Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve absolutely adored painting. This is especially true for projects that involve doing so on unique or unconventional surfaces, using different techniques with the pain, and result in something decorative that I can display in my home. Bonus points if I get all those elements in one place! The other day I came across a nicely finished scrap of wood at a driveway sale in my neighbourhood. I’m not sure what it was originally from, but it was just the kind of random piece that catches your eye and convinces you that it’s too good to be tossed out if it doesn’t sell. I picked it up for a dollar, brought it home, and though all afternoon about what I could turn it into. Then I walked into my crafting room and saw the paints I’d been using on another project, and that’s when the idea to turn the piece of wood into a cute greeting sign for my door popped into my head!
Since multi-textile and technique crafts are my favourite thing, I opted to use this little DIY door sign as an opportunity to include several different materials and elements. I’ve been overhauling my decor scheme with a slightly vintage chic atmosphere to it lately, so that’s the aesthetic I decided to follow. Luckily, I had some fabric flowers, ribbons, and lace doilies on hand, and I decided they’d do quite nicely with my wood and paint.
Once I’d completed my door sign and hung it up, I got so many compliments that I decided it might be worth teaching other crafty people who simply I did it. I’d planned to create at least one more door sign with another piece of wood I rustled up from my garage in order to make a birthday gift for a neighbour anyways, so I mapped out my steps to be shared. Check out these step by step instructions complete with photos! Just in case you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll also find a video tutorial at the bottom of this post if you keep scrolling.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Wooden board
- White acrylic paint
- Lace paper doily
- Two wall hangers
- Artificial flowers
- Hot glue
- Paint brush
Gather your materials!
Use your pencil to sketch out the message or text you’d like to display in the middle of your door sign. Some people might prefer to stencil here if you happen to have stencilled letters on hand, or even stamps that you can do paint stamping with, but I opted to draw mine by hand so it was written in my own cursive. You can choose whatever message you like at this point; “Welcome” would be pretty, but I kept things short and simple by just writing “Home”.
Use your white paint and paintbrush to trace over your pencilled message in order to make the letters pop prettily against the wood. I used a small pointed paintbrush that would give me a thin, classic line and let me get the intricate loops of my cursive just right.
Use one of your paper lace doilies as a stencil to add detail in the bottom right corner of your sign. I placed mine partially on the wood and partially off, so the pretty lace pattern arched downward from the right edge over the corner, still giving the cursive message lots of space to shine. Hold the doily firmly in place, dip your sponge lightly in the paint, and then sponge carefully and evenly right over the doily so the pattern of its cutouts prints onto the wood below. Don’t use too much paint; you don’t want to tear the doily and mess up the pattern or create a blobbing effect underneath that makes the little details of your stencilled pattern run together under the paper. Once you’re done, carefully lift the doily straight up off the wood. Do not pull it or slide it off; this will smudge your paint and wreck your pattern.
Repeat the whole stencilling process with a second doily in the top left corner! This gives you detail, symmetry, and balance in your design. Don’t worry too much about the outer edge of your doily stencil; that’s something you can neaten up later. The goal here is to make sure the intricate details in the rest of the stencilled pattern are neat and visible.
Use your paintbrush to define and neaten the outer edge of your stencilled doily patterns. I redid the waving scalloped edge by hand a little to make it stand out a little more, clean up the edge, and define the shape.
In the other corners of your board, where you haven’t done any stencilling, glue down your fabric flowers. You can do as few or as many as you want and arrange them how you please; I chose to put one larger blossom in the bottom left corner and two smaller ones in the top right corner to make a bunch.
Attach your hangers to the back! Mine were small picture hooks from the craft store that came with their own adhesive, activated with a bit of moisture. You could also use self-adhesive sticker hangers, glue on two small photo hooks, or whatever other kind of light weight bearing hanger you can find. Take a look at your local crafting store; you’re looking for the kind of hooks that would hang a photo frame. Turn your sign over (only if all the paint has dried) and affix one in top right corner and one in the top left corner.
Once your hookers or hangers have dried and are ready to be worked with, measure out two pieces of ribbon; each one long enough to reach all the way across the top edge of the sign from one hook or hanger to the other. Cut them to length. Slide one ribbon through the hook on the left and one through the hook on the right, bringing the ends together and adjusting the ribbons so the hooks hang in the loops created halfway along their lengths. Bring all four ends to the centre and, holding the ones from each respective side together as though you are only working with one pair of ribbon ends, tie them in a knot, leaving three or four inches of excess on the end of each side. Use the excess ends to make a bow so your new doubled hanging string has some cute finished detail and looks neat. Trim the bow ends if you need too; I always suggest cutting ribbon ends on a diagonal angle to prevent fraying.
Your door sign is officially ready to hang! Of course, you can use this tutorial as a guide for basic technique but change up the aesthetic, details, embellishments, or colour scheme if you prefer. If you’re more of a tutorial lover, here’s a video to help you out.