What do you do when you want a 5 foot wide EAT sign made of wood?  You could grab a beverage of choice, sink into your favorite chair, and do some online shopping ... or .... search your scrap wood stash and make it yourself!

This was so easy and actually, the hardest part was deciding which font to use for the letters.    

Supplies I used:
  • 5' x  12" pine board (I learned that a 12" board is actually 11-1/2"!!!)
  • Contact paper
  • White paint pen for outlining
  • Sherwin Williams Dover White paint for letters (from my cabinet/trim touch up jar)
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • (3) 1" disposable paint brushes (because I don't like to clean them)
  • Small artist's brush
  • Minwax Ebony Stain
  • Silhouette Cameo or scissors

There are many ways to use stencils and for this project I adhered the design (the letters and stripes) on the board and traced around them with a paint pen.  It made it really easy to visualize precisely how they would look on the board. 

To get started, I lightly sanded the board on all sides except the back - just enough to remove any splinters - and wiped the board with a slightly dampened paper towel.   Then applied the stain (2 coats) and let dry overnight.

Next, I determined the height of my letters and selected a font (Times New Roman).  Each letter is 9" tall.  The three stripes on each end of the sign are 1-1/2" wide each - two are 7" long and the middle stripe is 9" long.

I cut the letters and stripes out of contact paper with my Silhouette, removed the paper backing and positioned them on the board, using a tape measure to ensure they were evenly aligned the same distance from the top and bottom.  (Got caught up in the process and didn't take a pic of this step.)

There was a 1" space between the letters and the bottom of the board, and a 2" space between the bottom stripe and the bottom of the board and the stripes are spaced 1-1/2" apart. If you don't have a Silhouette cutter, you can trace your design on the contact paper and cut out by hand with scissors. 

When I was pleased with the alignment of the letters and stripes, I traced around each using the white paint pen.  After about 5 minutes, I removed the contact paper and was left with the outline of each letter and stripe on my stained board.

Using a 1" paint brush and a small artist's brush, I filled in each letter and stripe using the white paint.  I let the first coat of white paint dry for 4 hours and applied a second coat. 

The next day, I distressed the lettering by dipping my paint brush in the dark stain and wiping on a paper towel, leaving just a bit of stain on the brush.  With light strokes, I brushed over the white letters and stripes in the direction of the wood grain (horizontally on the board) until I was happy with the look.

"We" then placed two sawtooth hangers on the back of the sign and it's now comfortably at home above our dining room windows.  I wanted it to almost entirely fill the space above the windows and it does just that. 

This was a no spend project as I had all the supplies on hand.  Love it when I can reuse and repurpose existing items. 

I encourage you to give it a try!  If you mess up or don't like what you've done, just flip the board over, use the back side, and start over again.  If you make one, would love to hear how it turned out!

Thank you to Weekend Craft , From Evija With Love, and Oh My Heartsie Girl for graciously featuring this post!

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  1. love your Eat sign.. Turned out beautiful..

  2. Carolyn, it's lovely! You did a great job!

    1. So sweet of you, Bless! It's wonderful to have you pop by to check in. :)

  3. This turned out so cute! Thanks for linking up at the Weekend Blog Hop on My Flagstaff Home!


    1. Thank you, Jennifer! It was so much fun to make! Thanks for hosting the Blog Hop - excited to be included. :)

  4. Super cute sign! Your painting looks fabulous....distressed just right to look old and worn.

  5. I appreciate that, Jamie! Had initially planned to sand it to distress but using just a bit of paint on the brush did the trick. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I love how this turned out!!! Looks great above your pretty shutters. Good job! :)

    1. Thanks! We are so glad we had the shutters installed - they've been wonderful. The sign is a nice option instead of curtains/valances that might distract from our view. :)

  7. This is just gorgeous! I want one now! lol I wish I could make things like this. I'm so glad I found you on the Live Love Rowe Pinterest Party. Followed and Pinned (jody53)

  8. This is awesome and I love that it cost you nothing. Those are definitely the best projects. I need to get a Silhouette. I have seen some amazing projects using them.

  9. Jody & Michelle - Thank you so much for popping in! The Silhouette made it a little easier by being able to cut the adhesive letters much quicker. But, without a Silhouette you could print the letters on cardstock, cut them out by hand, and use spray adhesive to temporarily attach them to the board for tracing (or trace the letters directly on the Contact paper and cut out manually). I've only recently begun to use my Silhouette more regularly - before that I did everything manually and it worked just fine. I think you'll be really surprised at how easy it is to make a sign that's personalized for your home in just the size you need. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out! Thanks again!

  10. Hi Carolyn, I absolutely love your sign and have chosen it as one of my features this week on Wordless Wednesday link party. simply stunning! https://fromevijawithlove.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/wordless-wednesday-link-party-4-june/

  11. Great job, I love it!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  12. What a beautiful design. Thank you for sharing this on the #HomeMattersParty and I hope you will come back and share again.

  13. Wow, I love your sign and the tutorial is great too. You did a wonderful job!

    Thanks so much for joining the #sundaysdownunder link up. I've pinned your post.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz