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Make: DIY Rustic Signs

Since starting this blog over four years ago - it has certainly come a long way. I started off sharing tutorials for our wedding. Since then I have actually made some signs for glamping sites - funny how a hobby can become something more.

I made these signs in 2015 for our outdoor wedding reception, one for the lemonade stand and the other for the candy bar. But you could really go to town with your own designs.

I had already bought two cheap ready made signs, the kind that say "Home sweet Home" that are very popular at the moment for £3 from Poundstretcher - but quite frankly I could have used any piece of wood! Pallet wood would be great.

To make one you will need:

A thin piece of wood (whatever size you like)

Two metal eyelet hooks


Black acrylic paint

PVA glue

White or cream paint (I used leftover chalk paint in Vanille)

Sand paper

A black fine marker pen

Dark wax (Autentico)

1: Paint the wood with the black acrylic - let it dry for a good couple of hours.

2: Once the paint is dry, brush on some PVA glue in various thickness. This will create the crackle, the thicker the glue, the deeper the cracks. This is all done by trial and error - best to experiment first!

3: When the PVA is tacky to touch, start to paint your top coat in white or cream. You need to paint in the opposite direction to the glue, you will feel a pull against the brush going through the glue. I put the wood on the radiator to speed up the crackle process.

4: You may need to touch up the paint in various places, and also give patches a bit of a sand down for the distressed look.

5: Choose a font (1001 free fonts is great) I just done freehand joined up writing for the 'lemonade' sign. For the 'candy' sign I copied a western saloon style font freehand. First I drew it on lightly in pencil. I then went over it neatly with a black italic marker pen. If you are not confident with freehand a stencil might be a good option.

6: I drew on a rough border and a couple of little patterns, an arrow and some swirls.

7: The last step is to use Autentico dark wax. I put this on with an old cloth, and made it darker in patches for the vintage look.

8: Screw in two eyelet hooks to the top of the sign and hang with a piece of string.

For a first attempt at this I was really pleased with the results - I will try and make some more soon in different colours and styles and maybe even try selling some?

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