DIY HAPPY HOLIDAYS WOOD SIGNDisclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate link for your convenience, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, click here to read our full disclosure policy.
STEP 1: make wooden lettersTo 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.
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: paintingSIDE 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 frameTake 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 frameNow 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.