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Homemade Mother's Day Wooden Sign

Updated on May 1, 2014

How the Idea Originated

Mom is special. She does many things for us, including physically bringing us into this world. So, let's show her our appreciation by making her something from our hearts.

I actually came up with this idea as a gift for my husband on Valentine's Day, and I'm transferring it to Mother's Day, but it can be used for any occasion. It can be altered in many ways to fit your needs.

I originally had in mind to use old wood from a dilapidated barn or water rotted logs washed up from the river in my town. That didn't work out for me though, since my husband would normally use his saw to shape the piece's I desired, and the gift was for him. So, I headed to the craft store with a shopping list. I made what I had in my mind for a sign out of newly purchased items instead.

*Note* There is a lot of information here, follow the #'s to make quick steps for your project.

My Sign

#1 Decide What the Sign Will Say

You cannot buy supplies until you know what your sign will look like and say. You need plenty of wood, so knowing how many words will be displayed is important.

You don't want anything too long to read. It's supposed to be a quick read to ponder. My Bible verse on mine is probably the limit on how long something should read.

Maybe your mom has a saying like, "Do your best, forget the rest" or "I love you more than life itself". You could use that for an inscription on the sign. Perhaps you have something you want to say to her like "You are my sunshine" or "Best mom in the world". Think about what you want to say to her on the sign, then make a trip to the store.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Half inch screws
Half inch screws
Half inch screws

# 2 List of Items Needed:

From the store:

-wood to fit your wording

- 2 colors of paint, 1 bottle each

- 8 short screws to put individual wood pieces together (1/2")

-paint brush (one medium for painting a broad area, one fine tipped)

-rope (45" or less)

From the house:

-ruler or tape measure

-screw driver


-hand saw (possibly)

-newspaper or cloth to paint on


Different Styles to Choose

This piece ready to go, and good for few words.

# 3 Choose the Wood

The craft stores have endless styles to choose from, and different prices. If you feel your price is limited, you may want to try a wooden structure where the pieces are already put together and ready to go. I have two warnings, if you have a lot to say, it may be difficult to write it all on a small sign. If you are only going to say, 'You are my sunshine" or something simple like that, a small piece will work.

Also, I found that painting words is difficult, and I needed big pieces of wood for my paint strokes. With a lot to say, It was difficult for me to make letters small enough to fit on a small sign.

Tip: Motion with your finger over the wood where you want your letters. Visualize the wording on the wood. Make sure in your vision that this piece of wood will fit your project.

This piece ready to go, good for those who cannot paint letters well.

Wider Wood, Easier to Paint

This wood structure works if painting letters will be difficult for you because it can accommodate wider letters. It solves the issue of having to write tiny letters, but for me it was still too small for my longer scripture verse.

I wanted you too see these pieces, see the problems that may arise before you make a decision. It would be a shame to buy a piece, then realize it won't work for what you want to say.

If you are really short on cash, the way to go is few words with big meaning. That will allow you a small piece to buy along with inexpensive paint, and still it's a meaningful gift for mom.

Longer and Wider Pieces

6 X 36 inches on left.  2 X 36 inches on right.
6 X 36 inches on left. 2 X 36 inches on right.

Bigger Sign

Okay, so I chose the bigger sign. I needed individual pieces of wood screwed together to make the bigger sign. I have about 28 words not including periods, colons, and numbers that I also will be adding.

I chose three wide long pieces that are 6 X 36 inches for the front of the sign, and a more narrow 2 X 36 inch piece to run along the back to brace the larger pieces of wood. The narrower piece will be cut into two pieces which can be done with a hand saw.

Writing Practice

# 4 Practice Writing on the Back of the Wood

I wrote out my scripture verse on the back of the wood to be sure it was all going to fit. Use a pencil and make the letters about the size you want them to be that will allow room for all you want to say.

After you have practiced writing in pencil on the back of the wood pieces, use your dry brush to practice as well. Motion the strokes you will use to write the letters. You may need to adjust your wording on the pieces if you think it will be difficult to fit all the letters because of your ability to paint.

Tip: Keep in mind that you will paint bigger letters than what you write with a pencil. Typically, the pencil tip is thinner than the paint brush tip will be, so allow that when you are writing on the back.

# 5 Sawing and Painting the Pieces

The more narrow piece needs to be sawed into two. Those pieces will act as braces on the back of the three larger pieces. You will paint those also.

Spread the newspaper or cloth out in a well ventilated area that will allow for good drying. Spread enough for all the pieces. Also, we will only paint the main side of the wood, and it's edges.

After you have practiced writing what you will say on the back of your wood, paint the wood. I wanted my sign to be wood colored. I chose a brown. You could choose a gray, black, or anything you want. Be sure the wood color will be dark enough to show the lighter color of your words.

Pour some of your paint out onto a piece of the paper into a 'puddle'. Use this to dip your medium brush into to add your color to the pieces. Keep brushing until you have covered the entire surface of the showing wood pieces. This includes the edges.

Tip: Choose a fine tipped brush for the lettering, but make sure it is firm enough to press down on the wood to make letters clearly.

# 6 Write the Letters

Allow the paint on the boards to dry. You want to wait to paint the letters until the first paint is completely dry.

Using your lighter colored paint in a 'puddle' as you did before, slowly begin to paint your letters. Keep in mind how you wrote it on the back. Remember when it's time to change to the next line, and how many letters you must fit on each piece of wood.

Tip: GO SLOW! Don't rush the lettering. Take your time, and think about what you are doing.

# 7 Cut the Rope

For a large sign like mine, just about all of the 45 inches of rope was used to hang the sign. If the sign is smaller, estimate what you will need for the sign and cut accordingly. The way to do that is to think of how you want the sign to look when it's on the wall. I wanted my sign to hang from quite a bit of rope. I didn't want it to hang right from the rope directly behind the sign. I wanted the rope to be seen as the sign hung.

I used about 42", so the sign would hang with 21" on each side of the screw down from the wall. It gives the appearance of a triangle of rope.

If you have slightly frayed ends on your rope, make sure you allow for more length. You will not be able to put the screw into the frayed part of the rope because it will not be able to hold the weight of the sign.

# 8 Screw the Wood and Rope

You will need a screw in every piece to attach to the smaller brace piece. That's six screw for the pieces, and two for the rope.

We are using short screws because the wood is thin to begin with, and if the screws are too long they will show through the front of the sign.

The wood is fairly soft. Place your pieces flat how you want them put together. Start putting a screw into each of the three larger pieces, and then attach them to the brace pieces.

Finally, screw the rope to the top piece of wood for hanging.

Finished Project Above Our Bed


6.99-22.00 (small-large sign)
.99 each

Tell Me What You Think:

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    • Krmission profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you randomcreative! I love coming up with simple ideas that work! I'm all for inexpensive too! Thanks for stopping to read!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a sweet, simple idea and so easy to personalize! Thanks for sharing.

    • bizg profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      pretty good!! and very creative

    • bizg profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      pretty good!! and very creative

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      That is really neat! It could be used for anyone and in so many ways. Very good! ^+

    • Krmission profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Au fait! I had fun making it! Yes, you could do it on paper! Great idea.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      4 years ago from North Texas

      A great idea, and if one doesn't have wood for some reason, it could be printed out on fancy paper with a fancy font on one's computer and framed very inexpensively.


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