I love sunflowers. I’d say they’re my favorite flower, but I don’t feel like I actually know enough about flowers to make that determination. In fact, sunflowers might be the only flower I can actually identify, which might be part of why I like them.
Regardless, I like sunflowers. And in case you missed the memo, summer and fall are sunflower season, at least when it comes to floral decor stores. I’m assuming they grow in summer and fall in real life too, but, as mentioned, not a flower connoisseur here.
As a result, when I stop by Joann’s, I tend to walk through the decor section admiring all the pretty sunflowers. I don’t buy anything, because I’m willing to settle for whatever’s left at the end of the season when everything is crazy marked down, but I window shop in the meantime. And on one of my most recent trips, I saw this:
I really liked the middle sunflower sign, but I walked away. Why? Because that was $30 for something I could make out of scrap wood. But the idea stuck in my head, and when I needed something for the space above my mudroom, I knew this would be perfect!
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“Welcome Home” DIY Scrap Wood Sign
- Scrap Wood
- Removable Sticker Paper– If you use my method, you’ll need paper that can be printed on the back removable, non-sticky side. I used this paper, and was quite please with how it turned out.
- Two Sunflowers- I got a bouquet of sunflowers at the dollar store (for a dollar!) and just cut off two of them.
- Kreg Jig/Screws or Tie Plate– I used my Kreg Jig and screws to connect my two pieces of wood together, but if you don’t have a Kreg Jig, no biggie. Something similar to this tie plate can be used on the back side of the wood to hold the two pieces together. If you do this, make sure to put wood glue between the pieces of wood for extra support.
- Wood Conditioner– Only necessary if your wood is a soft wood, like pine!
- Hot Glue and Gun OR Liquid Nails- For gluing sunflowers to wood.
- Picture Hangers
Step One: Make the Base
I cut two pieces (to be 30″ and 22″ long) of out of an old 1″x 6″ piece of pine I had around. Then I centered the smaller piece below the larger piece, and connected them using Kreg Jig screws. Here’s a guide to the Kreg Jig system, if you’re unfamiliar with how it works.
Step 2: Stain
Since I was working with pine, it was super important for me to use wood conditioner on the wood first. If you’re like past me, and thinking to yourself “that’s not really necessary,” let me show you what this wood looked like without wood conditioner:
If you’re working with pine, wood conditioner is mandatory. I’m sorry.
Pine boards with wood conditioner!
Since I wasn’t super picky about what my wood looked like for this project, I just wanted it to be darker, I used stains I had around the house. I worked my way from lightest to darkest until I was satisfied with the color. I started with Minwax’s Early American, then tried Minwax’s English Chestnut, then finished with Cece Caldwell’s Hickory.
Since I used the wood conditioner, the stains didn’t soak in as much as they would have normally, which is why it took me so long (and so many tries!) to get a dark color. And note that, even with wood condition, pine is still hard to stain! There are still some blotches on my wood. For whatever reason, I didn’t take a picture right after staining, but you can see it in my final product.
See where the arrows point? Those are my blotches!
Step 3: Print and Cut Out Letters
When printing, print on the BACK of the sticker paper. This allows you to cut out the letters so that what you stick onto your wood is white. The black ink removable side will get thrown away after you peel off your letter.Most letters are symmetric, so this technique works. For letters that aren’t symmetric, I retraced the letter on a scrap part of the paper, and then cut it out.
See how I retraced the “L”? Because it wasn’t symmetric, the L was backwards if I wanted to use the front side of the sticker paper. By retracing, the L will now be the correct direction when placed on my sign.
Step 4: Place Letters and Sunflowers on Sign
I laid the letters out to make sure they were properly spaced, then took the ink backs off and stuck them onto the sign.
For the sunflowers, I glued them using a hot glue gun. That being said, if I’d had any clear liquid nails around, I would have used that instead. It would have created a much stronger bond.
Step 5: Hang Sign
I put these weird little “push in” picture hangers I had around on the back of the sign. I didn’t trust the “push in” mechanism, so I also added some screws to make sure the hanger wasn’t going to budge.
Then I hung my sign!