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I love cruising the antique stores for sure, looking at everything with its unique story gets me excited I tell ya. But there also are times when I am feeling pretty crafty and want to make something similar to a vintage item that I saw in the antique shop instead. If you’re not finding the right vintage wooden signs or wall decor that you are wanting, don’t bum out. Make a custom sign! It can still have that vintage look but having been made by you…this year. So let’s make a beautiful sign with a vintage design and make an awesome addition to your home decor. Let’s do it!

DIY vintage sign promo pic

How To Create Your Own Vintage Wooden Signs

Learn how to easily make your very own DIY vintage wooden sign with these simple instructions
Active Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Keyword: DIY Projects, DIY sign, Vintage wooden signs
Yield: 1 sign
Author: Rae
Cost: 12


  • 1 Pair of scissors
  • 1 printer


  • 1 sign
  • 1 piece paper towels
  • 1 marker top
  • 1 piece paper


  • Gather all of your supplies
  • Decide what design(s) to put on your sign
  • Print an INVERTED version of your design
  • Wet a paper towel lightly
  • Place your inverted design on your paper directly on your clean sign with paper towel lightly dampened over it
  • Gently rub the round part of a marker top along the design
  • Once you are happy with the sign, add mod podge

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DIY Vintage Wooden Sign Supplies

1. Distressed wood panel-I got mine from Hobby Lobby

2. Printer and printer paper

3. Paper towels

4. Sealant such as mod podge 

Shop for wooden sign panels:

Step 1: Set Out Your Supplies

Use the above list to gather some supplies before starting this vintage wood sign project. Make sure your printer has ink, you have printer paper, and so on. It’s always the worst when you’re halfway through a DIY and you realize you forgot something. Doh!

Here’s the pretty wooden sign i got from Hobby Lobby:

vintage wooden signs home decor blank panel

Want the printable design I used for this vintage sign? Sign up to grab it below!

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Step 2: Plan Your Design and Print

This part was probably the “hardest” because the world is your oyster so to speak with this design. You can pick anything you’d like that you’ve created on Canva, like i did, or something cute you see online. I decided to keep it simple and started by writing the word “cottage” and choosing the font I thought would fit best on vintage signs.

But again, the world is your oyster. 

picture of the creation process of the lettering, inverted lettering

You might notice that the words are flipped horizontally, that’s because when you transfer the letters onto your wood sign, you’ll need it first to be inverted. That way it will go on your sign the correct way. I’ll show you more in a little bit.

Let’s print!

a printer printing out the word "cottage"

Step 3: Transfer Your Design Onto Your Vintage Wooden Sign- The Crazy Easy Way!

The first thing you need to do is to put your inverted design paper down where you want it on your sign, printed side down.

The next step is to lightly wet a paper towel and dab it onto where your printed design is on your paper.

a close up view of a piece of paper and the lettering being lightly dampened

Once that is finished, it doesn’t take much, take a smooth end of a marker or something with a round smooth end to lightly trace your damp paper.

Go over it several times if needed.

pressing lightly onto the lettering with the back of a marker

Once that’s done, it should look something like this:

lightly dampened wording on a piece of paper laying on the vintage wooden sign

Once i peeled the paper off and i thought that the transfer process was done to my satisfaction, this was what i ended up with:

the word "cottage" on a wooden sign

My original plan was to trace over it with a marker to make it more bold, but i really liked how faded it looked and gave it that feel of a real vintage sign.

another view of a wood panel with the word "cottage"

a third view of the wording on the wooden sign

It was unexpected that it turned out that way, but dang I loved it!

I ended up adding more to my final design using the exact same transfer method as above.

For me, I thought it was a great addition to my vintage wooden sign.

the completed vintage wooden sign with a design

wording stating "EST. 1821, Cottage"

Wood panel with wording and floral design

Step 4: Seal Your Design With Mod Podge

I found this spray on mod podge at Hobby Lobby the other day and thought I’d give it a whirl.

a photo of spray on mod lodge ultra

Just spray and done! Of course you can always use regular mod podge and “paint” it over the wood signs you create as well.

Want the printable design I used for this vintage sign? Sign up to grab it below!

FREE printable cottage design right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!


It’s always fun to go thrift or antique shopping and find some amazing 19th century or early 20th century signs, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes you feel a bit crafty and need to create your very own. That way, it turns out exactly how you want it.

There are SO MANY other ways to do this DIY project if you want to do it differently with different edge signs or color options.

You will love how much this sweet sign adds to your beautiful space. I know I sure did! 

It was the perfect addition to my home decor in my living room already and was just so fun to make. These are perfect especially if you love cottagecore decor.

Psst! And if you don’t know what your decorating style is, I’ve got a post all about finding your own personal decorating style!

Pin for later!

Vintage signs tutorial Pinterest pin

I loved doing this super simple DIY that I actually bought another wooden panel so I can make a second wooden vintage sign again!

What should I put on this one? Let me know!  The possibilities are endless!

I would love to see any creations or vintage DIY wooden signs you make to add to your home decor.

So please comment below if you would be up for making something like this and what you would put on it! We’d all love to hear what kind of fun designs you would put on your vintage sign.

Until next time,

Signature official

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