DIY Hot Chocolate Bar Sign and Stand

How to Make a Coffee and Hot Chocolate Bar

This month’s Intl’s bloggers are sharing projects related to Christmas.  I decided to share this freestanding DIY hot chocolate bar, with a handmade stand and DIY hot chocolate sign.   Last year’s hot chocolate bar was elaborate for a large group of guests.  This year we made a free-standing everyday sized hot chocolate bar.  I  love how  DIY wood stand turned out with its shiny espresso stain.  It didn’t look complete without the DIY Hot Chocolate Bar sign, so I made a simple one.  Make sure to check out the other Int’l Bloggers posts at the end of mine.


A DIY coffee bar with a DIY Hot chocolate sign.


If your wanting to build the coffee cart here is the tutorial.   Its rustic and made using whatever wood we had on hand.  It’s finished using 80,120,150 grit sandpaper and dark espresso stain.  I used brown paper bags like sandpaper to smooth out the dry stain between coats.

DIY Hot Chocolate Bar Sign

You may have noticed I said the Hot Chocolate Bar sign was simple, but it certainly wasn’t easy.  For whatever reason, I suffered so many glitches trying to make this sign I  may have stomped my foot, had loud one-way conversations with my cutting machine and left the house to go buy one instead.

DIY Hot Chocolate Bar Sign Using Vinyl


Not able to find a nice one, I purchased a new cutting blade, some more vinyl, and a new mat.  It made all the difference in cutting the small letters out.

The sign is 12  by 19  inches and made using an old fall sign I’ve had for a few years.   I flipped the sign over and painted the sign with two coats of red paint.

To fit the within the frame the lettering had to be small.   With the small letters, I felt that vinyl was a better choice than paint.   The vinyl gives a crisper clean look than paint does, especially on a sign such contrasting colours.

Cutting out the Vinyl Letters

Secondly, because I had so much difficulty with the cutting I decided to do the vinyl transfer in sections instead of one large piece.  So much easier.  I won’t ever do a one single vinyl transfer again.

My version of silhouette studio doesn’t allow me to share SVG files, but here is the  silhouette studio file.

To cut out the vinyl, I suggest ungrouping the letters and doing one section of the lettering at a time.  I started with the little rectangular motifs and worked from there.   The rectangular pieces give you a reference point and the vinyl transfer paper has marking on it that helps with the placement.

Cut out each section and weed out everything but the letters.

Transferring the Vinyl Letters

Apply the transfer tape on top of the letters rub well so it adheres.  Carefully lift off the lettering from the cutting mat.

Because the vinyl and the vinyl backing are both white, it can be a bit tricky to notice if the vinyl backing has come off as its suppose to.  The vinyl backing is a tiny bit duller than the vinyl itself,  looking carefully you can see a difference in sheen.


Removing the background from adhesive vinyl for a hot chocolate bar sign.


Once you’re sure you have the sticky surface showing, and all the backing removed,  flip the transfer tape over letter side down and apply it to your sign.  Rub where the letters are.

Remove the Transfer Tape

Do this slowly and carefully.  An already lifted piece of transfer tape can reattach if you let go of it.  I place something like a ruler beside where I am working,  so if the tape drops it doesn’t hit the letters causing rework.  Another hint is to cut off bits of the transfer tape once you have the letters attached and the transfer tape weeded off.


Removing transfer tape from vinyl on a DIY hot chocolate bar sign.


Repeat with the next phrase.


Applying vinyl lettering to a DIY Hot Chocolate Sign


I prefer to transfer patterns and then paint in the letters.   But the vinyl letters are perfectly crisp, and any errors would really stand out on the red paint, so its worth it.

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Hand made bar cart and hot chocolate bar sign for the holidays.

Finishing the Hot Chocolate Bar

I added some wood boxes, coordinating linens, pretty jars of cocoa, some cookie, of course, the shelf below has flavored coffees, more cocoa, chocolate spoons, Christmas napkins, and coffee carafes.  It’s all handy but contained in a box to look neat and tidy.  I will add other toppings closer to the holidays.

Let’s see what my blogging friends have created for us.  I am so excited the Christmas holidays are coming. Thanks for stopping by.


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7 thoughts on “DIY Hot Chocolate Bar Sign and Stand

  1. Michelle I don’t know about how hard it was, but in the end it was so worth it. It is so pretty and one of a kind. Now when you look at it you’ll feel so proud not only of the station but also of this awesome sign!

  2. I love your rustic beverage station sign, Leanna and the fact that it’s painted in my favorite holiday red makes me love it even more! I’ve been asking Santa for a cut machine for three years now. If he doesn’t bring me one this year, I’m buying my own dang present!

  3. What a fun sign Leanna, I’m happy it finally worked out for you, especially after all the glitches you had with your cutting machine. I would have stomped my foot a few times too. It’s so frustrating when machines don’t work like they should. The whole hot coffee station looks beautiful and festive. I can see it becoming a get together point for everyone in the family to catch up and chat

    1. I love them too Debra, because they are easy to make and more crafty than artistic. It means the everyday person can create something unique.

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