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Simple DIY Farmhouse Sign for Christmas

In this article: Learn how to make a simple DIY farmhouse sign for Christmas using a custom stencil. The project illustrates 2 different ways a stencil can be used.

DIY Rustic Farmhouse Sign | Create a lovely decor piece or gift for someone with this Christmas farmhouse craft that is simple and budget friendly. #christmasdecor #christmascrafts #christmasgifts

Learning how to make a simple DIY farmhouse sign for your home is a budget friendly way to add  style to a space.  By adding some Christmas greenery, it becomes a seasonal decor piece. This project uses a custom stencil ~ allowing you to make it say or be whatever you’d like it to be!

Related Articles: Decorative Painting on Wood Signs; As for Me and My House Sign (and 6 other sign projects); Painted Noel Sign

How to Make a Rustic Wood Sign for Your Home

Disclosure: This post uses affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Harbour Breeze Home is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Supplies Needed:

Step 1: Stain the Wood Base

For each of these signs, I started with a pallet sign type base that was stained. (You can read the details on how to do that here.) However, you can use a single board (or any size!) if you’d like.

I began by googling “antler horns” until I found a printable image that I liked. I then used it as a guide and cut out a custom stencil with the pattern.

Step 2: Cut out the custom stencil

{The custom stencil product I like to use is  Martha Stewart’s peel and stick stencil film.}

Painted antler signs at harbourbreezehome.com

If you are careful when cutting out a stencil, you can apply it two different ways for 2 totally different looks. One look uses the cut-out portion as the stencil. The other look uses the solid pieces you removed as a “reverse stencil”. (See examples of both below.)

A few tips on cutting out stencils:

  1. Place the stencil paper on a piece of glass while cutting with an exacto knife.  The glass allows the blade to slide better. I’ve tried using a cutting board, but it grabs and sticks into the cutting board surface.
  2. For the 2nd antler I cut out, I cut a part with the exacto knife, and then finished it with a sharp pair of scissors. It was so much easier that way!

For Painted Antler Sign Option 1 ~ The “Reverse Stencil”

Remove the white backing on the cut out shapes. Stick them  on to the stained wood, and press down really firmly on all the edges. (I pressed the end of a paint brush down on it, and pushed it along. A credit card also works well for this step.)

2 Ways to Paint Antler Signs on harbourbreezehome.com

{The right antler in the picture is stuck down. The left antler still has the backing paper attached.}

Once the antlers are firmly in place, paint the background color on. Although it’s tempting to just quickly slap the paint on, you will need to slow down and apply the paint in thin layers to prevent a big fat line around the antlers.

2 ways to paint antler signs at harbourbreezehome.com If you water down the paint slightly, a bit of the wood grain will still peek through. (That’s what I did. I also layered white and rain gray acrylic craft paint, to give a rustic weathered look). Once you get the background color you desire, then the fun part:

2 ways to paint antler signs at harbourbreezehome.com

Peel off the stencil and reveal your masterpiece!

2 ways to paint antler signs at harbourbreezehome.com

For Painted Antler Sign Option 2 ~ The Stencil

For the other sign option, begin by painting the whole sign background the color of your choice. (Don’t forget the sides, too!)  I used a layered mix of white and rain gray acrylic paint.  Once completely dry, apply your custom peel and stick stencil film:

2 ways to paint antler signs at harbourbreezehome.com

Press firmly around the cut out edges to prevent paint from seeping underneath.

To stencil, dip your brush into the paint (I used black for this one), and dab off almost all the paint onto a paper towel. Then brush and “pounce” onto the stenciled antler area, pushing the brush from the outside of the stencil in. It will take a bit of time to build up the paint this way, but it helps prevent paint from sneaking under the stencil.

After it is covered well, peel off the stencil:

2 ways to paint antler signs on harbourbreezehome.com

And, voila, antler sign option 2!

2 ways to paint antler signs on harbourbreezehome.com

Optional Embellishment Ideas:

  • To make the sign more Christmas specific, add greenery and jingle bells
  • Felt flowers and leaves could give the sign a more feminine feel. Pink and green ones would be so cute in a little girl’s nursery!

**Update: I recently did a Facebook live illustrating all the steps of this project. It marks the start of this year’s Home-made Christmas series, and is the first idea for both home decor and a gift idea. To catch future Facebook live craft classes, be sure to join the Facebook group here.


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  1. I need to make some new Christmas wall decor, and this might be the project I do this year. Totally my style Rita, I love the rustic wood and simple design so so much!

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