DIY Sign Tutorial: Farm Fresh Christmas Trees

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Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Sign in Entryway

I’ve had this DIY “Farm Fresh Christmas Trees” sign on my Christmas décor to-do list since the beginning of November. I am beyond thrilled to finally have it checked off after so long!

Since I’d like to have this oversized sign above my entryway bench all year long, my husband designed the frame so that the 24×36 engineer print could be easily swapped out for another print anytime I wanted!

My favorite part about this sign is that it cost us under $15 because we already had the tools and stains on hand. Whoop! Whoop!

As a gift to my readers, I made the image available as a printable PDF for free! Just click here for the instructions : )

Supplies for the Sign:

  • Wood boards cut at your desired width and length. We purchased 2 8′-1×2 boards
  • 6 screws. We used 3/16″ long but it really depends on the thickness of the wood you choose
  • Drill
  • Drill bit with stopper (optional but prevents “oopsies”)
  • Brad nailer and 1-1/4″x 18 gauge finish nails (optional). Edges could possibly be attached with wood glue and dowels, or metal corner brackets
  • Brush and/or cloth for staining
  • Stain or paint of your choice. We used a wood conditioner, a heavy coat of gray stain and finished it off with a light coat of espresso stain
  • 1/4″ plywood underlayment. Ours was cut as a 24×36 piece
  • Image. We used a 24×36 engineer print. Link for the exact image here
  • Table saw to create a notch where you’ll embed your backing and image securely
  • Miter saw or miter box to cut your edges at a 45 degree angle
  • Picture hanging wire and 2 screws to secure the wire
  • Husband (optional)

Step 1:

You’ll need to determine the measurements for the inside edges of your frame to make sure it overlaps and secures your image. Gotta hold that baby in!

For our frame, the outside edge measures 37-5/8″ x 25-5/8″.

It may also help to know that the inside edge measures 34-5/8″ x 22-5/8″.

You could have your home improvement store cut these measurements for you if you know you’ll be making a frame for a 24×36″ image.

Step 2:

Using a table saw, make a cut down the full length of the board. Cut halfway through the wood as pictured. Repeat this step with your remaining pieces.

Using a table saw to cut down the center of the sign's frameStep 3:

The goal is to create a notch on the inner part of your frame for your backing and image to settle.

Set your saw in the center of the wood, meeting with the end of your last cut, and saw through the entire length of the wood as pictured. You are basically cutting a 1/4 of the wood off, if that makes any sense.

Repeat this step for all your pieces.

I apologize for the sideway images. For some reason I don’t understand, they refused to upload properly.

Just lay on your side for a better view…I’m kidding…don’t do that…it would look weird.

Cutting notches into the frame for the signStep 4:

Using a miter saw, cut all of your edges at a 45 degree angle. Remember that the thicker side will be the outside edge of the frame.

Cutting the edges of the wood at a 45 degree angle for the signStep 5:

At this point, you’ll want to stain or paint your wood pieces.

I used a wood conditioner to prep my frame for staining and let that soak through for 15 minutes before staining.

I brushed on a weathered gray stain and allowed it to dry per instructions. Because the gray was too “cool” for my liking, I finished it off by dabbing a cloth into an espresso colored stain and rubbed it in for a “dirty” look and a  “warmer” tone.

Stages of staining the sign frame

Step 6:

Time to nail your corners together! We did one on each edge and it did the job just fine. It would be wise to have your backing in place as you do this to keep everything in line.

Using brad nails to secure the edges of the sign togetherStep 7:

Tape your image on to the plywood (make sure the tape is hidden by the frame), set your backing into place.

Drill a hole through the backing and the back of your frame. We recommend using a stopper on your drill bit to prevent drilling all the way through your frame (and possibly your kitchen table!).

For our frame, we drilled 3 holes on each of the longer sides.

Finally, drill in your screws!

Drilling holes in the sign for the screw

Screwing the sign backing into the frameStep 8:

Of course, you need a way to hang your beautiful artwork on the wall. For our frame, we simply drilled two screws about 1/3 down from the top of the frame. We secured a picture hanging wire on each screw and…ta-da!

Picture hanging wire secured with screws for the sign

You did it! Give yourself a pat on the back!!! Now sit back and enjoy everyone admiring your handy work. It feels so good knowing you made something yourself and saved money doing it.

If you have any difficulty understanding these instructions, please leave your feedback! I’d love to help anyway I can.

December 6, 2017
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