Yesterday, I gave you a look at this hand painted Happy Harvest sign I made for our front porch. I have been loving all these darling wood signs lately and with the holidays approaching, I figured it was as good as time as any to hop on that wagon. Since I had all my supplies at home (my wood was a leftover shelf from our first apartment!) I didn’t spend any extra money. Those are my favorite kinds of projects! I didn’t actually know how I was going to make the stencil work before I started, but I came up with a pretty clever way to transfer the stencil, without purchasing any transfer medium. This project is totally doable with just regular household supplies. I have also included a free stencil for you, too, so you can make your own sign!
Wood Board cut down to 16” x 19”
Brown and White Acrylic Paint
Chalk and Ballpoint Pen (or transfer paper if you have it)
Happy Harvest Stencil – download here
First, cut board down to size and sand. My board measured 16” by 19”. You can make a bigger or smaller board, this is just the size that fits the template. After cutting, sand the edges.
Next, mix paint with a little bit of water. (I couldn’t find any brown paint at our house, so I just mixed every color I had together. It would be much easier next time just using brown paint!) Grab your rag and also keep a little bit of water handy. Paint one or two small strokes on your board, going with the grain. Take your cloth and spread the paint thin. If paint is still too thick, dip your cloth in water and spread again. Continue over the entire board and edges. After I was done painting, I wanted to add a little bit more contrast, so I took some watered down black paint and using my wet rag, added it randomly to the board.
While letting your board dry, print out your stencil. I decided to go with “Happy Harvest” because I could use the sign for both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Since my board was so big, I had to design the stencil to be large as well. I ended up printing it on four pieces of paper, then I taped them together, like a puzzle. You can download the stencil here, it’s already in the four different sizes for you!
Since I don’t have a fancy Cricut machine or didn’t want to spend hours with an exacto knife cutting out each letter, I got a little creative. On the backside of your stencil, take a piece of chalk and rub. Make sure it is covered well. (If you painted your wood white or a light color, you can use a pencil for the same effect.)
Turn your stencil over and place back on your piece of wood. Now, using a pen, outline the letters. The pen will push the chalk down onto the wood, leaving you with temporary stencil lines.
This is what my stencil looked like after. Super easy! You will probably see a bit of excess chalk on your board, that’s ok. It will wipe right off after you’re done!
Using a thin paintbrush, carefully fill in your stencil with paint. I used craft acrylic paint. Carefully line the edges first with paint, then spread the paint towards the middle to fill in. Let dry. After your paint has dried, you can take a damp paper towel to carefully remove the excess chalk.
Ta-da! There you have it. A super simple, easy hand painted fall sign!