Rustic Wooden Sign

Recently, I’ve been making a few decorative pieces for my wedding at the end of the month. Monday’s job was to make a rustic welcome sign to hang on an old wooden ladder we picked up at a market, so I took the offcuts from my desk project last month and got to work…

Rustic Welcome Sign

Happy with this result, I made another sign for the drinks table – this time, taking a few pictures along the way…

I started with the clean, planed offcut of spruce. Step one was to draw the lettering on. This could easily be done freehand but I wanted to use a particular font so I opted to design it on the computer and transfer an outline to the board using carbon paper. From earlier testing I found that permanent marker produced a good solid, black letter but it tended to ‘bleed’ along the grain of the wood. My solution was to score along the edge of the lettering with a stanley knife to break the grain and produce a clean edge; quite a tedious job but definitely worthwhile. After the scoring, I just filled the letter in with a marker pen.

Once the lettering was done, I distressed the wood to add the rustic character and then gave it a coat of wax. After cutting the sign down to size, it was essentially just a case of bashing it about a bit to get the rustic character. I shaped the edges and corners with a file and chisel, making sure to leave plenty of notches along the way. I also drilled a couple of holes to hang the sign (garden twine fitted the rustic theme). Finally, I lightly sanded it and applied a healthy layer of wax. Job done.

The Process in Pictures

Click on the images to enlarge…

Spruce Offcut
Lettering
Cut to Size
Distressed and Waxed
Knots and Notches