How to Make Rustic LOVE Signs -

Do you love rustic wood signs?  You may be surprised to hear that they are not very hard to make.  I consider myself to have very average skills in this department but can still turn out signs I would hang in my house every day of the week.  Today, we’re making these cute LOVE signs with a slight tweak depending on the recipient.  

For many years, there have been two families that have blessed us in many ways, but particularly with their homemade maple syrup and rhubarb crunch.  They won’t let us pay them; they just give out of the kindness of their hearts.  The one has been family friends since my husband was a young child.  To this lady, we deliver an empty 9×13 dish every spring and she returns it full of delicious and sweet rhubarb crunch.  The other family makes maple syrup and we all agree, it is the best around!

Such kind gestures . . . I wanted to find a creative and meaningful way to say thank you.  That is when I thought of the popular LOVE signs with the stacked lettering.   But, I decided to swap out a letter for the image of rhubarb and a maple syrup container.

Who is that special someone for whom you could make a sign?  What is it that they love or are known for?

What You’ll Need To Make Rustic LOVE Signs:

  • 1″ x 8″ wood board
  • 1″ x 4″ wood strip
  • saw (or ask the store to make the cuts)
  • sander
  • stain and supplies
  • finish nails
  • wood glue
  • printed text/artwork
  • chalk
  • pencil
  • white acrylic paint and brush
  • sand paper
  • clear sealer (flat – not gloss)
  • thick jute
  • staple gun

DIY Rustic Love Signs

I picked up my wood at Home Depot and they made the cuts for me.  I used 1″ x 8″ wood boards and cut two pieces to the length I wanted . . . about 16 inches.  These two pieces will be the front of the sign.  In order to keep them together, we put 1″ x 4″ wood strip supports behind to stabilize the sign.  We cut this strip into two – 13 inch pieces.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (1b)

For a rustic sign, you will want to sand off any crisp edge.  I like watching a sign take shape as you sand off the corners and rough it up a bit.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (2)

You can see the two sizes of wood next to the sander in this photo.  I have a lot of wood here since I was making two LOVE signs and our tree house “Adventure Awaits” sign.

Once sanded, apply the stain and allow to dry.  Then, we will move on to assembling our sign.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (3)

To put your sign together, you will need wood glue and finish nails.  Following the manufacturer’s instructions, I swirled glue on one side of each support piece and held it while my husband nailed the wood strips down.  Be sure that your nails are not too long or they will pierce through the front of the sign!  And that, my friends, would be terribly disappointing.

Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (4b)

Now, it is time to prepare for painting.  You may choose to sketch the letters and image freehand if you are artistic, but I prefer a fool-proof method.

Print the letters and image you have selected in the exact size needed.  I used my Silhouette Cameo‘s software even though I was only printing.  For reference, my font was Book Antiqua and text size 593 (yes, I know that sounds outrageous).

DIY Rustic Love Signs (5b)

Print and cut your design (always leaving a good white border around everything).  Tape your letters together so that you have a one-piece-of-paper design template as opposed to four loose papers.

TIP:  Don’t be afraid to print one letter with a segment of another letter on a single piece of paper.  This will help you when taping the four letters together to get accurate spacing.  Just overlap the paper and put it up against your window to line it up.

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With your template in place, mark the corners with chalk so you can find quick placement later.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (7b)

Now, chalk the back of the sign.  You want to have good chalk coverage on the border of each letter and image.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (8b)

Flip your template back over and put in place on top of the wood.  With a pencil, trace along the border of each letter or shape.  It is better to trace within the black print rather than going outside of the letter.

DIY Rustic Love Signs (9b)

This is how it will look!  Isn’t it awesome?

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And here it is when done.  You can wipe off the corner paper marks whenever you want.

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With acrylic paint, fill in your letters taking care to paint on top of the chalk line.

Allow to dry.

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Now, it is time to rough up the sign.  With sand paper, distress not only the paint but the wood too.

Once you are done and satisfied with your distressing, seal the front with spray acrylic sealant.  Shake the can very well, apply to the sign and allow to dry completely.

DIY Rustic Love Signs - attaching jute

You can try different ways to hang the sign but I wanted to keep a rough look, so I added thick jute by tying knots and using a staple gun to secure the jute just above the knots.

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That’s it!  Take a look at how my signs turned out.  I am in LOVE!

DIY Rustic Love Signs (14)


DIY Rustic Love Signs (13)

What do you think?  Something you could tackle?  I am sure if I can do this, you can too!