Homemade Holiday Gifts: Wooden Sign

We all know Andy William’s signature holiday jam, It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. It inspired my latest homemade holiday creation! I did some research on Pinterest (click here to see my Jingle Bells board) and found this pin!

PB - Christmas sign. This would look great downstairs.  One of my favorite holiday movies.

I thought this would be a perfect gift for Sydney’s Christmas & Cheetah print themed bridal shower. My mom and I decided we would go in together on making this sign and we were thrilled at how it turned out.

My mom has been making hand-painted wooden signs for years, but this was the first time we had done a sign like this. I’ve included some step by step instructions on how to make a holiday sign that makes a perfect gift – or something to keep for yourself!

Materials needed:

  • Wood board, around $10 (Find a burly man working in the lumber department at your local hardware store and ask for a 1×10″ board. They come in a variety of lengths. I bought an 8 foot board and had it cut in the store to 22″.)
  • Sand paper
  • Carbon or Graphite paper
  • Acrylic paint, between $1-2 per bottle (You can find these at Walmart or a craft store. We used the colors Vanilla and Bright Red, but you can use any combo you’d like!)
  • Paintbrushes, in a variety of sizes. You will need the smallest of small brushes for the intricate snowflake designs.
  • Wood Stain, in a walnut shade
  • Ball point pen

Getting started:

  1. First, you will need to create your design on the computer. This can be done with numerous programs, but make sure your page prints to 8.5 inches by 22 inches (remember, that’s the length of the board). Print out your design on two pages and piece it together. If you would like a more in-depth post about how to do this, leave a comment below. I cannot include a printable because our stencil was made on my mom’s Macintosh circa 1994 (not even joking) and it is from the pre-PDF era. I could probably scan it though…
  2. Prepare the wood. Paint a thin layer of the background color on the entire front side of the board. The front side should be the side with the fewest knots and blemishes. This will make painting easier! For a more rustic effect, keep the coat of paint very thin near the sides of the board. Let this dry.
  3. Get ready to trace! Tape your stencil on the board. I like to put tape at the top edge so I can slip my carbon paper in and out easily. Begin tracing the outline of your letters. Make sure that your carbon is directly under the area you are tracing. Use medium pressure. Double check to make sure the line is transferring to the wood.
  4. Now, it’s time to start painting the letters. Take your time and go slow!IMG_0030
  5. Once you’re finished painting the letters, let the sign dry. Use the sandpaper to smooth out the rough and sharp edges. If you are going for a more primitive/country look you can use a hammer or chain to ‘beat up’ the wood. Then, apply a thin layer of wood stain to the front, back, and sides of the board. This can be done with a rag or foam brush. Then, wipe the stain away with an old rag.


Unfortunately, I do not have a final photo after the stain dried. However, my mom is getting ready to make another sign as a gift so I will be sure to snap a photo of the finished product and update the post.

By adding picture frame hangers on the back this can be hung up on a wall, or just set near the gifts at the base of your tree!

Any questions? Let me know!


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