Building a simpler and greener life

Upcycled Holiday Sign

Upcycled Holiday Sign

Make your own rustic farmhouse decor for less than $5 with this upcycled holiday sign!

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How to Make an Upcycled Holiday Sign - Make your own rustic farmhouse Christmas sign for less than 5 dollars |

There are few things that bring me more excitement than turning something old into something new. 

Especially if that project brings me to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore looking for supplies. 

Not only does the ReStore sell donated furniture, lighting, and building supplies, they also have parts of furniture from ususable pieces!

That means you can often find solid wood cabinet doors or shelves for a steal. 

I recently went to my local ReStore on the hunt for larger doors that would be useful for an upcycled holiday sign to use outdoors. 

I was lucky enough to spot two that had promise. Since they were only $2 each, I grabbed both and figured I would decide at home. 

You can see in the photo that they were similar in style, both long and skinny.

But, since the white door needed a little less prep, I decided to go with that one for this season. 

When I have a little more time on my hands, I’ll sand off that old oak stain from the larger door so it’s a lighter surface. 

The white door only needed to be cleaned. So, I used some gentle soap and water for a quick wipe down and it was ready to go. 

I did unscrew the hardware that was on the backside of the door. I could have skipped this step, but they were a little large and I was afraid they might scratch whatever the sign was leaning against when it was set up outside.

There was also a small hole where the original handle had been. That was left alone. But if I was going to paint the entire door, I would have filled it with wood putty before painting. 

Once the door was prepped and ready to go, I decided on the word I wanted to put on my sign. 

I chose the word Joy.

Any holiday word would work on this upcycling project, like Noel, Jolly or Snow. Any word with an “O”.

Once you’ve chosen your word, print out all the letters but the “O”. We’re going to substitute a wreath for that letter later. You can use whatever word processing program you like, but I did have trouble making the letters big enough on Google Docs. I had a lot better luck on Canva, which is a very user friendly site. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Canva, follow the steps below to make large letters in minutes for free.

Simply choose a flyer template with a white background, then delete all the text and images.

Next, add a letter in the font of your choice, and drag the corner of the surrounding box to make the letter as big as you’d like.

I made the video below so you can see how easily it is done.

You could also use a stencil, decals, or even freehand text, if that’s your gift! 

Once you have your letters to the size that works for your wood, shade the back with a graphite pencil so the entire letter is covered. 

Flip each letter over, place the paper where you’d like the letter to be on your wood.

Trace around the edge of each letter.  

When you remove the paper sheet, the outline should remain on your wood. 

I made sure to put my wreath around where I thought it would end up so the spacing for all 3 letters in the word would be even.

Then, you can fill in the outline in anyway you’d like.

I decided to use black chalk paint for my letters, because it would adhere right to the painted door. 

But that look wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

To make the painted letters match look a little more weathered, I used a small piece of sandpaper and removed some of the black. 

Now, its time to fill in the last letter.

For the letter “O”, I hot-glued a small wreath from the Dollar Tree. 

I could have stopped right there, but I felt like my sign needed a little something on the top. 

I used some jute twine to wrap around the top a few times, and let the rest hang down with a couple of bronze jingle bells. 

My final touch was to add a small black and white plaid bow.

I had this leftover from other projects so this part didn’t cost me a thing!

If the bow isn’t for you, try something different. You could also add some evergreen, pinecone, or red floral picks to the twine at the top.

All in all, this upcycled holiday sign cost me less than $5 to make.

The wood was only $2, and I added the $1 wreath.

I already had the twine and bells, but new packs can be found at the Dollar Tree.

Chalk paint can cost a few dollars, but since I only used a very, very small amount the actual cost was pennies!

I’m sure you could spend more than $30 for a handmade holiday sign. Especially one that was made from solid wood.

Why not just make your own?

One final note. If your sign is going to be displayed outside, you may want to protect the chalk paint from the weather. You can brush it with polyurethane to seal the letters.

Mine is under a large overhang, so it won’t get wet.

I’m so happy with how this turned out. 

The sign adds a little height to my front porch decor, and I love the simple color scheme.

It will look even better when I get the rest of my decorations out!

Let me know what you think about using upcycled materials for your home decor in the comments below!

Upcycled Holiday Signs - How to make simple rustic Christmas decor for less than 5 dollars with recycled doors |

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