Does your entry need a new look? Make this reversible porch sign from scrap wood that can be customized for any season or style. A farmhouse-style vertical porch board sign requires only basic woodworking skills.
With a few cuts of wood, you can make your own customized porch board.
You all know I’m a big fan of seasonal decor that does double-duty. We live in a fairly small house, so storage space is at a premium. I definitely do NOT have the space to store a ton of seasonal decor. That’s why I try to make my decor serve multiple purposes, by being reversible for example, whenever I can.
This reversible porch sign is a perfect example. It can sit by your door half the year – from fall throughout the winter.
Supplies Needed to Make a Reversible Porch Sign:
- scrap wood: 2 56-inch boards (2×6 give-or-take) and 4 10-inch boards (1×4 give-or-take)
- saw – if you’re not comfortable with an electric saw, often times Home Depot will cut lumber for you
- sandpaper and electric sander
- pre-stain and wood stain (I used espresso from Varthane)
- scrub rags or foam brushes
- plastic gloves
- wood glue
- 16 2-inch screws
- drill and drill bits
How Tall is a Porch Sign?
This really is up to you, but the standard is about 5 feet.
As you can see from my supplies list above, I went with a few inches shorter than 5 feet, simply because that’s what I had in my scrap wood stash. If you have boards that are a bit longer, and you don’t feel like cutting them down to exactly 5 feet, that’s just fine as well.
How to Build a Porch Sign
Start with your 2 large and 4 small boards (rough dimensions are listed above). It doesn’t have to be exact, especially if you’re trying to use up scrap wood. Just use what you have and what you think looks good.
Give everything a light sanding – with an electric sander or a sanding block. The only reason I sanded at all was to get rid of the ink stamps on my 2×6 boards and to smooth the ends that I had just cut.
Next, grab a scrub rag, pre-stain, and some wood stain. Use a rag to wipe the pre-stain across the boards. Be generous, and really saturate the wood. Using a pre-stain will help ensure even absorption of the wood stain in the next step.
Moving quickly after you apply the pre-stain, apply the wood stain in light coats. I ended up applying three light coats to get the desired depth of stain.
Once the stain has dried, it’s time to assemble the sign.
Apply a thin line of wood glue between the 2×6 boards before adding the 1×4 boards. Pre-drill pilot holes before using 4 2-inch screws to attach each 1×4 board at the top and bottom of the 2×6 boards.
How to Decorate a Porch Board Sign
Here’s my most common crafting conundrum: Should I use my Cricut or not?
This is always a tough decision for me. I do own a Cricut cutting machine, and I LOVE it. But… I also know that not everyone owns one. And I don’t want you to feel like you can’t make a porch sign without one… because you definitely can.
SO… as a compromise, I am going to share two different decorating techniques: One with a Cricut and one without.
Painting a Porch Sign
If you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette to cut a stencil or decal, have no fear! Using this simple method, you can easily transfer letters and simple designs onto just about any surface.
- computer, printer, and paper
- pencil and pen
- paint brushes
- white acrylic or chalk paint – really anything you have in your craft stash will do
- masking tape
Step-by-Step: How to Paint Letters on a Wood Sign
First, print out your letters on regular old computer paper. You can pick your fonts in whatever word processing software you have on your computer. If you’re feeling fancy, feel free to design something for FREE in Canva.
Next, take a pencil and scribble all over the back of your printed design. You really just want to focus on the edges, making sure there is plenty of lead on those areas.
Cut out your letters and place them on the wood sign. Secure the letters in place temporarily with masking tape.
Using firm pressure, outline the letters on the paper with a pen. This will cause the pencil lead from the back of the paper to transfer to the wood.
Once you have transferred a good pencil outline onto the wood, fill in the letters with white paint.
OPTIONAL: If you want the letters to look a little weathered or distressed, you can rough up the edges a bit with some fine grit sandpaper.
Using Vinyl on a Porch Sign
If you do own a Cricut or Silhouette, my preferred material of choice is heat transfer vinyl (HTV). You can read more about using HTV on wood in this blog post.
- Cricut Design Space and a cut file or letters to cut out
- a Cricut machine, cutting mat, and blade
- heat transfer vinyl (HTV)
- weeding tool
- iron or Easy Press
- teflon sheet or thin towel
Step-by-Step: How to Iron Letters onto a Wood Sign
First, design your letters in Cricut Design Space – for my project, I used the fonts Ditot and The Skinny – both are free to download for personal use.
After you’ve mirrored, cut, and weeded your letters, you’re ready to apply them to the wood sign.
When ironing vinyl onto wood, I prefer to work one letter at a time. So, just cut out and roughly arrange your letters to begin with.
Then, identify any vinyl pieces that may spread between two planks. For these, I like to cut them in two so that the cut in the vinyl lines up over the seam.
Finally, it’s time to heat press your letters to the wood. Be sure to check out my blog post on using HVT on wood for my tips and tricks!