DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial - Turquoise Tones New Wood Distressed to look like weathered Barn Wood Home Decoration
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New “Old” Distressed Barn Wood Word Art Indoor/Outdoor Home Decor Sign – Do it Yourself Project Tutorial

You don’t have to wait for someone to run down your fence to create fun home decor projects with “old” distressed and weathered wood!  You can create the look of weathered old barn wood using brand new boards!  This DIY Word Art sign was made with a combination of ACTUAL weathered wood, new “old” barn wood using this technique, and scroll saw word art!   Come learn how – it’s SO fun and much easier than you might think: 

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial - Turquoise Tones New Wood Distressed to look like weathered Barn Wood Home Decoration

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial - Technique for New Wood Distressed to look like weathered Barn Wood Do it Yourself Home Decoration

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I was so excited when my neighbor passed out on her way home from giving blood and smashed into my fence!  I was like “OH EM GEE now I can create all the things I’ve been seeing all over the interwebs with distressed weathered wood!”   

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Fence Damage from Car inspiring Weathered Wood Project

Before you get all judgy – that’s the RV parking area with no sprinklers, so yeah,  it’s weedy and ucky.  But nobody sees that side of the house except my puppies so issallgood.  Well, until now.  Also, I really was concerned for the lady and made sure she was okay BEFORE I ran to my Pinterest Boards to scour for all of the pretties I’d saved to make with weathered wood.  

What I DID know is that I wanted to add color with some faux weathered wood mixed in with the ACTUAL weathered wood.  So I headed to the home improvement store and grabbed me some lumber!  Even though I have a saw – I love having the peeps there cut it into more manageable sizes for me to shove in my rig and work with once I get them home.  I chose the wood that’s meant to fit together as flooring or paneling because I loved the edge on them and the knots: 

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Plain Boards on Painting Triangles

You have GOT to getcha some of these Painter’s Pyramids btw: 

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Painters Triangles so helpful for painting projects

I got a bagillion of them when my fave sister helped me completely repaint ALL of my kitchen and master bath cabinets.  SUCH a time saver – you can paint three sides and then flip the project sooner because they just touch a TEENY TINY point on your project.  Srsly, get some of these.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Painted Boards before Sanding and Staining

They were having a temporary sale on ALL of the paint samples your little heart could desire – so I obliged.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Turquoise Board Sanding to distress wood and create grain for stain to soak in

You need to wait 24 hours for the paint to really dry on there good.  Then SAND that sucker to the point of however distressed you want yours to look.  A power sander is now on my list of MUST GETS.  Because OUCH:  My arm.    So yeah, I used these sanding blocks/sponges, which worked just fine AND gave me a pass on my normal pilates/yoga mix that day.

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Turquoise Board Stained after Sanding to add subtle weathered look

Then I used an old sock and slathered on some wood stain {I really liked the way THIS CLASSIC GRAY looked as opposed to a brown stain} ***helpful hint:  do not leave the old sock with stain all over it out where one of your puppies can get it and drag it into your family room and roll all over it***

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Coral Board Sanded and Stained to grab the knots and enhance

Wipe it off with a dry cloth right after smearing the stain around for a light look.  See how it just subtly grabs and sinks into the knots and grain without making it too dark and “dirty” looking?  Personal preference.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Multiple Colored Boards Sanded and Stained Weathered look from New Boards

With these, I let the stain really soak in more and it made a bigger impact.   I wanted a variety to work with.

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Turquoise Board Sanded and Stained subtle distressed example

In this photo – the turquoise/green is the only stained one so you can see how it’s not all that noticeable yet adds interest and makes the boards look used.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Using Scroll Saw to Cut out Word Art

While those dried for another day I created my word art with my handy dandy scroll saw (which I should change my status to “in a relationship” with.  LOVE it.) – THIS is the one I have and absolutely adore.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Using Scroll Saw to Cut out Word Art then sand

To grab the FREE template / pattern and follow the full tutorial to make the word – CLICK HERE or on the image above.

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Layed Out signs before painting the words

The next day I cut my colored boards and fence board remnants into 16″ lengths and laid them all out to see how I wanted to arrange the backgrounds.  I penciled the measured line and used my scroll saw to cut them {because it was handy} but you could use any ole saw you like.   

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Nailing eight inch think plywood to back of boards

I grabbed a sheet of 1/8″ plywood and had the super nice employee at Lowe’s cut it into 5ths for me and nailed one to the back of the boards once I had them arranged how I liked them.  I tried using some liquid nails and it wasn’t quite holding them all together as securely as I’d liked {probably because of all of the texture and the mix of the fence wood} so just to be sure – I nailed it with these 1″ nails so that they weren’t SO long they poked through the front.  

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Install Picture Hanging Hardware

So that they’d be all secure on the wall if someone wanted to hang them up instead of leaning them on a mantel or whatevs, I attached some Keyhole Fasteners

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Drill with Picture Hanging Hardware

They’d be pretty hard to attach if you don’t have a handy dandy cordless power drill – so if you don’t, I’d go with THESE easy picture hanging strips as an option:

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Command Strips Picture Hanging Strips hold twelve pounds each Easy Hanging

I went back and forth for my EVER – but then ultimately decided to paint the words white instead of leaving them natural.  It was super easy with a quick coat of  chalky finish SPRAY paint! 

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial Chalk Paint Spray Paint to paint the words

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial White one inch panel nails to attach decoration to project

I sprayed such a light coat {and it was 103◦ out} I only had to wait a couple of hours to nail the word onto the front of the boards.   I used these 1″ white panel nails so they were short enough to not go clear through and so that I didn’t have to paint them again.

And VOILA!  Here’s how my first three turned out: 
DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial - 3 color schemes of New Wood Distressed to look like weathered Barn Wood Home DecorationI made them for a family reunion auction and they were a big hit!  Three of my fave lady rellies “won” them and I couldn’t be more pleased.    Now I’m slightly addicted to simple woodworking projects.  You can be sure, I’ll be back with more.    Happy creating, friends! 

Make sure to PIN THIS IMAGE where it’s handy and go break apart some of your fence! {Kidding, kinda.}

DIY Family Word Art Sign Woodworking Project Tutorial - Turquoise Tones New Wood Distressed to look like weathered Barn Wood Do it Yourself Home Decoration 

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24 Comments

  1. i have read over and over I am not sure if you or I missing something in this instruction of making this art works ? how do you make those woods to stick together ???

    1. Hi Jackie! It’s towards the middle of the post: “I grabbed a sheet of 1/8″ plywood and had the super nice employee at Lowe’s cut it into 5ths for me and nailed one to the back of the boards once I had them arranged how I liked them. I tried using some liquid nails and it wasn’t quite holding them all together as securely as I’d liked {probably because of all of the texture and the mix of the fence wood} so just to be sure – I nailed it with these 1″ nails so that they weren’t SO long they poked through the front.” If you are talking about how I got the word “family” on there, I just nailed it on with little white nails that were long enough to go through the thickness of the word and then about 1/4″ into the wood background. Does that help?

    1. Hey, is there a way you can send me a list of exactly what I need to make this. Suggestions of wood sizes specifically. I am so excited to make this. My husband helps me by doing all the wood cutting and I’m the one that puts it all together. We are a great team!!! Thank you for your help. I look forward in posting our finished project.

      1. Hi Dannielle! All of the wood dimensions I used are included in the text of this post, but really, you can customize it however you like. I can’t wait to see how your project turns out!

  2. I must be missing something but when I try & figure this out, the boards come out to be 16×30. But when I followed your family template it didn’t come out to be 11×24 it printed out to be 11×19. That leaves a 5 1/2 inch gap on either side of the letters on the boards. What did I not get right? Thank you!!

    1. Sorry you are having troubles, Michelle! I’m guessing it might be your printer settings? Maybe try enlarging it? It sounds like it’s not proportionate though. I remeasured my wooden word to make sure and from the top tip of the “L” to the bottom of the “Y” it’s 11.5″ and the word is 24″ long. You can get the font here for free: http://www.dafont.com/bromello.font and maybe try creating it yourself in Word or another text program on your computer and then print it? I hope these ideas help!

    1. Hi, Angela! No worries at all! Any kind you want if you are going to be sanding it off to make it look distressed. Just regular interior flat house paint is what I used. I hit a day when Lowe’s had a big sale on paint samples (little cute jars!) in whatever colors you wanted. I picked out about 11 colors and they mixed them up for me. 🙂 That’s so exciting you are getting your toes wet in all the wonderfulness that is DIY! It’s addictive and SO fun!

    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly! At the time, we don’t sell our work, just provide the tutorials to make your own fun stuff. If we ever decide to open a shop or do commissioned pieces, I’ll be sure to let you know. Thanks again! 🙂

  3. Love your explanation, I think we are twinsie talkers lol! Any who I am totally almost but, totally convincing my hubs , I really need tools( I have vehicle repair tools but,nothing really cool for DIY projects. What tool did you use to cut out your letters all together like that? Do you have a tutorial just on making the words? Greatly appreciate any advice.

    1. I sure do! Here’s how to make the word itself with a scroll saw –> https://dreamingindiy.com/do-it-yourself-word-art-easy-scroll-saw-woodworking-diy-project-and-free-template/ (tell your hubs we said you NEED one…like..so bad.) It’s SO much fun and your creative possibilities are endless! This is the one I have {affiliate} http://amzn.to/2mbtSgg I’ve used it for so many little odds and ends of projects that needed a little precision finish work. I haven’t even used the stand, it hardly vibrates and stays put, so I just set it right on my trusty workbench! It’s super light and portable. Have FUN! I’d love to see pics of what you create.

  4. Hi!
    This is beautiful! I’m very new at scroll sawing but love it so far! I wondered if you could give any tips about sanding the cutouts? What to use for the names etc? Thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much, Zai! I like to use the individual pieces of sandpaper that are meant to be used in those refillable sanding blocks. I just use my hands so that it bends around the corners nice instead of using the rigid block. I get it in all different grits from course to super fine depending on how smooth I want it. Sometimes it’s a fun look to leave a little bit of roughness to it! These are what I’m talking about here: (affiliate) http://amzn.to/2nPLii4 I’d love to see pictures of your creations! So glad you are having fun.

  5. Hi my name Michelle Voyles, I love this sooooo much and I think my mom would to so I want to give one to her for mothers day, but there is one problem, I’m 13 years old so it would be pretty hard to sneak around and make this with out anyone noticing and I know you don’t sell these so I was wondering if you new anyone who would make me one of these by mothers day. Thanks.

    1. Hi Wendy! It’s about halfway down and easy to miss – I cut the boards each 16 inches long. The word art is 11 inches high so I wanted some space on either side of the word when it was done. Depending on how wide you want your sign and/or how much you want it to extend to each side of the word (not to mention how wide the boards are you picke out) lengthwise you can use as many board pieces as you like. The word itself turns out to be 24 inches long/wide and 11 inches tall. I believe my finished sign ended up being 16 inches high by around 30 inches wide. I’d love to see a picture of yours when it’s done!

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