Reclaimed Wood Signs

So after many months of cold miserable winter weather and NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing a little crafty project this weekend. When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it! The inspiration came from this old, weathered piece of wood that I found in the woods while walking the dogs. It’s chippy blue paint screamed country/primitive signage, so I broke out the foam stamps and went at it!


First I had Greg cut them into strips. We have a big saw in the basement, but you can easily pick up a little electric hand saw from Lowes or Home Depot for $30 or so, and have it on hand for projects like this.


I did a couple posts on foam stamps many moons ago, so here’s a little refresher. First, I laid out the letters of the word I wanted to stamp (the word is actually faced down; these stamps have letters on both sides) to get an idea of the spacing. I wanted to make sure the word would fit before I started.


The most important thing I have learned when using foam stamps is do not ever dip the stamps directly into the paint. If you do, you’ll have way too much paint on the surface of the stamp. The minute you press down, it will overflow out the sides of the stamp and make uneven, messy letters. The best method I have found is to use a small piece of sponge and just dab on the paint onto the surface of the letter. Give it a couple of practice runs if need be. For this project, I used white acrylic paint.


Go ahead and stamp out your word. Then, once dry, I applied some saw-tooth hangers on the back of each sign. These types of hangers are easy to use because you simply press them into the wood, but I hammered them down in for good measure.


My last step was to spray them with a clear acrylic coat so the paint would not continue to chip off. The wood was really old and brittle and the paint was a bit loose, so I wanted to seal it in place.


Here are the finished products, but I need your opinion. Should I add a coat of antiquing gel to tone down those bright white letters down a bit? I wasn’t sure if I should or not. They have kind of a “beachy” feel.


I added a little star fish because I felt like it went with the cottage theme and filled up the space on the right that was a bit uneven from the space on the left. FYI those star fish are only $1 at AC Moore’s.


So here they are. They are going over to my booth at the Carriage Place this week. I’ll probably price them around $7-$8 each. With “found” wood, it’s 99% profit, so no need to mark them up with a high price and let them sit in my booth for months!


Part of my motivation also stemmed from an awesome estate sale that I went to on Saturday. I got tons and tons of great country/primitive themed items, including some nice antiques. This picture only shows a fraction of what I picked up there. It was half off everything so I literally loaded my car! It’s the first really great sale I’ve been to in a while, so this really got me excited! I love “pickin” season!!!


Earlier in the week, I also got really lucky and picked up this old wooden butter churn……wait for it……off the side of the road!!! It’s amazing what some people throw away. I cleaned it up and now this cool piece will go to the co-op this week with the rest of the stuff from the sale.


Well, let me know your thoughts on the signs. They are already really “distressed” looking, which is why I’m not sure on adding the antiquing gel. Have a great week and happy crafting!

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patricia
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 13:02:35

    I just love your creative talents!!


  2. Amy B.
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 13:15:09

    Two primitive thumbs up!


  3. Dee
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 13:35:03

    I love the signs as they are!!!!! 🙂


  4. Tammy
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 13:41:16

    I would leave the cottage one bright and one of the welcome ones bright….they do have a beachy feel to them. Since you have two welcome ones then i would do one of the welcome ones with the antique finish to “dirty” it up a bit and make it more primitive. You’ll give your customers an option of what they may like more.


  5. Kat Wynveen
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 13:53:09

    Your signs look great! Instead of antiquing gel, I sometimes use….crumpled newspaper. I just rub the ink off on the sign wherever I want a little age. It takes the sharp edges off, but doesn’t look artificial. You can spray the polycrylic over the ink, but if you wax over it, that removes the “age” again. I learned that the hard way. Kat from The House at the End of the Road on Facebook.


  6. Donna
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 14:13:42

    I think they look great, but maybe use an antique white or something with a slight yellow tint for the letters if you want to give them a more mellow antique hue.
    Now I’ll be stomping around in the woods looking for old scraps of wood. 😊


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Apr 20, 2015 @ 14:31:08

      I did think about that Donna, but not until after I was done…haha. I wish I had muted the letters down a little bit. I might try the antiquing gel on one of the two welcome signs, as one of the other commenters suggested. We’ll see how it looks. Have fun searching in the woods…I am always amazed at the treasures I find! “Treasures” usually meaning other people’s garbage that I can incorporate into crafts…lol!


  7. Becky
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 14:35:14

    Hi Maggie, Great job! I would take a little bit of burnt umber, water it down, and wash over the signs, where they are already distressed, it will make the words blend a bit better, so it really looks like it’s been sitting around for a while!


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Apr 20, 2015 @ 14:47:52

      Thank you Becky, I will probably do that (in place of the antiquing gel) because it’s just easier and not as messy as the gel. The more I am looking at them and the more feedback I am getting, I think I will definitely tone them down a bit. Thanks again! By the way, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your work…your paintings are amazing and I get a lot of inspiration from your work!!! 🙂 ~maggie


  8. Kim Brown
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 14:43:07

    I was just wondering if you had sold that prairie doll bust in the photo below. If not what are you asking for it? Kind regards, Kim Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:54:54 +0000 To:


  9. Emma
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 16:53:30

    Love them!


  10. Booth555
    Apr 20, 2015 @ 19:11:17

    Love the blue signs! They turned out great.
    I am into the craft mode too right now and trying to get stuff out of the garage that’s been stored to get stuff done.
    At first glance I thought the signs weren’t cut but were those slat boards that came apart easy. I love finding those kind too.
    I can’t wait until you get some more crafts going! I love seeing them!


  11. Barbara Briggs Ward
    Apr 21, 2015 @ 05:42:37

    I think your signs are perfect-and love all those Pickin’ treasures!


  12. Amy A
    Apr 21, 2015 @ 07:59:26

    I think the signs look great the way they are. I think for a beachy look you would want them bright!


  13. Pat
    Apr 28, 2015 @ 12:12:47

    Those signs are pretty awesome! I really don’t think that antique gel would improve on them. I’d leave them the way they are. A great bargain too!


  14. Mardell
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:08:25

    Hi Maggie!
    Your signs came out beautifully. Yes, we’ve endured a LONG winter, indeed. Sometimes we just get in a funk, week after week of constant snow here in WNY. Love your estate sale goodies. Can’t wait for yard/garage sales. I’m itching.

    Side note: My DH passed away in Feb. He was 45. Brain aneurysm. Sudden. We have a 10 yr. old son. He’s doing alright, despite everything. I’m so glad to see your new post. Brings freshness to my world right now. Thank you!

    PS ~ I loved walking around and digging for things in the woods when I was a kid. Esp. bottles. There seemed to be tons of them. All shapes and sizes, and colors. They were usually filled with dirt (from years being in the ground), or some still filled with liquid. I’d haul them home and wash them & marvel to my mom at my treasures. I don’t really think she viewed them as “treasures.” LOL

    PSS ~ we were up at Flaum on Tues. Not sure where you work, but thought of you.


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Apr 30, 2015 @ 13:18:41

      Thank you Mardell and I am so very sorry to hear about your husband. 45 is SO young; I can’t imagine. I hope you and your son are doing alright. At least it is getting niceer out and summer time brings lots of wonderful things for junkers like us…the flea markets and garage sales, along with that beautiful sunshine we have missed for 6 months! I do not work at Flaum but very near by. Thanks for your comments, they always make me smile. Have a wonderful rest of the week! 🙂


      • Mardell
        Apr 30, 2015 @ 16:26:46

        Thanks, Maggie. Your threads always make ME smile. Have a great rest of your week, too. Hugs!

  15. Cathy of Snugglebug Blessings
    May 03, 2015 @ 20:24:05

    Hi Maggie,

    I love the color you used on your signs and like it more aged than not. Your very creative and I have to say, you have inspired and encouraged me beyond words. Since devouring your blog, I went out and bought night lights, tiny tin buckets and small pillars to prim up for my booth.

    After years of making dolls, I’m just bushed. I have a booth and it is in desperate need of new and inexpensive items to fill it with. Because of your kindness to share your techniques and tutorials, I am on my way to filling my booth up with nice primitives that will help provide for my family. Thanks so much for being so very willing to share your knowledge, you are truly and inspiration to us all.

    God bless,



    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      May 03, 2015 @ 20:43:04

      Thank you for your very kind words Cathy, and I am so glad you’ve found some inspiration and ideas here! I love primitive decor but many primitive items are so darn expensive, so I love being able to make inexpensive versions of them. I wish I could sew and knew how to make dolls; sewing is the one area of crafting I have never explored and to be honest it scares me! haha. Anyway thanks again and I am so excited you’ve found some projects to make and fill your booth. We’re all here to support eachother and share our love of crafting!!! 🙂 Maggie


  16. Debee Mark
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 17:17:33

    Did you make your stencils or buy them? If purchased, where can I get them?


    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Sep 18, 2015 @ 07:25:28

      Hi Debee, I used foam stamps that I got online a long time ago. Large foam stamps are hard to find but once in a while you can find them in craft stores. I got these by just googling “large foam alphabet stamps” and bought them from some random craft site. Sorry that’s not much help, but try local craft stores and see what they have! Maggie


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