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DIY Wall Art: "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Tutorial

Updated on May 3, 2011

Make Your Own Inspirational Wall Sign

I learned how to make this beautiful wall sign when I attended a craft night with women from my church.

I am an "easy crafts" only kinda gal, and this wall sign was perfectly suited to my lack of crafting know-how.  It also helped that the lady demonstrating the craft happened to be seated right next to me and I could ask her questions every step of the way. I loved making this decorative sign so much that I bought materials to make two more to give as gifts.

Following, is a list of materials you'll need, as well as detailed instructions to make your own inspirational wall sign:

What You'll Need:

~ A wooden board approx. 1" x 9" x 24"

~ Black acrylic paint

~ 2" or wider foam paintbrush

~ Mod-podge (I used Matte)

~ 60-grit sandpaper

~ 220-grit sandpaper

~ Cricut letters, "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things."

~ Hot glue gun

~ Wood glue

~ Spool of 3/8" red ribbon

~ 5 wood clothespins

~ Package large sawtooth picture hangers and nails (You can find these in packages of 5. For this project, you will use 2 of the picture hangers and 4 of the nails.)

~ Hammer

~2 medium sized nails (for hanging the sign)

~ 5 photos (black and white looks great!)

Step 1. Using the 220-grit sandpaper, smooth away any rough uneven areas on the board. After sanding, wipe down the entire board to get rid of wood dust.

Step 2. Put a generous amount of black paint on a paper plate. Using a foam paint brush, cover the entire board in black paint, allowing the front to dry before painting the back. (I cheated on one of my boards and never painted the back side.) Wash paint from paintbrush, and set aside for later use.

Step 3. To create a weathered look, rub the 60-grit sandpaper along the edges and corners of the board as shown below. Wipe off any remaining wood dust.

Step 4. Leaving enough space on the bottom of the board to attach the clothespins later, apply the adhesive side of the cricut words, "The best things in life aren't things." to the board.

*Be sure you have them exactly where you want them before attaching them to the board. They won't come off easily to be re-applied.

Step 5. Using the foam paintbrush, apply Mod-Podge in smooth sweeping strokes over the entire board. (It will look like you are applying white glue, but will eventually dry clear.) Allow to dry.

Step 6. While the Mod-Podge is drying, you can make your clothespins. Cut 5 12-inch long sections from the spool of ribbon. Tie the ribbon strips into bows. Using a hot glue gun, place a small dab of glue on the back of a bow, and attach it approx. 1 inch from the top of the clothespin. Repeat with remaining bows and clothespins.

Step. 7 Once the Mod-Podge has dried, use wood glue to attach the evenly spaced clothespins along the bottom 1-inch level of the board. The end clothespins will be about 2 1/4 inches from the outside edges of the board. The clothespins will be about 4 1/2 inches apart from each other. The wood glue will dry clear.

Step 8. Place the board words-down, with the clothespins hanging off the edge of the table. Using a hammer and the four small nails, attach the two sawtooth picture hangers to the back of the board. Make sure they are evenly spaced and level with each other.

Step 9. Hang photos from the clothespins, hang the finished board on your designated wall-space, stand back, do a victory dance, a few fist pumps in the air, and enjoy the finished product.

I'd love to hear from you. Let me know how your finished product turns out!

**If you're looking for another easy-to-follow craft tutorial, click over to my step-by step guide, "How to Paint a Decorative Plate Using Transfer Paper and Ceramic Paint."


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    • profile image

      Great project for grandson's to make for parents for Xmas 7 weeks ago

      Used a black frame and black scrapbook paper instead. As a result scaled the photos down to fit a smaller size. The grandsons wrote their names (3 and 5 years old) and picked which pictures they wanted to put on the bottom of the frame. Turned out super!!

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 3 years ago

      Not a dumb question at all. They are 4x6 photos on regular photo paper. A thicker photo paper/cardstock might be a good idea though. :)

    • profile image

      Sharon 3 years ago

      Dumb question, but how big are the pics you used? 5 by 7? Are they printed in cardstock so they do not bend?

    • ladeda profile image

      ladeda 5 years ago

      I've been on the hunt for DIY wall art ideas due to my tiny budget and blank walls. Thanks for this Hub!

    • profile image

      Roxanne 6 years ago

      Thank you for introducing me to this wall art! I went to the craft store wanting to make it right away, then I realized what Cricut it. I didn't know until I got to the store. So I made some adjustments. I still used the black and white theme but bought wood letters and just spelt LOVE. It turned out wonderful! Thanks for giving me the idea!

    • profile image

      Jodi 6 years ago

      I recognize the cute couple in the photos of this wall art! The font for this project is "Wendy Medium." It's a Wordperfect font. The letters were cut on a vinyl machine at a professional sign making company, but there are many vinyl-cutting companies out there. Check the Internet. Usually you can give them your specifications and they'll cut and send it to you.

    • profile image

      Alicia 6 years ago

      This is beautiful! There is a fundraiser going on for a kid with cancer in our town and they are taking donations for a silent auction/raffle. I was stumped at what to make and donate but this is perfect! I love it!! Thanks for showing step by step!!

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, Amy! I'm one of those un-steady hands people. :)

    • profile image

      Amy 6 years ago

      Mandy, I just painted my words right on the board with white acrylic primer. You need a steady hand and neat handwriting, but mine turned out great. I made a bunch of these for gifts.

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Mandy - the only thing I can think of is to find a crafting store and buy some vynl letters that are sticky on the back. Probably not the best option, but it's all I can think of if you don't have any access to a cricut. If anyone else has another idea, feel free to post it on here.

    • profile image

      mandy 6 years ago

      what do you do fro letters if you dont have a circut or access to one...

    • profile image

      sbwoodson 6 years ago

      I believe the cricut cartridge used was cursive 101...hope this helps.

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Patty - so would I! Unfortunately, I don't know, and am no longer in contact with the person who made the words...we've moved to a different state. Sorry!

    • profile image

      Patty Laughery 6 years ago

      I would love to know the name of te cartridge used for this project.

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Kat - the "T" in first word is about 3" tall. :)

      Julaine - I used the sticker paper. I'm sure you could use scrapbook paper is you wanted, and just Modpodge it on there... it might be a bit trickier to get the words even.

      Good luck, ladies!

    • profile image

      Julaine Denny 6 years ago

      Did you use sticker paper with the Cricut machine or just scrapbook paper that you modge podge on the board?

    • profile image

      Kat Stachowiak 6 years ago

      I have a Cricut, but am having trouble estimating the size of the letters, do you have an idea? I'm guessing 3 inches?

      Thanks! great idea!


    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Hi Sarah! It's not a dumb question at all. A Cricut is a machine that can create "sticker words" or letters that you can use for crafts like this. I had a friend who had a cricut. I don't own one personally. I told her what I wanted the words to say and she made them for me.

      So, to answer your question, you either need to borrow or buy or beg access to a cricut to get the words. :)

    • profile image

      Sarah 6 years ago

      This may be a dumb question but I am illiterate when it comes to the Cricut. How do you get Cricut words?

    • profile image

      dcgullo 6 years ago

      I love this!!!! I am so going to do this.

    • profile image

      Carrie 6 years ago

      Omg I'm totally doing this!!!

    • Andrea Nelsworth profile image

      Andrea Nelsworth 6 years ago

      Devin, I bought the font pre-cut from a friend, who bought it from someone else. I am unsure what the font is. I wish I could be more helpful!

    • profile image

      devin 6 years ago

      what font did you use?