Wednesday, May 1, 2013

DIY thrift store wood signs made with thickers (foam stickers)

Wood sign paired with mirror my husband used to propose...aww
Uhhh I've been lusting after these cream-colored amazingly simply yet gorgeous signs by Gorgeous Graffiti since about quarter to ever...When I tell you what the price tag is you will probably do as I did and just about die.  Yes, they want upwards of $250 to $500 for this!  I'm not even kidding. Could I seriously make that up? I get it - the signs are big -- like 25 square feet big (do I even have a wall big enough?)  And they are beautiful. But, honey, I don't have $500 to spend on a canvas sign with some wood letters on it covered in what could easily be a $5 can of spray paint.

What I do have is some DIY 2IY in my genes. So what did I do??  I started hunting around for a way to do it myself.   Originally I planned to get small wood letters and put them on a canvas.  But after recently using spray paint on a canvas and not being real happy with the results I put the project on the backburner for awhile.

The other day, though, I was at Goodwill and came across this gem.  It doesn't look like much but it had a $3 price tag and at 1.5' by 1' I thought it would be perfect for my sign.

I then decided to use DIYThickers instead of wood letters -- which are far easier to find at craft stores anyway.   They're basically foam stickers so they give some dimension rather than a flat sticker.  This was my first go at Thickers and I was pretty happy with the result. The only thing I think I'd change is next time I wouldn't get such a "cutesy" font for a project like this.  Anyway, not only were the DIYThickers way cheaper than wood letters, since they're stickers the glue gun was taken out of the equation.   I bought two packs for a total of $5.50 just to be sure I didn't run out of any letters. 

First, I spray painted the entire sign to a nice even heirloom white.  Once it was dry, I used my laser level to provide a straight line on my board so I could easily stick the letters in a straight line.  I started with one saying only to realize it was way to long for my size I ended up taking all the letters off and starting over.   I was able to reuse the same thickers so they weren't wasted.

Once they were all on there -- I made sure no edges were sticking up -- I spray painted the entire sign again to coat the letters too. When that was dry I did one more coat just...well, basically because I have a slight obsession with spray paint.  (By the way while I was spray painting, I took at this $1 candlestick, too.  I picked up three a few months ago at the thrift store and this was still waiting for some love.  Can you believe someone would actually throw this away knowing it could look like this...gasp!)

Click here for the tutorial on the DIY rope pillar candle
Once it was finally dry I took some sandpaper to it to rough up the edges and corners a bit to add a little character.

For now I have it in my work-in-progress master bedroom...but I'm not sure I'm going to keep it there.  Perhaps it will find a home on the mantle.


  1. I'm about to do this for my step-daughter's wedding. Doing the lyrics of her first dance. I got cold feet and nervous that it wouldn't look right - and decided to google "thickers" and found this blog. Thank you, based on your sign, I think it will work!

  2. Julia - I loved the way it came out. I also made another one for my son's room and I ended up taking the thickers off after it was painted so the wood was exposed (paint first if you want your letters a certain color) That would work too if you're worried about not getting straight lines by doing it freehand, but don't necessarily want the depth of thickers. Here's a link to that project if you're interested in seeing that option.
    Thanks for stopping by!