How to Make Oversized Wooden Signs

What You'll Need
Safety glasses
Work gloves
Tape measure
Wood for sign, frame and stakes
Nails and claw hammer
Exterior acrylic primer and paint
Exterior clear wood varnish
Heavy-duty waterproof wood glue
Gravel and concrete
Damp cloth

Making oversized wooden signs is a great project that will personalize the exterior of your home, cottage or business. Signs are also a nice gift idea to give to someone special.

Step 1 - Design your Sign

What will your sign say and look like? Consider a title, favorite sayings, quotes and images. You can find ideas for images by flipping through magazines and patterns at a craft store, the Internet or be inspired by your own family history. Decide what colors will be on the sign. Use lighter colors for the background, and brighter ones to draw attention to the details you want to stand out.

Freehand the design with a pencil on a roll of tracing paper large enough to cover your desired surface area. You may wish to use stencils for letters and images. You can buy stencil designs at most craft and hardware stores, or download them for free from the Internet. When you are happy with your design, measure a square around it and write down the dimensions. These measurements will determine the size of the piece of wood you will need.

Step 2 - Select a Piece of Wood

Choose cedar, redwood or cypress woods. These woods offer the longest durability and resistance to outdoor elements. Most hardware and lumber stores will cut the wood according to your specifications for free. You will need one large piece of wood that will be the sign surface, and 4 smaller 10-inch pieces for the frame.

Step 3 - Frame Sign

Nail the wood pieces for the frame along the boarders of your wood sign. Alternatively, you can glue them on with heavy-duty waterproof wood glue. This frame will give the sign more depth, draw attention to what it says, and make it more attractive overall. Attach the backing to the wooden stake with nails that are long enough to go through the stake. You can use one stake through the middle, with one at each end.

Step 4 - Prepare Wood

Lightly sand the side of wood that the design will be on, as well as the frame. Wipe clean with damp cloth. Apply a 100% acrylic exterior primer. Using primer is essential for exterior wood because it allows it to resist surface moisture and mildew. It also ensures the paint will bond to the surface and not flake while hiding stains and helping to preserve the sign for many years.

Overlay the design pattern on the wood sign and trace the pattern. Paint the design on the sign with acrylic paint with your chosen colors. When paint is completely dry, apply two coats of clear wood exterior finish.

Step 5 – Display Sign

Dig holes for the stake and attach the sign with stakes. Then, pour in gravel and concrete. You will need another person to help you with this step because you must work quickly,