DIY Home Decor

Outdoor Welcome Sign

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I had been wanting to make a welcome sign for my front porch for quite some time. After scrolling through all of the beautiful welcome signs on Pinterest, I got some ideas on how I wanted to make mine. I already had most of the materials to make it. We put a fence up a few months ago, so I have a stack of leftover cedar pickets in the garage, stain from when we made our barn doors, as well as left-over paint. I went to one of my favorite stores, Hobby Lobby, and found some cardboard letters and brackets, and I was set. I spent around $13.00 total.

Supplies Needed

  • Fence pickets (or pallet wood or any scrap wood)
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Paint brushes and rags
  • Letters
  • Handheld sander or sandpaper
  • Polyurethane or Polycrylic to go over letters (optional)
  • Brackets
  • Hammer and nails or screws and screwdriver
  • Saw

I started off by sanding two fence pickets, then I stained them.


The stain I have is very dark. I wanted to see the wood grain, so I sanded over them again. I wanted to add two small pieces of wood across the top and bottom. In my pile of fence pickets, I found the perfect picket that was smaller and thinner than the rest. I measured it so I could cut it. I’ve never used my husband’s saw, but had seen him use it a thousand times. I figured, how hard could it be? I grabbed it and tried to lift the blade part up, but it was locked. After messing with it for awhile, I became frustrated and gave up. I didn’t ask my husband for help because he was at work, and I really wanted to do this on my own. I started looking around at his other saws. The table saw terrifies me and the circular saw is a little scary as well.

That’s when I spotted the hand saw.

I quickly sanded the picket, then I cut the two pieces I needed. It only took me a few minutes to saw through because the wood was soft, so that was a plus. I then stained them, allowed them to dry, and sanded them again.

The left piece is stained only. The right piece is stained then sanded. 
Both pieces are sanded and ready to go.

When I was looking for letters at Hobby Lobby, I kept in mind that my pickets were 6 feet tall and made sure my letters wouldn’t be too big. I also accounted for the space the brackets would take up. At first, I painted the letters red with some leftover spray paint I had.

After a couple of coats and letting them dry completely, I gave them a rustic effect by using a wet rag and wiping dark gray outdoor paint on them. I used another wet rag to wipe off the excess.

I was pleased with the way the letters turned out until I saw the cutest metal welcome sign on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

In order to match the welcome sign, I repainted the letters with a couple of coats of white paint. I used the same technique with the gray paint to get the rustic look I wanted.

After two coats of white paint.

After adding gray.

Now, they were perfect. I went over the letters with a couple of coats of polycrylic since they weren’t real wood to give them protection from the weather.

I wanted to add some brackets to my sign. After looking at Hobby Lobby, I found some on clearance. They weren’t the color I wanted, but I couldn’t pass up the great price. I figured I could easily paint them.

Since my letters were now white, I went ahead and white washed the brackets so they would match. With a wet rag, I wiped white paint on the brackets. Using another wet rag, I wiped off the excess.

After everything was dry and ready to go, I placed the two small pieces I had cut across my long pickets–one on the top and one on the bottom. I placed the brackets on them, then I placed my letters in between. I wanted to make sure spacing was good before attaching everything.

Before attaching the brackets, I got the level out and made sure the horizontal pieces were level and straight across.

I attempted to screw the brackets in to secure everything together, but the screws I had were too thick for the holes. I dug through my husband’s tool box and found three different sizes, but all were too thick. I found some small nails, and they were perfect. I made sure everything measured out well then hammered them in. I lifted the pickets up to make sure everything was secure and wouldn’t fall apart.

I used leftover wood glue from when we built our barn doors to attach the letters.

The letters are very lightweight, so I felt this was a good option since I didn’t want to see nail heads in my letters. I made sure to wipe up any glue that seeped out from the edges, then I let them dry. I made sure the letters were secure, then I set my beautiful sign on my front porch. 

Every time I come home and see it, it makes my heart so happy. This is the first of many signs I’ll make. 


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