DIY Wooden Letter Sign

March 20th, 2013

I’m going to sell my wares at the Rock & Shop Market in Durham on April 6th. Hopefully you can stop by and say hello! I’ve never sold offline before (excluding my retailers and that West Elm thing), so I’ve been collecting a few odds and ends to set up my table and display my products. I needed a “Wit & Whistle” sign, and this is what I’ve come up with. A rustic lettered sign like this would be perfect in so many scenarios—at a wedding, used for holiday decor, in a nursery, etc. Use your imagination! Here’s how to create your own.

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

you’ll need:

wooden letters (from your local craft store)
sandpaper
wood stain (I used Minwax Dark Walnut 2716)
disposable gloves
sponge brush
oil rubbed bronze spray paint (optional)
tiny screw eyes (2 for each wide letter and 1 for each narrow letter—size #216-1/2 x 1/2″)
drill
1/16 inch drill bit
piece of tape
twine

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

Sand any rough splintery spots on the wooden letters.

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

In a well ventilated area, use a sponge brush to stain the letters following the instructions on the wood stain packaging. Wear disposable gloves so you don’t end up with stain all over your fingers.

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

If desired, cover the screw eyes with a coat of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. That way they’ll look rustic instead of shiny and new. (This step is optional and only for anal-retentive people like me.)

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

When the stain is completely dry, plug in your drill, hold it like a gun, and rev it a few times (just for fun).

Next grab your 1/16 inch drill bit, which is easy to spot because it’s the cutest little drill bit ever. (Note, that if you aren’t using size #216-1/2 x 1/2″ screw eyes, you may need a different size drill bit.) Drill holes in the top of each letter. For narrow letters drill one hole in the top center, and for wide letters (like W or H) you’ll want two holes in the top so they hang straight. Secure the letters before drilling to keep your fingers out of harm’s way. I clamped my letters into a little work bench like this.

After drilling, twist a screw eye into each hole.

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

Lay the letters out on the floor in the correct order and space them the way you want them to hang. Unwind a length of twine long enough to connect all the letters, plus a few extra feet on each end.

Wrap a piece of tape around one end of the twine so it’s easier to thread through the screw eyes. (You know, like the plastic piece on the end of a shoelace.)

Thread each letter onto the twine one and a time, knotting them in place. Make sure the letters are spaced evenly as you go along. If a letter hangs crooked, you can twist the screw eye to adjust the angle.

DIY hanging wooden letter sign banner

Ta-da!

21 Comments

  1. Love this idea! Oh I wish I could be there. I lived in Durham after getting married and Holly Springs, too – such a beautiful area to live. You’re on my old stomping ground. Enjoy the show!

  2. Kat

    I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the tutorial :)

  3. This is adorable!!!! I really want to make it now!

    Emily
    eageremily.blogspot.com

  4. Kp

    Love this! I’m in a similar boat, being unsure how best to display wares outside the world of etsy. thanks for the great idea!

  5. Perfect! Matches Wit & Whistle’s branding so well.

  6. This is such a great idea!! It reminds me of that great quote (I’m paraphrasing badly), sometimes said about modern art..sure, you could have done it, but you didn’t! Seriously simple, elegant, and matches your brand. I would love to be able to see some of your items in person (sadly I am in the Midwest). Good luck and I WILL be doing the same thing (with our last name, above the front door), and I’ll let you know how it turns out! :)

  7. Best wishes with the event and I love the sign!! It’s really pretty!! =)

  8. so cute Amanda – wish I could visit your booth. best of luck! I bet it’ll be so fun!

  9. I love this!! It is already pinned! Be sure to hop on over to Lynn and Lou for a wonderful Giveaway!

    Link: http://www.lynnandlou.com/2013/03/garnish-ed-kettle-corn-garnish-giveaway.html

    xx. McKenna Lou
    http://www.lynnandlou.com

  10. Cute! I think this would be a good “Happy Birthday” banner too! Those are always happening and it’s so much better to reuse than to buy those flimsy ones from the dollar store :)

  11. Awesome! This is going to look great at the show. :)

  12. Perfect! Looks great!

  13. great minds think alike! i totally had the same idea a few months back. mine looks like this.

    http://xfallenmoon.blogspot.ca/2013/02/diy-letter-garland.html

  14. mel

    Love your style.

    Hahaha, I’m too lazy for drills. I usually just poke a shallow hole with a pushpin and the eye hooks just dig themselves right in!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I’m the same way! I usually just push the screw into the wood really hard and start twisting so I don’t have to get the drill out. This wood was rock hard though, and I couldn’t do it. Boo!

  15. These look great, Amanda. Hope all goes well with the retail side of things. Please give us an update afterwards!

  16. They look great, I’m inspired!

  17. Hollie

    This look is fabulous. I tried finding these exact wooden letters, but to no avail. All I can find are serif fonts or non serif that are really big, bulky, and wide. Any chance you could share where you found yours? Much appreciated!

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