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