DIY reclaimed wood sign


my mother-in-law sent me a link a couple years ago to a blog post about a sign she wanted me to make for her.  i told her i could make it, and i did!  it only took me 2 years to make it…

well, not really.  just 2 years to start it!


sean took some reclaimed wood, assembled it into a rectangle – it was pretty big… about 2.5′ x4′.


simple wood scrap braces support the back.


i created a word document with 2 fonts: modern no. 20 & stalemate.  to save on ink i printed it as an outline only.


i layer out all the pieces of paper, connecting them with tape.


i trimmed anywhere the papers overlapped.


after several different attempts, i finally figured out the quickest way to transfer the outline to the wood:  with chalk!  i kept the top edge of each word taped in place, then flipped it up…


and coated behind the lettering by rubbing chalk on it.


i flipped it back in place and then traced the printed outline by pressing hard with a sharp pencil.




the chalk transferred right onto the wood!  it was trickier in some spots because of the heavily weathered wood we chose, but still turned out great.


i was doing this project late in the night and kind of forgot to check if i had all the supplies on hand that i needed.  i ended up mixing together several bits of bottles of white paint and used a couple super thin brushes to outline the letters, then filled in with slightly wider brushes.


after it had all dried i just dusted off the excess chalk (this pic is pre-dusting).


i added the star at the end, using a straight edge and a white colored pencil to make the lines, then coated with paint.


and here it is in its final resting place on my mother-in-law’s mantel.  until its time to pack up the christmas decor…

(this project was relatively simple, but pretty time consuming.  after the wood was assembled, the rest of the work took about 8 hours.  just a heads up!)



  1. 1

    Worthy two years. It is magnificent!

  2. 3

    Wow, what a beautiful and unique item. You did a fabulous job. Not sure I would have though of transferring the words that way, so great thinking (or online searching.)

    • 4

      i can’t take the credit for it, only because i’m sure i couldn’t have thought of it on my own. but i have no idea where i may have seen it before…

  3. 5

    This is really pretty! I bet your mother-in-law loved it. I saw some signs on Pinterest that were painted on driftwood & I had no idea how to transfer the letters, now I know!

  4. 7

    This is BEAUTIFUL! That verse is a precious one to me, as it explains the reason we celebrate the season (I actually mentioned it on my blog on Christmas Eve). I think your idea of using chalk to transfer is brilliant! How clever! I will absolutely be filing this idea away for the future by pinning it to my Pinterest board. Great work!
    Warmest Regards,
    Cynthia at

  5. 9

    Looks beautiful! You need a Silhouette to make a stencil!

    • 10

      thanks! actually, i was afraid to use a stencil because the wood had lots of raised grain and paint would’ve surely seeped under it!

  6. 11

    This sign is incredible. I love how you did it on the reclaimed wood!

  7. 13

    An absolutely beautiful sign, and the chalk trick is just genius!

    Angie from reasons to dress

  8. 15
    Kendra Stiles says:

    Awesome job, I love signs like that.

    Just a tip for next time that might help. I used to tole paint for years and there’s a product called graphite paper that comes in gray/black and white that might be easier than the chalk.

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