Rustic DIY Christmas Tree Sign Tutorial
Various versions of this Christmas tree farm sign are all over the internet, the first one I saw last year at my favorite but high-end Christmas store. It was $350 and so gorgeous I thought it was worth it, but giving gifts comes before decor so sadly I had to leave it there.
I never forgot about that sign and knew I was going to create my own version for this year at a price everyone can afford. It has several steps but takes no special skills.
You need to start by building the frame and backdrop. My frame and backdrop came from Habitat for Humanities. You need a large frame and some plain tongue and groove lumber. As you only need a couple of pieces, I was able to find enough matching pieces for almost free at Habitat.
The frame was a beautiful large real wood frame, my first plan was to strip it to bare wood and white stain the background. But then this happened. Have you ever seen anything like this?
I kept using the paint removing, covering it with plastic wrap and letting it work for about ten minutes.
I stripped it several times and then I sanded lots, and each time the spots got lighter, but there was no way that I could totally remove them. I ended up painting over the spots with little dabs of white chalk paint, letting it dry, and then applying white pickling stain afterward.
As the frame was now white, I switched the backdrop to natural. The tongue and groove wood is was bare wood, so I sanded them lightly and left them. I have started another one and have stained both the frame and the wood white and it works well. The choice depends on personal taste, the bare wood looks more rustic for a Christmas tree theme.
If you don’t know, you can recognize tongue and groove wood because one side has a little tongue on it, that is where you add the glue. The other side has the groove it fits into.
To make the backdrop cut the tongue and groove to fit the width of your frame mine is 24″ wide and 21″ high. You may have to trim one piece to fit the height as well. As you fit the wood into the frame glue each piece, being careful not to add too much glue. You don’t want the glue seeping out onto the front of your sign.
Once you have all the tongue and groove lumber place inside the frame, staple the outside edge with a staple gun to hold it all together.
Adding the Christmas Sign Wording
The wording was designed in Silhouette. As I am a blogger I cannot share the actual files, but I will share the fonts I used along with the sizes and the reference for the tree outline. It should give you everything you need. For my 24″w and 21″ h backdrop, I used the following fonts and sizes.
Farm Fresh is Times New Roman 125 sz
Christmas Trees is Challista Script 420 sz
Pine Spruce Fir is Calibri 120 sz
Complimentary Coffee and Hot Cocoa is Times New Roman 65 sz
There are all kinds of Christmas tree patterns in the Silhouette store, but I like this one by called Christmas Trees by Sophie Gallo Ref #72027 because its a grouping of trees and much easier to cut out and place than the individual trees would be.
Once you have your lettering designed cut it out on cardstock to create the templates.
Lay out your stencils and space them until you like the layout.
It’s much easier to outline the template with a pencil and then fill them in with paint a tiny brush. You have way more control than stenciling.
Trace out as much of the lettering as possible before you move any of the stencils. If you have stencils overlapping make sure you have enough letters traced out that you can remove and then replace to finish the lettering.
For the trees and the Christmas Tree wording just enough marks to guide you for the placement once the wording is cut out.
The Raised Tree and Christmas Trees Wording
The trees and Christmas tree wording is stenciled out onto 1/4 inch fibreboard. I purchased a 1/4 sheet at Lowes for $8. We made Santa star ornaments out of the remaining wood.
Transfer the letters onto the fibreboard, pencil out the centers of the letters.
Cut out the lettering using a scroll saw. Being very very careful. I was not comfortable using the saw, so Hubs did it for me. To get to the center of the letters, drill a hole in the middle then fit the blade into the hole before cutting it out. If the wording breaks don’t worry you can fix it when attaching it to the sign.
Carefully sand the lettering edges to smooth the cuts, for the centers of the letters fold your sandpaper into a tube. Be patient I promise its worth its worth the time.
If you have breakage glue the broken pieces together with wood glue and add wood filler. Sand smooth.
Cut out and sand the trees.
Once done paint the Christmas Trees wording and the tree silhouette and let dry.
Attaching the Cutouts
Add wood glue to the back of the cutouts, line them up with the template markings and press into place.
Painting the Lettering
To add to the rustic look of the sign, paint the lettering in different tones of greens and browns. I used matte finish acrylic paints.
Use a very tiny artists paintbrush, pour a coffee or two and paint your lettering in stages. As the background is plain wood it will be difficult to correct drips or mistakes, so work carefully starting at the center lettering. The paint dries fast so I recommend painting each phrase and letting it dry before starting the next one.
This sign is the focal point of our front entrance. We surrounded it with a small grove of natural Christmas trees. I hope you love the rustic nature of this sign.
Please let me know what you think.