How to Make a Rustic Wood Sign Without Wood

7 Materials
15 Minutes
I was planning a beach house party and wanted a rustic wood "Welcome to the Beach House" sign for the front door. Alas, I'm no wood-worker, but I came up with an alternative that was the perfect solution for my purposes.
My "wood" sign starts with wood-look contact paper. (Stay with me, you may be surprised how well this turns out.)

I cut a piece from the roll that was approximately 8 1/2-inches by 11-inches.
The next step was to copy the pattern of the contact paper onto regular paper. If you don't have a printer like this at home, you could use a printer at a place like Staples.
Now I have a sheet of paper with the wood grain printed on it. I printed it this way to remove the shiny surface that contact paper has. Rustic wood signs just don't shine.
On your computer, write the words you want on the sign, choose an appropriate font (I used "Ink Free") and size of lettering, in this case, 72 . Make sure the words are centered on the page.
Now all you have to do is put the wood-grained paper in the paper tray of your printer and print as usual.

Carefully trim the white edges around the paper so you're left with only the wood-grain.
Find a piece of cardboard you can use to glue the paper to; in this case, the bottom panel of a shoe box, trimmed to fit the sign.
Next, I used a hole punch to make a hole in either corner of the sign and used a piece of twine as a hanger. If you want, glue a 3D butterfly to the top of it to add a bit of colour.
I wanted my sign to look like it was created using a piece of found wood, so I cut out some small triangle pieces from both sides of the sign.
The finished "wood" sign that greeted my guests.
My sign was hung outside under a covered porch, so it was somewhat protected from the elements. Naturally, it wouldn't fair too well in the rain.

I hung it at an angle on purpose; it just seemed appropriate to the rustic vibe I was going for and I was very pleased with the results.
Suggested materials:
  • Wood-grained contact paper   (dollar store)
  • Piece of cardboard   (on hand)
  • Glue   (on hand)
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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