How to Make a Directional Sign

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How to build create directional signs | MRSdesigns.net | Home Decor | Rustic | Travel | DIY | Vacation Memories | Paint Signs.jpg

Do you love to travel? We sure do! Several years ago we made the decision to remember some of our favorite travels with a directional sign and little by little it has grown. Now that we're in the new house I decided to design the guest bedroom with a travel theme as well as the keeping the nautical direction I was already headed. 

Since I'm such a font nerd this project is right up my alley! It's an ongoing project...not sure what I'll do when the sign meets the floor!

This is such a quick and easy project and anyone can do it!

My husband always has pieces of wood for me to peruse through and if he doesn't have the right size he's always able to accomidate my requests :) 

The wood I like using for this project is very rustic and rough. It's worn out in spots and lots of imperfections which works perfectly for the look I'm going for with this directional sign. 

Steps to creating directional signs

1. Make a list of the destinations you'd like to create a Directional sign for.

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2. Research the number of miles each destination is from your home.

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I suppose we have somewhat of a travel theme, among others in our home. I surprised my husband with this map a couple of years ago to document our travels. It's so much fun to add a new pin after we've returned home from a getaway!  This along with our directional signs are a fun way to reminence about the wonderful places we get to visit along the way. To date Alaska is the farthest we've been but that may change very soon...I'll be sharing about that later!

3. Decide what font would go well with each destination. 

My process for choosing fonts isn't anything fancy. I just open up Pages or Word if you don't have a Mac. I type in my word and numbers because how they look are important too. I begin just going down through my fonts which are reaching a very high number these days. I already have an idea of the feel I'm going for and what the destination speaks to me and I go from there. Once I've found the one I just delete the rest. It also helps just having them right next to each other to evaluate  which is better. Here's a screenshot of that process. As you can see I chose the first one which is often the case. (The font is Seact Clean.)

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4. Either print or use a cricut/silhouette to create your destination to be transferred to each piece of wood. 

I love using my silhouette for these projects. I just use some cardstock in colors that I'm probably not going to use for anything in the future especially since I have so much of it! As you can see in the photo when "punching" out the lettering some of the middles are taken out too. It's important to make sure they stay in tact and save them so you can use them when you're ready to paint. I just roll a small piece of painters tape so it fits completely behind any middle pieces and put it in place after I've set it on the wood. 

You can also just print out your lettering and use the method I've shared with you before on lettering to wood if you don't have a silhouette. Either way is really pretty simple and quick.

5. Prepare the wood for your directional sign.

Since we're using scrap pieces of wood they aren't all as rugged or rustic as I'd like them to be. So these new pieces were a bit on the "newer" side and while I didn't want them to match the previous ones exactly I did want them to at least look aged. So I took a sharpie paint marker and some black acrylic paint and began randomly drawing grain markings on the wood. I of course, only did the side I was using I don't really care what the back looks like. Once that dried I used my driftwood stain and applied it with a rag and then wiped off the excess. The end result was just what I was looking for. 

6. Stencil or transfer your lettering for each destination to a directional sign

I laid out each stencil where I wanted them placed on each piece of wood. I used a little painters tape to hold them in place. I didn't spend a whole lot of time on the placing of the stencil because it's not a project where perfection is my goal. I chose to use white paint, but they're your signs...paint them any ole color you like! It literally took me seconds per sign to dab on the paint. I only used one coat. The key to stenciling is to use very little paint and using a dabbing or pounding up and down motion...it's never brushed on with a back and forth motion. If you do that you definitely get paint up under your stencil and this is not a good look. I immediately remove my stencil and viola done and done.

7. Hang Your directional signs

My husband cut little square pieces of wood to go in between the individual directional signs. He staggered them as he hung them with me standing back and eyeing it until it was where I liked each one. I love love love how great our directional signs look in our guest bedroom. We started high with the plan to continue all the way down to the floor. While this room isn't completely done...it's almost there. I'm planning to change out the window treatments throughout the entire house because the entire house is full of these wood blinds and oak woodwork. The plan is to paint all remaining woodwork and doors white and painting the knobs oil rubbed bronze. It's a process. We've come so far already! I'd love to hear if you've made directional signs using my tips...along with photos!!

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