Making decoupage wood signs is SO easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner! This beginner tutorial walks through all the steps you need to know. Even the kids can help with this one…
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A Note on Decoupage for Beginners
Years ago, the very word “Mod Podge” intimidated me because I had no idea what to do with it. Now, I’m obsessed with the stuff!
I love nothing more than introducing my friends and followers to all the DIY decoupage projects you can make, especially as a beginner crafter.
In it, you’ll find all the tips and techniques you need for a wide variety of decoupage projects.
Making a DIY Decoupage Sign on Wood
My twin boys and I designed our wooden “Dad” sign in honor of Father’s Day. It now hangs proudly over my hubby’s workbench so he can think of his little “woodworkers” every time he starts a new DIY project.
For this simple wooden sign craft, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Wooden plaque
- Wood letters
- Wood stain or paint
- Scrapbook paper
- Mod Podge
- Foam or bristle brush
- Wood glue
- Optional: Clear acrylic sealer
1. Stain or paint wood background
To get started, you’ll want to add a stain or paint to your sign (assuming it’s unfinished wood). I chose to stain my pallet sign for a rustic effect.
This Golden Oak stain from Minwax worked well for this project. It has a subtle color that complemented the rest of our design.
To apply the stain, simply use an old t-shirt or rag to wipe the stain on in sections. Then, immediately wipe off any excess using a separate rag.
Let the stain dry 24-48 hours before applying the decoupage wooden letters.
In the photo below, you’ll notice the difference between the stained (top) and unstained (bottom) portions of my wood plaque. Reminds me of my farmer’s tan in late summer…
2. Cut paper and decoupage onto wood letters
Next, trace the outline of your wooden letters onto scrapbook paper, and cut the shapes out using scissors or a detail knife like an X-acto.
Tip: I invest in scrapbook paper packs at Michael’s craft stores when they go on sale. Then, I always have a paper supply for my decoupage projects. Woot!
Once you have your shapes ready, brush a generous amount of Mod Podge onto the wooden letters and attach your paper cut outs.
You can use a brayer to smooth out the paper onto the wood letters, but for a project of this size, you may not find it necessary.
(For those of you scratching your heads, a brayer is like a rolling pin and is often used to smooth paper onto larger surface areas when decoupaging.)
After you secure the paper to the wood letters, let the glue dry 20-30 minutes. Then, apply a final coat of Mod Podge on top of the letters.
Important: To prevent the paper from ripping, do not smooth or spread the Mod Podge glue with your bare hands.
Don’t worry if the glue seems slightly white…it will dry clear. I pinky promise!
3. Apply clear acrylic sealer (optional)
In most of my decoupage wood projects, I like to apply a clear sealer for extra shine and durability. I took my letters outside and sprayed them with two coats of sealer before attaching them to the wooden background.
4. Attach letters to wood plaque
The last step simply involves attaching the letters to your wood plaque. I highly recommend using a strong wood glue and NOT regular hot glue.
Let the glue dry overnight before hanging.
If you don’t believe me about the hot glue, let’s just say that “a friend” tried using it on an outdoor sign once…and it didn’t turn out so well for her!
More Decoupage on Wood Ideas
I love the way this decoupage DIY sign turned out, but I’m even more excited about the possibilities of making a unique sign for every holiday!
How about these ideas, for starters?
- Hanging name in nursery or child’s room
- Dorm signs
- Holiday mantel sign
- Open/closed for business sign
- Kitchen sign
- Game room signs
- Beach/coastal sign with added shells
- She Shed “Keep Out” sign (hee hee 😉)
Should I go on? Because I can!
Shop the Post
Since you can make decoupage wood signs for literally any occasion, try mixing and matching scrapbook paper or different wood backgrounds to customize your look. (Click images to shop.)
More Decoupage Projects
Before you go, I always like to share other related projects with you.
If you’re on the fence about buying Mod Podge or investing in a pack of scrapbook paper, just know I have plenty of other projects to help you use up your inventory!
Pin this for later!
I hope you have fun making your very own DIY decoupage wood signs! Leave a comment if you have any questions as you get started!