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How to Make Easy Decoupage Wood Signs

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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…

DIY decoupage wood sign that reads "Dad"

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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.

If this is your first time here, you might like to start with my post How to Decoupage on Wood. I made a quick YouTube video that shows you every step.

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.

Dad sign for Father's Day made as a decoupage wood sign project

Supplies

For this simple wooden sign craft, you’ll need the following supplies:

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.

Minwax wood finish stain for DIY decoupage wood sign

This stain 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…

Applying stain to wood plaque to prepare for decoupage wood sign project

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.

Applying Mod Podge to wooden letters for decoupage wood signs
My little men hard at work

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.

Decoupage wood letters after applying clear acrylic sealer
Decoupage wood letters after applying sealer

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.

Decoupage DIY project for Father's Day with "DAD" letters on it

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

Finished decoupage wood sign with "DAD" letters

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?

  • Art 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!

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.

Pin this for later!

Easy DIY decoupage wood signs

How to Make a Decoupage Wood Sign

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner/Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Learn how to make decoupage wood signs the easy way with this quick beginner project. This is so easy to DIY, even the kids can help!

Materials

  • Wooden plaque
  • Wood letters
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Wood glue
  • Optional: Clear acrylic sealer

Tools

  • Foam or bristle brush

Instructions

  1. To begin, add a stain or paint to your sign (assuming it’s unfinished wood). 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.
  2. Let the stain dry 24-48 hours before applying the decoupage wooden letters.
  3. 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.
  4. Once you have your shapes ready, brush a generous amount of Mod Podge onto the wooden letters and attach your paper cut-outs.
  5. After you secure the paper to the wood letters, let the glue dry 20-30 minutes.
  6. Apply a final coat of Mod Podge on top of the letters.
  7. Optional: Apply a clear sealer for extra shine and durability.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag @firstdayofhome!

More Decoupage Projects

I hope you have fun making your very own DIY decoupage wood signs. Don’t forget I have plenty of other decoupage projects to explore!

Leave a comment if you have any questions as you get started.

First Day of Home signature

More Mod Podge Projects


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11 Comments

  1. Such a sweet gift! I love how your sign turned out. You are right about not using hot glue for outdoor projects. I’ve used hot glue for decor (like wreaths) to hang on my front door. Eventually the sun melts the hot glue and I lose items from my wreaths, etc. lol

    1. Thank you, Lauren! Yes, it’s funny how you have to learn the hard way sometimes. Ha! At least now we know what NOT to do. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Crissy, what a lovely and personal gift idea for any father, but especially when made by precious little hands. This gift is a true keepsake!! Congratulations on your creative photography and amazing blog! Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, NC! My husband loved the way this DIY sign turned out, and I know he’ll cherish it for many years to come. I hope you’ll give it a try and have fun with it! Thanks for the sweet compliments!