Homemade Wooden Sign Post

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Add a bit of whimsy to your garden by building a wooden sign post. Show off your personality and interests by choosing real or fictional places that hold special meaning for you. You can also use a sign post at special events to direct guests to a variety of items or places within the venue.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Things You'll Need

  • 8-foot redwood post
  • Post hole digger
  • One-by-two or one-by-three scrap wood measuring 2 feet (length and width is up to you)
  • Jigsaw
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Apple cider vinegar (optional)
  • Steel wool (optional)
  • Stencils (approximately same size as the width of the wood)
  • Word processing or photo editing software (optional)
  • Printer (optional)
  • Wax paper (optional)
  • Clear sealant spray
  • Power drill
  • 2-inch galvanized screws, 2 for each sign you attach

Prepare the Post

Dig a Hole for the Post

Use the post hole digger to dig a hole wide enough to fit the post and about 18 inches deep.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Bury the Post

Place the post inside the hole and hold it straight up while replacing the dirt around it. When the dirt is almost the same height as the ground, you will need to stomp down on it. This will compact the dirt surrounding the post, keeping it secure.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Prepare the Wooden Signs

Cut the Wood

Use the jigsaw to cut the scrap wood into various sign pieces of varying lengths. You can also cut the wood to add an arrow pointing in a specific direction at one end of the sign, or add a decorative design on one of the ends.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Age or Paint the Wood

Before adding names to the sign, you can either paint the wood a bright color using acrylic paint or you can age it. To age the wood, add some apple cider vinegar to a piece of steel wool and buff it into the wood.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Option 1: Stencil the Wood

Using stencils will guarantee that your letters are picture perfect. Lay down newspaper to protect your work surface. Place the stencil onto the wooden sign and paint the letters using acrylic paint. Lift the stencil carefully to avoid smudging and be sure to wipe any wet paint off the stencil before placing it back on the sign.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Option 2: Paint the Wood Freehand

If you are confident in your handwriting, you can also freehand paint your sign. Going this route can be very creative and will add your unique touch. In addition to painting names on the signs, you can paint designs to match the theme of the name, such as stars, snowflakes or skulls. This makes for a fun task with kids, too.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Option 3: Transfer Ink to the Wood

If your printer only prints black ink, you'll need to use a light-colored wood or paint the wood a light color first. Using a word processing or photo editing software, type the word(s) for your sign's name and then be sure to mirror the letters. Print the words onto wax paper. Do not touch the ink, as it will easily smudge. Carefully place the wax paper ink-side down on the wood and don't move the paper at all or you will smudge the ink. Once the paper is on the wood, carefully press the entire word onto the wood. Remove the paper to reveal your printed word(s) on the wood.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)
(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Seal the Signs

Once you are done stenciling, painting and/or transferring ink to the signs, you will want to apply two coats of clear sealant spray to each sign to make sure the paint or ink will not run in the outdoor environment.

Attach the Signs to the Post

When the sealant is completely dry, use two screws to attach each sign to the redwood post. Hold up the sign to the post and figure out where you want to place it. Pre-drill two holes into the top and bottom of the sign where it will attach to the post, and then drill two screws into the holes. Vary the direction and tilt of each sign for added visual interest.

(Image: Matthew Ashman)

Tip

  • You can also add embellishments to your sign using a glue gun and various miniature decorations.

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