Upcycled Christmas Sign

by | Dec 3, 2018 | Decorations | 0 comments

Oh the weather outside is frightful, and upcycling is delightful! With Christmas right around the corner, it is time to start switching out the Fall decorations with all of your amazing winter decorations. For me, I will never turn down an opportunity to make a cute new decoration for my home, so today I decided to take an old wooden sign I found at a thrift store and turn it into a fun, upcycled Christmas sign.

Supplies Needed

  • Wood sign. Any size or shape will do
  • Sander
  • Sand paper
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood stain of your choice
  • White painters pen
  • White paint
  • Damp cloth
  • Clear sealant
  • Wire to hang your sign
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit


Step 1. Sand the wood sign

If you purchased a sign from a thrift store like I did, chances are that it has paint and lettering already on it. Take your sandpaper and sander and remove any paint, lettering and wood stain that is currently on the wood sign.

Using a sander to sand the wood sign


Step 2. Wipe your sign with the damp cloth

After you sand the paint and lettering off from your sign, there will be some wood dust leftover on the wood. If you don’t remove the wood dust, it can ruin the stain that you’ll apply to the wood. Take your damp cloth and wipe the whole sign down, making sure that the wood is clean.


Step 3. Drill two holes into the sign to create a wire hanger

Take the drill and drill bit and drill two holes into your sign, near the corners. Insert each end of the wire into one hole. Curl the wire with your hand to prevent the wire from slipping back out.


Step 3. Stain the sign with the stain of your choice

I usually prefer dark walnut stain for wood projects. It gives the wood a rich and dark look that is really appealing. Make sure to wipe clean any drips that form while you are staining the wood. Allow to dry completely before moving forward.

Prepping the wood for the walnut stain

Stained Christmas sign


Step 4. Print your lettering and center on your board

Using your favorite word processor, create the design of your letters for your sign. I chose “Merry Christmas” for my sign, but anything holiday related will do. Feel free to add in trees or something else to spice up the sign. Once you’ve designed your letters, print them on paper. The letters will be big enough that you’ll probably use two sheets of paper to be able to include all of the lettering. Center the letters on your board and tape down the edges to secure the papers in place.

papers containing the words "Merry Christmas"

"Merry Christmas" sign taped to the wood board


Step 5. Trace the lettering on your sign

Take a regular ball point pen and trace over your lettering. Press hard to leave an indentation on the wood. If the indentation is hard to see, you can go over the lettering with a white pencil.

Tracing the letters on the sign

Tracing letters on the sign with a white pencil

Step 6. Paint your lettering

Now that you have a good outline of your lettering, it’s time to paint. Use your white paint and paint brush to fill in every letter. Allow the first coat to dry, then give it another two coats. This will ensure that your letters are bold and visible.

Painting "Merry Christmas" on the sign

"Merry Christmas" painted on a wood sign


Step 7. Sand down the letters to make them even

Often times, when paint something with multiple coats, the paint can become thicker in some spots. Take some fine grit sandpaper and lightly even out the letters. Once you have evened all of the letters, wipe off the paint dust with a damp cloth

Sanding the letters of the sign


Step 8. Add any embellishments to the sign

Now that your letters are done, it’s time to spruce up the sign a bit. I decided to add in some trees and some snow. I also added some swirls around the corners of the sign. Really, there is no right or wrong answer here. Add any extra designs and embellishments that you’d like.

white paint painters pen for extra embelishments

Painting on swirls on the edges of the sign

Painting Christmas trees on the upcycled Christmas sign

Dry brushing on snow


Step 9. Spray the sign with a clear sealant

Now that you’ve finished designing and painting your sign, it’s time to spray it with a clear sealant. The clear sealant will make it last a lot longer and will preserve the designs that you painted. Once the clear sealant is dry, you’re finished! You should now have a beautiful holiday sign that you can hang indoors or outdoors. I will be adding lots more holiday crafts soon, so keep checking here to stay updated. Merry Christmas!

Upcycled sign that says "Merry Christmas"