A STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL ON CREATING A DIY HOLIDAY WOOD SIGN WITH LIGHTS, THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS HOME DECORATIONS.
With the holiday season getting closer its time to think about Christmas decorations for your home. If you’re like me, I want something simple and unique to decorate my home for the holidays. And what better way to do that then creating a DIY happy holidays wood sign that has lights or not! This holiday sign would be fantastic for any room in your home or even for the front porch.
For this holiday season I have something very special for you, Deck the Home Blog Hop!
The Deck the Home Blog Hop is a 5-week series of amazing Christmas DIY and home project from 26 DIY bloggers.
Each week there is a new theme and this week’s theme is a Christmas Wood Project. I will be sharing my project below but after the tutorial, there is a link-up of all the Deck the Home wood project for the week, so be sure to check those out!
ALSO if you missed last week the theme was Door Decor and you can see how I created a DIY Christmas Hoop Wreath plus all the other blogger’s projects, here.
DIY HAPPY HOLIDAYS WOOD SIGN
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STEP 1: make wooden letters
To save on money, I decided to make my own wooden letters. Plus it did not take a lot of extra time. And because videos make it easier to see the process, here is my video on the steps I took to create handmade wooden letters.
For the paper cut-out of each letter, I used Impact font at 575 size.
First was tracing all the letters onto the MDF sheet.
TIP: MAKE SURE YOU ARE TRACING THE RIGHT SIDE UP.
After I took the drill with a 3/8″ drill bit (large enough to fit the blade of the Jig Saw) and drilled a hole through the middle of any letter that needs an inside piece cut out (example: A, P, O, & D).
Next, I cut out each middle section from those letters using the Jig Saw.
Then I cut out each letter.
IF ADDING LIGHTS:
It’s time to drill 5/16″ holes into the letters for the lights. To give you an idea of where to drill the holes place small screws with the heads down onto the letters. Remember you only have 100 lights and I would recommend drilling no more than 92 holes or you will need another strand of lights. Once you are happy with the placement, mark the spot with a pencil.
SIDE NOTE: I tried to drill my holes after the whole sign was assembled and it was a disaster, so please drill the holes before painting.
Once everything is marked, drill a hole on each mark.
TIP: It will help to clamp the letters in place, maybe on a scrap board.
Once each letter was cut, I then took #220 grit sandpaper and sanded each letter.
SIDE NOTE: I did wipe each letter with a cloth to remove the dust.
And that’s how I created my wooden letters.
STEP 2: painting
SIDE NOTE: This was a step I had to repeat because I thought the glitter spray paint would be red enough for the letters. But I was wrong! Learn from me and make sure you paint the letters with a color first.
Start by painting the letter with the red spray paint. Make sure you apply light coats and use the spray grip tool so you do not paint your fingers too. I decided to apply two coats of red paint.
Once the red paint dried, apply the red glitter paint the same way (I only painted the tops this time). Again I applied two coats of glitter paint.
While you’re painting the letters, paint the 1″x2″ boards with white paint (remember the boards are already primed). But first, cut the boards at 16″, 16″, 36″ & 36″ (you will be cutting the 6ft board in half). Sand the ends if needed then start painting. I always like to apply two coats of paint.
STEP 3: build the frame
Take the 8″ board and cut it in half, at 36″ (will be closer to 35-15/16″ because of the blade). After the boards are cut, Kreg Jig one side of one board in four places. These pockets will be used to attach the boards together, see image below for example.
Now sand the boards using #220 grit sandpaper.
Next attach the two boards together. You can use clamps or if you do not have the correct size, like me, use a wall. Make sure the boards are aligned and attach them together using the 1-1/4″ screws. Here is what my method looked like.
SIDE NOTE: In the picture, I have eight pocket holes, this is because I had my Kreg Jig set incorrectly and had to redrill the holes.
After you need to add Kreg Jig pockets all around the frame. Make sure these are added on the same side as the last pockets. Place three on the 16″ sides and four on the 36″ sides. These pockets will be facing out and are how the white trim will be added.
Then take the Tung Oil and apply the finish to the front of the boards. I apply this the same way you would apply stain (with a rag) and I like adding 2 coats.
Once the Tung Oil has dried, its time to attach the 1″x2″ trim boards. Place a sheet on a flat surface (to help prevent scratching) and put the 36″ trim piece down. Then take some scrap 1/4″ MDF pieces (or your letters) and place those on the surface.
Next place the wooden frame (two 8″ boards that are attached) on top of the scrap pieces with the pockets facing up.
Align the frame and the trim piece, by using a wall or clamps, then attach with 1-1/4″ screws. Attach the other 36″ trim piece the same way.
After attach the sides trim pieces, this is done the same way.
And that is how you create the frame for your sign.
STEP 4: attach letters on the frame
Now that the frame is created, the letters can be glued in place. Arrange the letter on the frame, I placed each word on one board. SIDE NOTE: I glued the letters on during the last step but I would recommend waiting so that you do not scratch the paint of the letters.
IF ADDING LIGHTS:
Once you are happy with the arrangement of the letters. Take a pencil and mark the frame where each drill holes will be. After you have marked each location, take a 3/8″ drill bit and drill a hole on each mark.
Sand the wood of the frame if needed and wipe the board clean.
Then arrange the letters on the frame again, making sure the drill holes all align.
Once you are happy with the arrangement, use liquid nails to glue each letter in place.
TIP: PRESS THE LETTERS ONTO THE FRAME AND HOLD IT THERE FOR 30 SECONDS. ALSO IF ANY GLUE SEEPS OUT FROM AROUND THE LETTERS, USE A Q-TIP TO REMOVE THE EXTRA.
After all the letters have been glued, let the frame sit for a couple of hours (I would recommend 24 hours to let the glue dry completely).
If you are not adding lights, the sign only needs a hanging device and it’s ready to hang or sit on that fireplace mantel.
STEP 5: adding the lights
Once the letters are attached to the frame, it’s time to string the lights. I would recommend placing all the lights first to check the best layout. Here is what my layout looked like.
Some areas needed an extra light in the space to make the distance to the next hole.
Once you are happy with the layout of the lights. Use 1/4″ wood staples (they are plastic with a nail) to secure the wire of the lights to the wood.
Place as many staples as needed.
Your sign is now complete!!
SIDE NOTE: I plan on hanging my sign outside, I will place a wood back to cover the wires. I will share a picture once it’s completed.
MORE HOLIDAY DECOR FOR YOUR HOME
Don’t forget to check out the other 25 bloggers door decor projects!