding! My fiance and I met about a year ago. He is the perfect man for me and I can’t wait to marry him, but it is so difficult to plan the wedding of your dreams on a teeny-tiny budget! However, I refuse to go into serious debt for the wedding. This is not the time to be in debt, especially when you are young and still paying off college loans. I started my blog, Flat Broke Bride, to show how to achieve the wedding of your dreams on a tight budget. I offer lots of DIY tutorials as well as some great inspiration pictures. This is my first (and hopefully only) time planning a wedding, so check out the site and come along as I feverishly plan away!’


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    Joy Alsip

    Absolutely love this idea! Using it to make a 50th wedding anniversary present for my in-laws. Have been racking my brain… Lol.

    Thank you


    Awesome idea! I’m wanting my signs to be the natural wood color. I’ve sanded them already, would the ink transfer straight over to the wood or do I need to paint a clear coat of something first for it to work?


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