DIY Two-Sided, Hanging Wooden Sign

I told you fall gives me DIY-vibes! Wooden signs are really having a moment, aren’t they? I love them. I think they are so warm and rustic, and add a personal touch to anywhere. I’ve wanted a wooden sign (or five) for our house for some time, but I thought, well, I can probably make one!

I’ve been staring at this metal post below all summer. Does it need a hanging basket? Should we just take it down? Maybe add flowers? James and I were brainstorming one day and we thought of it – a two sided, hanging, wooden sign with the name of our new home and property.

So of we went to Home Depot!

Here’s what you’ll need*: 

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  • 1×4 6ft common board (I bought 2)
  • wood glue (James uses Titebond-2)
  • a saw
  • rope
  • yardstick or ruler
  • mending plate and screws (I used Everbilt sheet metal screws and plates, #10 x 1 in)
  • wood stain (I used PPG Timeless semi-transparent stain in American Chestnut)
  • an old rag
  • acrylic paint (for the lettering or design, I used this paint in black)
  • paint brush
  • clear spray coat to protect your sign from the elements (I ordered this one)

1. Measure 

First we measured how tall and wide we wanted the sign. We based this on where we wanted to hang it. James used a right angle to make sure he followed a straight line when cutting the wood.

2. Cut

    Cut the wood to length. James used a round saw, but a normal saw would work fine.

3. Glue

    Use wood glue to stick the wood together.  Place a long line of glue from edge to edge.

Rookie Tip: So this is where we made a mistake. James and I placed the glued pieces of wood down on the barn floor, and then used heavy objects to act as a clamp. The sign got stuck to the floor, but with a bit of pulling we pried it off. We had to scrap the dried glue off the boards with a paint scraper. Maybe this would work better if elevated on bricks, or something. 


4. Stain

    Using an old rag, stain the wood on all sides. Go with the grain, rather than against it and move at a steady pace so it doesn’t look blotchy. I found it easier to do both sides at the same time so the edges looked smooth. Let dry for 24 hours.

5. Secure

    We are going to reinforce the glue and make sure the boards stay together with mending plates. Drill a hole first, and then drill the screw through the hole. This will make the placing the screw easier and decrease changes of splitting the wood (I was totally holding my breath hoping the wood wouldn’t spilt, but rest assured James knew what he was doing).  Repeat over all seams.








6. Holes

    Drill holes to thread a rope through. Obviously, the bigger the rope the bigger the whole. James drew a pilot hole with a smaller drill bit to help steady the large drill bit. He went through on both sides.

Rookie Tip: I wish we would have done this before we stained, because I had to bring the stain back out to stain inside and around the holes.

7. Trace

    Okay, so this was my dilemma. I was all excited to attempt an ink-transfer to wood, but alas I don’t have a printer and Staples uses laser printing. I did some research and came across using newspaper to “stencil” your design on wood! Problem solved.
    I printed my design, and then used a yardstick to make sure it was straight and even. Make sure you are measuring to the letters and not the edge of the paper. Once you’re sure everything lines up, tape the top so it’s secure. Slip some newspaper or yellow pages between the wood and the design. Try to pick the darkest pages or pages with a lot of font. Using a regular page with just words was difficult to see on this dark stain, but it probably would work great on lighter colors. I chose ads or pictures with dark print and this worked well.

    Use a closed sharpie to trace and fill the letters. Repeat on both sides.

Lift the stencil…..

8. Paint

    I used black acrylic paint and a small paint brush. I also found it helpful to keep my stencil near by to refer to. You’ll probably need to do two coats of paint. Let dry.

9. Finish

Spray your sign with a finish that will protect it from the elements – I plan to use a clear matte* for outdoor use. 

(I haven’t sprayed yet because I’m not quite sure if I want to add any other details to my sign).

10. Hang

    Thread the rope, and ta-da! Now this ugly post in our yard has a beautiful purpose!

    I’m so thrilled how this wooden sign turned out!! What do you think? Should I add some ferns or pine trees? Or, less is more? If you try your hand at a wooden sign, I’d love to see!

Paint on,





*This post contains affiliate links. That means, I may receive a commission for some of the links in this post- at no cost to you. See our Disclaimer page for details*