Hello Remodelaholic readers! Colleen here again from Lemon Thistle. Today I'm bringing you a simple afternoon project to add some fun to your gallery wall. This speech bubble sign is so versatile- you could go bright, paint it instead of leaving the wood raw, change up the phrasing, or even make it a chalkboard (who doesn't love a chalkboard?). I am such a sucker for natural wood tones and simple black/white details, so chose to go with a natural finish with black edging and lettering on this one- I love how it plays with the gallery wall in my bedroom.
The steps to this project are really simple and the supplies are easy to get your hands on. I would love to see someone take this on in a bright color for a kiddos space.
DIY Speech Bubble Sign
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To make your own speech bubble sign, you'll need:
- Quality plywood (not OSB; I chose pre-sanded)
- Pencil and eraser
- Sandpaper and sander (I used 120)
- Paint (I used chalkboard paint) and brush
- Sawtooth hanger and hammer for hanging
Start by sketching out your speech bubble on plywood. I freehanded this, but you could blow up a graphic you find online to trace on. I played with which way to face the bubble tail and my husband and I both voted for this one. When you are happy with your shape, plug in your jigsaw and get cutting! When cutting a curved shape on a jigsaw, try to keep moving on a smooth motion instead of starting and stopping. Keep your jigsaw on a high setting for plywood. If you're unsure, just practice on a scrap piece first until you get the feel for curves (as someone who has cut wonky circles in the past!).
When your shape is cut, move to sanding. I just sanded off my many pencil marks instead of erasing, then I took care to sand all the cut edges smooth. Give it a wipe with a damp cloth before moving on to paint.
At this point, you can pretty much do whatever you want. I chose to paint just the edge of the sign with black chalkboard paint before adding the lettering. I actually used a chalkboard paint, but any acrylic based paint would be a good choice. I sketched the lettering out with a pencil before painting over with a brush. If I were to do this again, I would have chosen a much lighter weight acrylic as I found the chalkboard paint didn't spread quite as smoothly and I had to reload my brush more often. If you aren't comfortable freehanding a design, you can totally print out a design and transfer it using carbon transfer paper BUT I'm such an advocate for learning. You can do so many things with it! I'm not a natural, I talk all about that and WHY I bothered learning in this post here… but think of all the signs you can make if you take the time to learn!
Finishing touches… the hanging hardware! I'm a hoarder of sawtooth hangers, I use them on everything- they're so versatile. Then, hang it on the wall.
I'd love to hear what colors you would choose and what you would write on your sign! Or if you'd go chalkboard 😉