DIY Rustic Hand Painted Signs from Reclaimed Wood

by Johnnie Collier

How to make a handpainted rustic sign from #reclaimedwood @savedbyloves

I was recently blessed to meet Pam, a local talent with a passion for hand painting rustic, inspirational signs.  I have noticed her signs fly off of the shelf (or porch, more accurately).  At the venue where we met, every sign I thought needed to come home with me was on hold, waiting for it’s lucky recipient.  Pam is a busy mom, wife and small business woman who found the time to invite my husband and I into her lovely farmhouse for a day.  As a result I get to bring you this detailed tutorial showing you how to make your own hand painted, distressed wood signs.  Pam has an abundant supply of reclaimed wood and a rocking wood shop at her disposal, but you can make these without all of that.  The best news is I have had several of you ask about die cut machines and how to make stencils for your signs without one.  Pam does this with a cheap text editor on her computer, and a regular printer with black and white ink.  Let’s get started!

How to make distressed wood signs by Little Red Porch @savedbyloves


{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ashley July 28, 2013 at 12:29 pm

would love to buy the software…its not showing $1.23 for me on amazon…


2 Kristine July 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

This is great inspiration for the artwork I want to create for my partner’s new office space.


3 Laura July 31, 2013 at 11:46 am

Thank goodness I found this! I have been admiring some Rebecca Puig reclaimed wood art, but I knew I could make something myself. Thank you very much for the know how!


4 SavedByLoveCreations August 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

Oh good, Laura! I am excited to try it too. I would love to see the outcome when you make your own.


5 Ashley August 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Its not showing 1.23 for me either. Can someone help me find it?


6 SavedByLoveCreations August 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm

It must have sold!


7 Julie August 13, 2013 at 6:48 am

i love them! what an inspiration- I am desperate to find the name of the font used in the “always kiss me goodnight” sign, in paticular the words always and goodnight. Can someone help?


8 SavedByLoveCreations August 13, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I will try to find this out for you, Julie!


9 nicole August 16, 2013 at 6:55 pm

So I have that software but cant figure out how to print like that. Everytime I try to print it squishes my project down to fit one 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Can anyone help me?? Please!


10 debbie November 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

nicole – did you ever figure out how to do it?


11 Lori August 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

I wish you offered classes… Think about it! ;)


12 Phil August 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I do the copying over transfer paper for all my scroll saw work. Many designs are possible. Many ideas for wood working embellishments are possible. I like your tutorial. It is very informative. I can use some of it also.


13 Laurie August 29, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I love your signs. Used Printshop for years but now have an IPad and can’t find any comparable program. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.


14 Kalah August 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

So I bought the software mentioned above, but I can’t seem to figure out how to print it like Pam did. If you could ask her how she does it (type of project to create, any special settings?) I would greatly appreciate it!


15 Monet September 2, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Look at the picture about where she is talking about PS. See the text box and how it’s not centered on the template? That’s how she prints them off (from what I can tell) — in pieces. So, she’ll have one full design come out on maybe 4 8.5×11′s for example. She then overlaps the pages so that the writing/design fits together, kinda like an abstract puzzle. Am I making any sense?? Lol. Where can I buy transfer paper, btw? Also, I know that transfering writing/patterns can also be donr with a transparency sheet and overhead projector. You can still fit the whole design on an 8.5×11, but trace with a pencil then paint. We used to do this often when making backdrops.


16 Michele October 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

I got my transfer paper at AC Moore


17 Michele September 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Hello, I recently bought the program to try this out, but I’m having trouble figuring out what part of the program she uses to make the outlines. I also looked at the picture above but couldn’t see where she was in the program. I would appreciate any help you can provide.


18 MANDY September 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I am unable to find the software at that price as well :/ Am I looking in the wrong place? I just clicked the link…

thank you :)

by the way… great post!


19 Michelle Nason October 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Awesome tutorial. Love the signs. Could you tell me where to find the Print Shop 23 Deluxe, which you can buy for $1.23 at my Amazon affiliate link. I am new to your blog and don’t know where to look for it. Thanks


20 Elizabeth Williams October 12, 2013 at 12:52 am

Love your ideas & instructions. I am not tech-savvy.was trying to find the version Print Shop 23 Deluxe for the minimal price $1.23 you used.However, I can not seem to locate. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you much


21 Vickie October 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I can’t find the software for less than $13 on Amazon. am I looking in the wrong place?


22 debbie November 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

did anyone ever figure out how to make the oversized project on Print Shop?


23 Kile November 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

Does anyone know what fonts are being used!? They’re all gorgeous!


24 Shara @ Palmettos and Pigtails November 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hi there! Awesome tutorial! I’ve always wondered how to make these signs! I’m featuring this post on my blog this week…come on over and check it out!



25 Haylee November 23, 2013 at 1:18 am

How does she nail in the back pieces, but then you can’t even see the nails from the front of the sign?


26 Katrina December 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I purchased Print Shop 3.5 and I’m trying to tile print which you described in your tutorial; how Pam highlights the boxed images and then prints it out…continuing to do it again; however, moving the highlighted area over. My problem is Print Shop is not allowing me to highlight the image and when I print the image (words) even with it created to fit the board I’m using…it’s only printing 1 single paper. Do you have an suggestions?


27 Candi May 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Can you explain how to print the words on multiple pieces of paper?


28 Johnnie Collier May 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Hi Candi. I made a video showing you how to print the words on multiple pieces of paper using Photoshop. You can probably figure out how to apply what I show you in another editing software program if you aren’t using Photoshop. You will find the youtube video in this DIY SIGN TUTORIAL. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions!


29 Melissa May 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Can anyone post to say how she uses the print shop program? I have had a lot of trouble figuring out how to begin a project using it…


30 Johnnie Collier May 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Hi Melissa. Pam uses Print Shop, I use Photoshop. I can’t speak to how to use print shop. You can ask her for help at I am sure she will be glad to point you in the right direction!


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