Nothing says “Welcome Home!” like a well-placed DIY porch sign. A trend that has picked up speed in recent years, these signs are usually made by homeowners who wish to spruce up the exterior of their homes.
Many home goods stores sell pre-made porch signs ready for display – but why not add some flair and create your own unique porch sign?
If you are looking for a fun way to put your pyrography skills to the test, consider creating a custom-made DIY porch sign. These signs make perfect gifts for friends, family members, or just a new piece of home decor to add to your own home.
Creating your own DIY porch sign is quite simple. The hardest part is choosing what design to create! Here are several steps to help you create your own unique DIY porch sign!
What You’ll Need
Creating a DIY porch sign offers endless customization options, but there are a few items you will want to have on hand before you begin.
- Wood Board/Plank Sanding
- Tools or Sandpaper
- Wood-burning Kit and Tips Pyrography
- Carbon Transfer Paper
- Acrylic Markers or Paint
- Outdoor Varnish
As with all wood-burning projects, make sure to follow safety protocols to avoid injury. These best wood projects are those that are properly planned and executed – don’t rush your project!
1. Picking Your Wood
The first step in creating your own DIY porch sign is selecting the wood you will use.
Consider the area where your sign will be displayed, and think about how weather conditions may impact that area over time. You can choose to create a DIY porch sign from a variety of types of wood:
Poplar planks work best for those who want a professional, long-lasting look for their DIY porch sign. This type of wood is harder and less porous than pine, so the burnt design will appear darker and more refined on poplar planks.
You can find cheaper planks of oak or pine at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but the quality of your wood will impact the final look of your sign.
Make sure that your wood is cut to the desired length of your porch sign. If you have the tools at home to cut your wood, you can take care of this yourself. If not, many hardware stores will help cut the wood planks to size in-store.
2. Sanding The Wood Plank
With your new wood plank in hand, it’s time to get started preparing the wood for design!
Before jumping into burning, make sure to sand the wood to a smooth finish. This makes it easier to see the design as you trace and ensures that your sign maintains an even look from top to bottom/front to back.
Use the orbital sander, I like to use the one from DeWalt, but any will do. Consider starting with 120-grit sandpaper to remove the roughness, then use 220-grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface.
3. Pick Your Template
Your wood is now ready to become a DIY porch sign! Next, you will want to choose your template to transfer a design to the wood.
There are tons of templates for various designs on Creative Fabrica, which you can use to create a customized large template. Use various designs, logos, and letters to create your personalized welcome sign.
You can then use Adobe Photoshop to print the template onto the right size paper for transfer. This is an important step for printing the sign to scale. Most printers will print the large sign to fir on a single sheet. However, Photoshop, allows you to print to scale in sections. Here are a couple of YouTube videos I put together showing you how it works.
4. Trace The Template
Once you print your template, simply slide a piece of carbon paper under the design.
You can then trace the design into the wood, going over each line carefully. Trace with a solid grip to ensure that all lines transfer well.
5. Burn Your Design Onto the Wood
Now it’s time to burn! Follow the instructions for your pyrography tool of choice and begin. Start with a universal tip, aka. skew tip, and burn a border outline around all the design elements. The goal is to create a solid burn line around the letters, designs, and graphics, so we can fill them in in the next step.
A universal tip is perfect to help achieve those straight lines that offer a professional look, and don’t be concerned if your burns go outside the lines here and there. This will give the DIY porch sign that hand-made feel that your guests will love!
6. Fill in with Texture
Using your wood burning kit, you can get creative to add fun textures to your wood.
Consider using rounded tips, a shader tip, or other tips to add an extra flair to your wood. Try out different textures to fill in the designs of your DIY porch sign.
For example, use a shader tip to burn a texture pattern inside of the lettering. This will give the lettering a beautiful textured look. Another alternative is to fill in your design with color.
7. Add Colors with Acrylic Markers
This step is optional, but it will give your porch sign an extra pop. Add colors to your design using acrylic markers or watercolors. I prefer to use the acrylic markers because they’re easier to use for large-scale painting. Choose a bright color palette to add a little life to your DIY porch sign. You can also use metallic paint pens to write smaller text on the DIY porch sign as an added touch. This will help it stand out against darker surfaces.
8. Seal The Wood with Outdoor Varnish
If your DIY porch sign is going to be used outdoors, it’s important to seal the wood. Otherwise, you will find that your design begins to fade over time and your sign will no longer be readable!
You’ll want to use outdoor varnish to coat your DIY porch sign. Be sure to look for outdoor varnish specifically, other varnishes may not be able to protect your porch sign for very long.
Try to keep the porch sign out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Bonus Tip: Create Designs on Both Sides of the Wood
Want two signs for the price of one? Before you seal it, add a different design to the back of your wood to get more mileage out of each piece. You could do a holiday-themed design to the back of your original porch sign or even a season themed sign to change it up a little bit. The choice is yours!
That’s it – your DIY porch sign is now complete and ready to be placed in a prime location on your front lawn or porch – or given as the perfect customized gift!
Get Inspired with Creative Fabrica
DIY porch signs make the perfect gift for any occasion or as a great addition to your own front porch.
Fortunately, there are plenty of designs and pre-made templates that you can choose from on Creative Fabrica. With new templates and ideas being added every day, you’re sure to find the inspiration you need for your next DIY porch sign project.
Be sure to check out the rest of Creative Fabrica for more great ideas on how to express yourself with customized templates, artistic designs, and DIY home decor. Happy burning!