Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Signs, signs, and more signs!

I have been busy making signs.  I make my own frames from old pallets and the middle panel from scrap plywood left over from building my workshop. The signs are all constructed, designed and hand painted by myself.

The frames are made from boards that are first ripped in half lengthwise and then a groove is cut down the full length to receive the thickness of the plywood.
These will be the top and bottom rails.  

The side stiles are made with a tenon cut to fit into the groove of the rails. 
This photo is taken with the pieces standing up to show the grooves and tenons:

When the sign is glued together, the pieces lay flat:

Here's a longer sign than the one above to show how I transfer the lettering to the sign.
I find a font that I like on my computer and blow it up to the appropriate size for the board I'm using.
The letters are printed out and then taped together if necessary.

Underneath I put a sheet of carbon transfer paper as you see here:

Sometimes the paper needs to be taped to the sign so that it doesn't move.
Then I trace around the edges with a pencil:

 Here you can see the beginning of the letter "F":

And here are all of the letters transferred to the board:

Then you paint between the lines using a brush size that will fit the letter size:

Here is the painted sign on plain boards without any finish on them:

Here is the same sign with an amber shellac over it:
That Fresh Eggs sign is 23 1/2" long  x 9"wide x 7/8" thick.

This ANTIQUES sign is 30 1/2" long x 9" x 7/8":

Here are a few more styles:

This Cafe sign was first stained with the steel wool and vinegar mix that I use on barn board edges and I explained here in another blog posting.
 It has a really nice old look to it, that the photo doesn't completely capture:

I also do personalized signs.  This one I made for my friend with the last name Taylor, who was married in 1980:

And here is one I made for myself:

Linking to parties at the following great blogs:

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.


  1. LOVE these! "Cafe" is my favorite! They are all lovely. Great job!

  2. wow, I love them all. It's hard to choose a favorite for me. Each one I thought, I love THAT one, then the next, and the next.

  3. Julie, these are gorgeous! The white "Fresh Eggs" one is my favourite. Congratulations on following your bliss!

    Sue @ Beach Bungalow

  4. I love making signs, too, but yours are so much better with the gorgeous edge pieces. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love your signs! Wonderful job!

    Jessica at Chapman Place

  6. I love your signs! I have started collecting old pieces of board to do just that. Would love to see more, so I am now a follower.
    Stop by and visit me sometime!

  7. Very cute... I will have to keep an eye out for more old wood and give this a try.

  8. Really nice job. I like your signs and your techniques.

  9. Julie - These turned out fantastic! I love the vintage antique feel. Fantastic job! Thanks so much for linking to The Sunday Showcase. I'll be featuring this today. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Hope you have a wonderful week. ~ Stephanie Lynn

  10. Wow, you do wonderful work. I especially like the "antiques" sign, actually, I like all of them. I can tell that each one is so time consuming and has a lots of attention to detail. Quality work for sure.

  11. LOVE all the signs! The antiques sign is to die for!

  12. Hi there! I am your newest follower!! I found you on the weekend linky! I love finding new blogs and your is lovely:) You can find me at

    BEAUTIFUL! I love the fresh eggs!!

  13. I love signs. I can't believe you make them yourself! You rock! :)


  14. You do a very nice job on these...they look great!


  15. Now that I've found you... You may wish I hadn't! This is the best and easiest Tutorial I've Seen! I've wanted to try word signs for a while but was too scared to the you've given me the courage to try!

  16. Beautiful work. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you'll join us again.

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


I appreciate all your comments, they keep me blogging! I like to personally reply to each comment I receive but many of you are "no-reply commenters" which means your email address is not connected to your comment. If that is the case I cannot directly reply, sorry.