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This is a cool decorative piece if you have a bar area in your home…or maybe it would be a nice statement piece in your kitchen, besides, you could always make one with the word “Eat” or “Family” or anything you want. Perhaps your child’s name in their nursery? The possibilities are many!

I actually made this sign for one of my favorite local pizzerias. I eat there every week for lunch and speak with the owner, Carlos, often. He recently expanded to make a dine-in area which he designed to give a vintage pizzeria vibe. From the red walls, to the walnut colored wood seats, to the white octagonal tile floor and the Edison bulbs, his shop doesn’t disappoint. I am a lover of interior design and enjoy when I go into a nice space. It doesn’t hurt that he often has classics like Sinatra to serenade me while I enjoy my Italian eats.

Carlos and I had spoken about my work here on Modern Day Moms and he asked to help with decor when I could. I was walking through Home Goods (I’m not kidding when I say it’s my home away from home) when I saw this wine sign for sale. I immediately sent him a photo and the info. He measured it and it didn’t fit. I had told him I could make it for less than half of the price they were wanting, which was $99.

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The $99 sign at Home Goods

This is how I did it and what you will need:

  • one sheet of sheathing/underlayment 2’X4′
  • three 1/4’X4″X3′ of poplar trim/wood pieces
  • one set of outdoor globe lights from Target (frosted or clear…you pick!)
  • 3/4″ wood screws
  • Elmer’s wood glue
  • acrylic paint
  • 3 squared dowels
  • tracing paper
  • saw tooth hangers

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I am missing a few photos of the beginning of this process. Sorry. They are easy steps.

First, cut your underlayment to size using a smooth toothed jigsaw. You don’t want it to mangle your underlayment. I cut mine to 15″ X 33″, which is to fit the space where Carlos wanted his sign.

Next, I painted the underlayment with the white paint. Allow that to cure for a couple of hours or so. While you are waiting, you can either print off your letters or use tracing paper over the screen. I don’t want to use the ink, so I traced mine. Make sure they are a suitable size and a bold enough font to cover the space of your board. The font I used it called Circus and can be found online for free, just do a Google search. Make sure you trace the back side of the font so that when you lay it down upright, there will be lead to make a trail. Tape the letters down gently onto the board, spacing them evenly from left to right and top to bottom. I had a 2.5″ space from top to bottom and a 3 inch space from left to right. 

Once the letters are traced, use your black paint to fill them in. Allow the paint to cure. Mark with a pencil small dots where you want your bulbs to be. I used a ruler to have the spots level with each other going across the board. It makes it neater.

The next step is to drill out the holes. I used a 3/4″ paddle bit. I placed it on top of two extra 2X6s I had laying around. Make sure you are steady when you drill and don’t stop until you are all the way through. Your arm will feel a little like jello after this.

After your holes are cut, make sure the green electric part where the bulb goes in will slide tightly into the hole. Use sandpaper to lightly sand any that are too small. You want them to go to the front edge of the hole so that the bulbs don’t rest against the wood.

Now you are ready to add the square dowels to the back. These are added for additional support and so that you have a place to attach the outside edge pieces with screws. Cut your long pieces all the way to the edge of the underlayment. Then cut the two smaller pieces to fit snugly in between the top and bottom dowels. Use wood glue to attach them to the wood and place heavy objects on top of them to keep them pressed against the wood until the glue dries. I left them on overnight.

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The next day, measure out your side border pieces (15″ tall) and cut those with the jigsaw. Then measure out your top and bottom border pieces all the way to the end of the side pieces and cut those as well. Paint them with the black acrylic paint and allow it to dry thoroughly.

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Attach the pieces using the wood glue, then drill out small holes for your screws. If you don’t drill out small holes for your screws, they will split the wood. This step is very important. Do this for each side and the top and bottom pieces. Use a little black paint on your finger to dab on top of each screw (careful not to fill up the screw head) to camouflage them.

Your sign is almost done!

Now you just have to make a place for your hangers. Use the leftovers from the square dowels. Cut the piece in half and attach the hangers. Then attach them to the underside of the top edge piece with wood glue, close to the back edge, but not quite there. You want the hanger to be almost flush with the edge of the wood. Secure from the top with screws as you did before. 

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Insert your lights and you are done!!

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