Thin Blue Line Sign

4 Materials
4 Hours

If you are a police officer or have any police officers in your life, you know what the thin blue line is. My husband is a police officer and I've been wanting to make something special for him that represents what he does and what he risks everyday. I decided on a rustic looking plank wood sign.

I used a bunch of scrap wood that I had and decided to make two in case I messed one up! icon

First I decided about how big I wanted the signs to be and cut my wood strips to size. This part is completely customizable depending on where you want to hang the sign. I used old scrap wood that was twisted, bowed and warped and I had to plane it down and even it out. (An easier way would be just to rip and cut nice straight pine boards to your desired size but I wanted to use up what I had.)

Once I had the strips layed out I used a hand plane to give each side a v groove so they would stand out a little more once they were all glued up together. If you skip this step, it will be harder to see the individual planks once they are all glued up.

Next step: glue and clamp! Make sure the planks are all laying nice and flat.

Once the glue is set and dry (I usually give it a good hour or so), it's time to stain! I used a mix of old stains for a weathered and layered look.

Once the stain is dry you can paint your thin blue line! I used regular old acrylic paint for this step and it came out just as I had envisioned it.

The last step was to hand paint the lettering, with which I clearly need a bit more practice! I found a few fonts that I liked online and wrote it out lightly in pencil first. There are definitely other ways you could go about this. Perhaps creating a stencil or custom vinyl lettering would work as well but I decided to try freehand. In the end I'm happy with how they turned out and I know that they mean something very special to me and my family.

One will be hung above our front door and the other will be a gift to a very dear friend who is also in law enforcement. The possibilities with these handmade plank signs are endless and I'd love to hear what kind you would make!

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4 of 33 comments

    I come from a service family, police, fire and military. I couldn't be prouder as it trickles down through the generations. I am so proud of the work they do to keep us safe. cheers to you and your awesome efforts!!!!!! Thank you!!!

  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Aug 29, 2019

    My husband is retired police. We each have a thin blue strip of tape on our car bumpers. He commented the other day that he doubted anyone but police would know what it means. Glad to see you bring it to people's attention, and kudos on your sign. Very well done.