DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

I’ve been working on my office makeover for what seems like forever! Finally, I’m nearing the end of the process trying to determine my wall art. I knew I wanted a simple, rustic, wood sign for above my desk with an inspiring quote that incorporated my calligraphy. Picking the right quote was incredibly difficult for me, especially because I can be so indecisive and I changed my mind at least three times haha!

I decided on the quote “Create the things you wish existed,” although I’m not sure of the source of it. I liked this quote because it can relate to all things creative/art/DIY or it can be applied to really any goals in life you wish to achieve!

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

This building project doesn’t involve too many tools and it can be done with just a hammer and finishing nails, but I of course used my favorite brad nailer! Or if you really like the calligraphy quote design and don’t want to DIY the wood sign, I’ve included a free 8″ x10″ printable art print of the design below:

(Printables are for personal use only, no commercial use is allowed, thanks!)

Here are the supplies and steps on how to build and how to paint this DIY wood sign with the calligraphy quote:

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures here.

Materials:

  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ thick plywood panel at 2ft x 2ft
  • (2) 1×2 @ 8ft.
  • 1 1/4″ brad nails or finish nails
  • Paint for the the sign background (latex, chalk paint, any kind you want!)
  • Paint for the lettering (any kind, I used acrylic craft paint)
  • Paint roller and small paint brush (for lettering)
  • Wood Stain

Tools:

1. Cut your 1x2s to the following sizes: Two pieces @ 24″ and Two pieces at 25 1/2″ย  OR if you have a custom size sign do two at the exact length of the top and bottom sides and two at 1 1/2″ plus the length of the left and right sides.

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy QuoteDIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

 

2. Stain all sides (except the back), of your 1×2 frame pieces. For tips on how to stain wood for a beautiful finish, check out my tutorial here. Then, use a paint roller and paint the front side of your 2ft x 2ft plywood piece.

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

 

3. Now it’s time to attach the framing to the sign! There are two simple ways you can do this. You can flip the sign over and lay your frame pieces against it, so everything is flat on your surface (shown in the first photo below). Or you can put some scrap 1x thick wood under your sign, leave it face up, and line up your frame pieces (middle photo below). I chose to do the second method so I could see exactly how my frame pieces were going to look when attached. Line up one of your shorter frame pieces on the bottom of the sign (use clamps if desired, it does make it easier).

 

4. Use a brad nailer or hammer and attach frame to sign with brad nails or finish nails. Repeat for the top frame piece on the top of the sign. You can use extra nails on the top and bottom pieces since they won’t really show when hung on the wall.

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

 

5. After your top and bottom frame pieces are attached, repeat steps 3 and 4 for the left and right side frame pieces to complete your sign build!

6. Time for the lettering! There are many ways to transfer a print design on paper to a wood sign. And if you have a favorite way I’d love to hear in the comments! I’m going to share two methods here.

The first method is what I used, where I printed the calligraphy quote out with my vinyl machine as a vinyl decal and used it as a stencil (shown in below three photos). Then, I painted two coats of black acrylic paint with a small, art, paint brush, making sure I didn’t put the paint on too heavy to prevent it from seeping under the vinyl. So, if you have a Cricut, Silhouette Cameo, or other vinyl machine and know how to make decals, this is a good method. A free printable for tracing the design is available below! Also, I recommend using Oracal 631 Vinyl, it’s a high quality indoor vinyl and removes easily and cleanly from the sign.

 

If you don’t have a vinyl cutting machine, the second method works just as good! Have the design enlarged at your local copy store, I think Staples engineering 24″ x 36″ prints for $3.59 work especially great for this project. And I’ve included a free, 24″ x 36″ download of the design (in addition to the 8×10 printable) below which you can use! Then, once you have the enlarged print, use the pencil tracing method.ย  Proceed with painting in your letters after you have the design outline on your wood.

Also, although I used a small paint brush for filling in the letters, a paint marker may work really well too!

Once you’ve painted on your letters, your DIY wood sign with calligraphy quote is complete!

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

I will be sharing some more office projects in the upcoming weeks as well as my full office makeover reveal!!! Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks!

Update: You can see the full office makeover reveal with this sign here!

 

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19 thoughts on “DIY Wood Sign with Calligraphy Quote

  1. I’ve been trying to use your method for sign making and I’m having a hard time making sure the Brad nails go straight through, sometimes I’m off and they poke through. Is my board too thin? I used a 1/4 board and my frame is just a 1×2….any tips?

  2. I should note that they’re aren’t poking through the back because they’re too long, but sometimes they poke through kinda on the side but where the image is, it’s very difficult to nail through 1/4 inch board. Is your board thicker?

    1. Hi Lea, The board I used was 3/4 inch thick, I agree that the 1/4 inch thick is probably too thin. Maybe you could attach a 1/2 inch thick board to the back of your 1/4 inch board to make it thicker? Not sure if that would help or not…it may just be easiest to use the 3/4 inch board instead. Thanks!

  3. I make signs the same way, but find that the oracle 631 sometimes leaves a sticky resedue, have you had this problem as well? What should I do?

    1. Hi Haley! I haven’t had that happen before with Oracal 631…maybe you could try a different brand of paint or waiting longer for the paint to cure before applying the vinyl to see if that helps? I know Oracal says to wait 1-2 weeks before applying vinyl after painting a surface so the paint is fully cured. Hope that helps!

  4. How do you print out a vinyl decal that large? Did you split it into 2 pieces? I can’t tell in the photo if you did…thanks for the tutorial!

    1. I actually have a 24 inch vinyl cutter machine, so that’s how I printed out one large decal. But, if I had used my silhouette cameo machine I would of created the decal in two 12 inch sections and then lined them up on the sign to create the full size design.

    1. Thanks Sydney! I hung it from the back wood ledge of the sign on some screws that were screwed into the wall studs.

  5. Hey! I was wondering where the desk from this wood frame diy was from. It’s beautiful and perfect for my room and I would love to buy it!

  6. Hi there,

    When using the vinyl as a stencil, how do you ensure the centres of letters (e, o, g, a…) remain in the right place? Do you place them yourself by eye?

    Thanks,

    Ashley

  7. Hello! What are the fonts you used for this project? I absolutely love this and can think of a few signs I would love to diy. Thanks for sharing!

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