Make an easy painted wood sign for a customized Christmas wreath! This tutorial shows you how using paint pens, plus download the hand-lettered “welcome Santa” template.
Semi DIY Welcome Santa Wreath
Hello there! Dawn here, from DesigningDawn.com, and I have a fun little project to show you today as part of the Remodelaholic 12 Days of Christmas Series. (Don’t miss yesterday’s black and gold Christmas printables!)
Every year, I seem to stick to the same old Christmas decorations around the house, but this year, we have a completely updated home exterior, complete with a bright new front door.
So I felt like the same old wreath I usually hang there needed a little updating, and I had just the project in mind.
How to Make Your Own Hand-Painted Wood Sign
This ‘Welcome Santa’ sign is super fun and easy to make. Trust me! Here’s how I created this DIY door sign for the holiday season:
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- scrap wood
- white chalk paint (available here on Amazon)
- clear wax or sealant (optional; available here on Amazon)
- sand paper (optional)
- paint pens (also available here on Amazon)
- scrap paper
- ball point pen
- small picture hanging kit (like this)
- wreath (optional; see some great winter wreaths here or you can purchase the same one that I used here at Target)
- Welcome Santa sign template (download below)
Download Hand-lettered Welcome Santa Template
Dawn created a template so you can have the same design as hers! Subscribers get it delivered right to their inbox, so fill out the form below to join the list. (We’ll send updates about printables, including freebies and discounts, but never spam.)
1. Pick a Scrap of Wood
I started with a scrap piece of wood from the pile in my garage. (Do people actually use garages for parking cars??) It was already pretty much the size I had in mind, but if not, just trim that baby down.
2. Trace the Board
Before breaking out the paint, I used my scrap paper to trace around the outside of the board, so I would know what size I was working with for my lettering.
If you’re using the template, you can see the approximate size of the board based on the page size of 11″ x 17″ paper.
Next, I coated the board with a quick layer of white chalk paint, and while that was drying, I got to work on the lettering.
4. Create the Design
For my board, I just sketched out the lettering I wanted, making sure to keep everything sized appropriately for the space (this is why it’s nice to have the outline of the board to work within).
I am a big fan of hand lettering, and love the personalized look it adds. That being said… I’m an artist and designer by profession, so it comes naturally to me.
If freehand drawing your design sounds intimidating, don’t give up. I have a plan B! Just measure your board and type out your text on the computer to fit within your space. Print it out, and you’re ready to go!
5. Transfer the Design to the Board
Whether you have a digital print, or a hand-drawn sketch, this will be your design template and the next steps are exactly the same.
Once your board has dried, tape the template (your sketch or print out) onto it, making sure it is placed where you’d like it. Make sure to tape the edges securely so the paper doesn’t move around on you. This might mean folding it over and taping it to the back.
Then grab your ball point pen (any color) and trace around the outside of the letters or graphics on your template. At this point, you aren’t filling anything in, just try to get as close to the outside edges as possible, and apply a good amount of pressure.
Once you’ve traced around all the letters, remove your template and you should see a light indentation on your painted board, showing the outlines of each letter.
If you’re making a larger sign, you might try this painted farmhouse sign technique to create a stencil.
6. Paint the Lettering Design
From here, it’s super easy to fill the letters in using your paint pen, and decorate to your liking. It takes a little patience, but is actually very easy and therapeutic. Just like coloring in a coloring book! I used a combination of black and gold paint pens to get a classic look.
7. Finish and Hang
Once I was finished with my lettering, I let it dry a bit and then distressed it with sandpaper. You can also seal your sign with clear wax, to help it hold up a little better.
To hang the sign, I broke out a picture hanging kit, screwed two tiny eye-hooks into the top of the sign, and strung a piece of twine between them.
Then I just layered it on my front door with a wreath I picked up at Target and added some gold ribbon to tie in with my gold paint.
You can also make your own wreath of course — and this one is scented for a nice holiday aroma every time you walk by!
I am so happy with my new door sign, and I think it’s the perfect thing to spice up the front porch this year! Didn’t I tell you it was easy peasy? I think I’ll be making a few more so I have options for all year round… not that Santa’s not welcome to stop by anytime. 🙂
Thanks for following along with my tutorial today, and thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me. I hope you’ve found this fun little DIY inspirational. I’d love to have you visit me over on my blog, DesigningDawn.com, or follow along on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Happy Holidays, friends!
More easy DIY signs for Christmas and beyond:
- How to Paint Farmhouse Signs (The Easy Way)
- Printable Custom Family Tree Farm Mistletoe Sign
- Make Your Own Chalkboard Welcome Sign
- DIY Farmhouse Laundry Room Sign + Template
Published 17 Nov 2015 // Updated 4 Dec 2020
Dawn is one half of the team behind the creative blog, AD Aesthetic. By day she works as the VP of Creative for a design and marketing company (getting paid to make things look good!), while by night she renovates her Midwest home, refinishes thrift-store furniture for fun, and works with her husband on raising two tiny humans. Dawn believes in the potential to design your surroundings and your life one day at a time, and lives by the motto, 'Make everything beautiful.' Get to know her better by visiting her blog, ADaesthetic.com, or following along on Facebook and Instagram.