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Hi all! I was so excited to be due with my first baby in October 2020. A few years ago, I started a forest mural in the nursery. When I found out my baby was going to be a boy, I was very excited. The forest theme in the nursery would be PERFECT! I love the look of a wooden name sign for a nursery. Have you ever priced them out? They are outrageously expensive! I already had most of the tools and materials on hand so, I thought why not just DIY!
- Projector, or Computer with Adobe PDF
- 1/8″ Birch Sanded Plywood or Equivalent
- Jigsaw (with PPE)
- Liquid Nails with Caulk Gun
- Wood Stain
- Stain Rag
- Transfer Paper
This ended up being a super easy project that I whipped out in two days. First, I picked out the shape I wanted my name sign to be. I went with a bear, since it is what I already had in mind.
Cutting Out the Shape
I didn’t have a projector at the time, so I made a PDF of the shape and printed it in poster mode. Using a projector to display the image on the wood can make it much easier to customize the shape of your board. With the click of a button, you can make the overall shape larger or smaller. A projector is a great investment if you do a lot of projects that require you to display and manipulate images. I currently have this projector. There are a ton of projector options on the market, and it can be hard to choose one. The one I picked was a good price, and works well. I use it to display images for my DIY projects, but it could easily be used for other things. You could use it to stream a movie on the lawn, or to have an extra screen for sporting events (party anyone?).
Since I didn’t have a projector at the time, I had to use another method. I opened the image with Adobe PDF, and printed it as a poster. You can find the poster option in the settings. You will have to play around with the settings to see how big it is going to be. I like to look at the number of pages it will take and lay them out on the ground to get an idea of the size. When you are happy with the size, print the poster. If you haven’t used the Adobe PDF poster feature before, it might be a little confusing. You can read more about how to do it in this tutorial from Adobe.
Once it was printed, I taped the shape together, cut it out and traced it onto the plywood.
Cutting the Plywood
Once the shape of you name sign is traced on the plywood, you need to cut it out. For this step, I borrowed a friend’s jig saw. Borrowing tools can help you keep the cost of your project down. This project didn’t cost much, because I already had most of the tools and materials on hand. Before cutting out your shape, make sure you are familiar with using a jig saw. If you aren’t experienced with a jig saw, you can read about it here. Remember to ALWAYS use PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, when doing your DIY projects.
Sanding and Staining
Then, I sanded the edges and stained it. To sand, I used a loose piece of sandpaper in 125 grit. I tried using a sanding block first, but it would have been more work. When you use a loose piece of sand paper, you can fold it around the edge and sand all of the sides at once.
After sanding, I wiped all of the dust off of the shape and set out to stain it. The stain I used was a Dark Walnut stain by Minwax. To evenly apply the stain, I used a cotton rag. Check your can of stain for specific directions and dry times. I let it sit overnight to dry.
Finishing the Sign
The next day, I made the vinyl name with my CriCut and applied it to the sign. I did end up playing around with the name until it looked like I wanted it to. In the end, I used four different colors and stacked the vinyl for the middle name. At this point, you can protect your sign with a finishing product such as polyurethane if you would like to. Since the sign is going to be indoors and is just for decoration, I decided to forgo adding a layer of protection.
Next, I used Liquid Nails in a caulk gun to attach the hangers to the back. The sign is very thin and light, so you shouldn’t have to worry about the Liquid Nails holding. Once the glue dried, I couldn’t wait to hang it in the nursery.
My project ended up being 30 inches wide and 18 inches long. The only thing I had to buy was the hangers. The cost for the hangers was $6, so I saved a total of $126. Not too shabby!