I’ve been working on a face-lift for my front porch this spring. Scouring Pinterest and IG, collecting ideas and inspiration, and getting things planned out. The one place I kept hitting a wall on was my front door. I was so torn. Cute sign? Wreath? Cutout of some sort? I was really struggling! I know, big problems right?? I was really leaning towards a sign of some sort, but also really wanted the splash of color and spring a boxwood wreath would offer. So I decided to go with the wreath. Then came issue number two. Holy cow are they pricey! And the ones I could wrap my head around the price tag, were not that great. Dull green, too small, too thin. So off to Hobby Lobby I went! On a mission to find something that will “fake it” enough to work. I ended with a wreath that I LOVE for less than $25. But just a warning. I happened to go to Hobby Lobby when their greenery department was on sale for 50%. So this may cost you more than what I paid for it. Watch out for their sales. They rotate through which departments are half off regularly. And don’t forget about their 40% coupon! Just check out their website, screen shot the coupon, and show it to the cashier at checkout. It’s good for 40% any ONE regular price item. Also, I already had floral wire. So i didn’t include that in my cost either. You can always use whatever wire, string, twist ties, etc. you might have on hand.
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Here’s a list of the items I used to make my wreath and a video I put together to show you how it’s done.
So I made my wreath and was planning on putting a big burlap bow on it and calling it good. As usual, it sat in my living room for a couple of days. As I walked past it once an idea popped into my head. I can make a sign to hang on it! Do both! And as I thought about it more and the logistics of how to hang a sign on it, and what to put on the sign, I came up with the idea to make the sign double-sided. A reversible sign! I even think it would be fun to make several signs for it. Some seasonal-type signs–Christmas, Thanksgiving, fall, whatever! But that will have to wait. I don’t have time to make those and think those through yet. If you have some fun ideas for me, please comment below!!
So I set forth making my little reversible sign and headed to the garage. I always seem to have fence pickets on hand. They make great signs! They’re lightweight, a great size, easily cut down with my miter saw, and cheap! I’m a huge fan of the reject pile at Home Depot, and they have flawed fence pickets for 70% off all the time. I just cut off anything that’s beyond usable. Anyway, I used a fence picket. I cut it to 14″ wide, which seemed like a good size for my wreath still sitting in my living room. Sanded it smooth (just with 80 grit sandpaper) and stained it with my newest and maybe m new favorite stain, Varathane’s Briarsmoke! I had looked for this stain locally I couldn’t ever find it anywhere, at least not in stock anyway. But I stumbled across it at Fred Meyer’s and was super excited to actually use it for something! It’s a warm grey, or maybe a cool brown, it’s the GREIGE of ‘wood stains! Ok, I just came up with that and I’m kind of proud of myself there… Anyway! I stained my little fence picket and let it dry for 24 hours. I know, that’s painful to wait, but these oil based stains need a chance to dry well before painting anything on them. Ideally, they should dry for a couple of days. But I’m usually lucky to force myself to wait 1 day.
I almost forgot to drill my holes in my sign. I knew I wanted to hang it on the wreath, and wire seemed to make the most sense. I thought if I did rope or jute string it will bounce around in our Idaho wind too much. The wire would hold it sturdy much better. I drilled a hole in the top and left hand corners of the sign. Be careful to drill your holes clean, since the sign will be seen from both sides. I made a little video on that too to help! The drill bits I use for things like this are called Forstner Bits. Specifically, a 1/4″ Forstner Bit. They cut much smoother than a normal bit. But there is a trick to it. Check out the video to see.
Once my stain was dry, I moved onto my signs. I ended up deciding on the typical last name for one side, and the phrase “our happy place” for the other. I try to switch things up a bit and not use the same things everyone else does, so this seemed like a new idea for a front door. I designed my stencils in Silhouette Studio, as usual, cut my stencils with my Cameo into Oracal 631 vinyl, and proceeded to paint my sign. I use Minwax Satin Polycrylic to seal my stained signs, and typically use Waverly Chalk Paints you can find at Walmart.
Once I got the sign painted on both sides and let it dry completely, I sealed it with Varathane Outdoor Water-Based Spar Urethane. You can find it next to the Briarsmoke Stain at Fred Meyer’s! And I cut the length of wire I thought would make the sign hang somewhere close to the middle. Cut off more than you need and play with it. You can always cut off the excess wire if you have too much. I just wrapped the wire around itself, but not too tight, you want to be able to unwrap it to flip your sign around. I then tied a large piece of burlap ribbon around both the sign and the wreath with a simple knot and hung it up! I decided to go with a simple knot because, well it looked cute, but because I wanted the sign to be the focal point of the wreath. Not a big bow.
So there you have it! If I missed something, please let me know! This is a super fun project, and easier than you’d think. Hopefully the videos help. Have fun! And if you aren’t already in my “Wood Crafts & More” group on Facebook, join! And share your new wreath and sign so I can see!