How to Build a Rustic Farmhouse Style Sign

Stained Farmhouse Sign DIY

Rustic Farmhouse signs can add some nice interest to your home and really tie a room together.  Getting creative with different combinations and mixtures of stain will really make the lettering ‘pop’ or blend well in your kitchen, living room or bedroom.  I love layers of texture in my home decor and this is another way to add that on your wall with the various shades of stain on each plank. In this article I will show you just how easy it is to make these yourself with minimal tools and the cheapest materials.

Making your own decor cheaply!

Most tutorials on youtube or pinterest for diy-ing your own decor are detailed enough, but the authors often utilize hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of tools.  Sometimes they do so without you even knowing it!  I’ve seen certain ‘popular’ DIY-ers build pieces with what they claim is construction grade lumber, but somehow get this lumber with a very smooth finish and perfectly square, without ever showing you how it happened.  Well, if you’ve ever shopped ‘construction’ grade before then you would know that finding anything smooth is next to impossible, and 8 out of 10 boards have some kind of bending/cupping/twisting to them.  I’m not saying it’s impossible to find ‘perfect’ smooth, straight lumber.  But, it is more likely that they have a thickness planer or joiner that they ‘forgot’ to put in their video.

But fear not!  The design I utilize in this tutorial can be built with ‘horrible’, cheap $2 boards that are bowed, bent or cupped.  In fact, all of my boards have some defect to them.  But I will give you the tips you need to select the proper boards as well as overcoming the defects or incorporating them into the style.  Also, and this is most important – I bought some cheap hand tools, and use only them to construct this sign.  So, this is a perfect article for someone who is just starting out with a low budget.  You could even make these in an apartment if needed!

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Stained Farmhouse Sign DIY
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Tools and Materials

If you have access to nice tools, or even just regular power tools, then by all means utilize those as they will save you much time.  However, if you are just starting out or live in an apartment, then you will need the following tools at a bare minimum.  It is amazing to see how little you need if you are just getting started and don’t mind a bit of ‘sweat equity’.  This is also one of the best ways to quickly build experience, as if you get used to hand tools, you will gain skill much faster.

Tool List

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  1. Miter Box & Saw Set – I picked up a really cheap miter box for less than $10.  It even came with a saw, which I used for cutting the lumber for one of the signs. – REQUIRED
  2. Back Saw or Pull Saw – can purchase with the miter box for free, or you can pick up an inexpensive Japanese Pull Saw for less than $20.  The Japanese pull saws are really nice and forgiving when you are just learning.  I tend to grab it for quick jobs as it is really nice.  So, this one is optional since the miter box/saw combo already has you covered.
  3. Tape Measure – $5; Required
  4. Square $4 (Optional)
  5. Speed Square  $5 (Optional)
  6. Hammer  $5 (Required)
  7. Something optional, but recommended is a pair of c-clamps at a minimum ($6 per).  Bar clamps are better, but can be costly.  I buy most of mine from a general surplus store that has a large selection of tools and materials.  In fact the large 36″ clamps you see in this article were only about $7 each.

Joe Foster

Hi - I grew up outdoors in nature - hiking, fishing, hunting. In high school I got my first job at a garden center where I learned to garden and landscape. I've been growing plants from seed and designing native plant gardens for over 10 years. I hope to share some of my knowledge with you! You may have seen some of my videos I create on our YouTube channel, GrowitBuildit (more than 10 million views!). You can find my channel here: Additionally I am a wood worker / DIY enthusiast. I enjoy designing/building projects (with hand tools when I can!). I hope to give you some tips and useful information!

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