Ducks 'n a Row: How-to: DIY Decorative "Follow Your Dreams" Sign

19 July 2015

How-to: DIY Decorative "Follow Your Dreams" Sign

Hey, everyone! This is Jennifer (a.k.a. Engineer Mommy) and I'm so excited to be doing another guest post over here at Sinea's blog! Today's post is a simple DIY project: a pretty pink little signthat I will hang in my daughter's room. Ever since we moved into this new house, there seems to be an endless list of projects & crafts that need to get done. 

Today's DIY sign is another cute little addition to her room, which by the way, is an overload of pink & purple! Well, guys, she's a 4-year old girl... I shouldn't be surprised, right?

Anyway, moving on to this cute little decorative sign, it only requires a handful of basic supplies and you can obviously customize it in many ways to your liking (color, font, size, quote, etc.) I've seen similar decorative signs at various home decor stores, and let me just tell you, they are not cheap! My version today cost me about $3 (although I did have some supplies on hand already). 

In this post, I will also show you how I transferred the typography (pretty fonts) from the print-out to the wood- an easy and useful skill to have! Let's get to the details, shall we?

DIY decorative "Follow Your Dreams" sign

DIY decorative sign

  • 1x3 wooden board, cut to 20" long
  • pink paint & paint brush
  • paint marker (if you don't have a paint marker, just use another paint color & fine brush)
  • pencil
  • small decorative stickers
  • hand saw
  • sanding block
  • staple gun and metal picture hanging wire
1. Start with a 20" long piece of wood. I picked up a 1x3 board from the home improvement store- it was only about $2.50! I used a hand saw to cut it to about 20" long, and then sanded the edge down. DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
2. First, I had to prep my paint. I diluted my pink paint with water (at a 1:1 ratio). By watering down the paint in this way, the wood grain will show through the paint, and it will create a distressed finish without any additional sanding! (I'm always looking for shortcuts like this!)
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
3. I painted two coats on my board, using long even strokes to achieve a smooth finish. See the wood grain peeking through? DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
4. I used Inkscape to type out my saying "follow your dreams" in a cute font, and made sure it was sized to fit the board perfectly. I also used an image of an arrow, because I figured it would complement my quote well! I then printed & cut out all my images.
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
5. On the back of the print-outs, I used a pencil to go over the words. I just held my pencil at an angle and colored in the whole back of the words. DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
6. Then I placed the print-outs (printed side up) right on the board & taped them down so they wouldn't move. I then used the pencil to trace the letters right over the print-out. Then remove the print-outs. DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
7. I used the same pencil to fill in any areas that didn't transfer well. This is a handmade item with an intentionally handmade look, so don't strive for perfection! It's the fact that it looks handmade that makes it so charming and lovely!
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
8. Finally, I used a paint marker to darken the words and arrow, but this is an optional step. I think it looks great with the words on the lighter side, as well! DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign 
9. I had picked up some stickers during my last trip to the Dollar store- just small round stickers. I didn't know what I would use them for, but I added them to the arrow at the last minute to give it a bit more depth and interest.
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
10. I used a staple gun and some metal wire to attach a little hanger to the back of this. Of course, you don't have to hang this on the wall. It would look great sitting on a table or shelf, too.
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
11. Place your sign on a nail in the wall, and admire your work. I think this sign adds a little extra flair to her room. And I love the message it sends her!
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
Here it is in her bedroom.
DIY decorative "follow your dreams" sign
I've done so many projects in her room, including those DIY curtain rods, the DIY herringbone wall art, the thrift store shelf transformation, and the painted stencils on the wall, along with a ton more you can't see in this picture.

I hope you found this tutorial fun & useful. If you'd like to see more of what I'm up to (everything from delicious weeknight recipes to kids' crafts to DIY home improvement), I'd love it if you came over and visited me at Engineer Mommy! Thanks again, Sinea!

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