Make an Address Sign for Your Front Porch
Every winter, we patiently wait for spring to arrive, and when it finally comes, the trips to the garden centers are plentiful! We often put so much effort into taking care of the front garden, but this year, you can add a little bit of extra flair to your front porch as well! This wooden address sign is sure to be the perfect complement to your beautiful garden – and add a unique touch to your home!
- Wood board (I used a 12 x 6 pine board)
- Fine grit sandpaper (if necessary)
- Sawtooth picture hanger
- Wood staining sponge or rag and a foam brush
- Protective gloves and table cover
- Water-based wood stain (I use SamaN in cherry)
- Water-based wood finish (I used Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior – glossy)
- Permanent Vinyl (I used Oracal 651 in matte white)
- Digital products: PN Breakfast Burrito Font
- Heat gun (optional, but recommended)
- Transfer Tape
- Weeding tools and scraper
- Cricut cutting machine (or other)
Let’s Make Your New Address Sign!
Prepare the Wood
To begin, you can go ahead and cut your wood panel if necessary, and then give it a good sanding to remove any rough areas. Be sure to sand the sides and edges as well.
With a slightly damp cloth, remove any excess dust and allow the wood to dry for approximately 15-20 minutes.
Staining the Wood
Now that your wood is cut, sanded, and dry, it’s time to add some color! It’s important to use only water-based stains as anything oil-based may eventually cause your vinyl to peel or lift. Rub a fair-sized amount of the stain onto all sides of your wood with your sponge or rag.
- 🧐Time-Saving Tip: To greatly speed up the application time, painter’s pyramids are very handy! They allow you to stain your entire project at once, without having to wait for each side to dry before applying stain to the other sides.
If you don’t have any painter’s pyramids, you will have to allow one side to dry first before moving onto the other sides.
Allow the wood to dry for 1-2 hours.
Protecting the Wood
After the stain is completely dry, you can apply a second coat if desired. Just repeat the same steps you did for the first coat – but this time you will want to let the stain dry for at least 5-6 hours to ensure that both coats are completely dry before moving on to the next step.
I like to add one coat of my Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior so that the vinyl will transfer better – and add some extra protection against the weather seeing as this sign will be hung up outside. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it to ensure that your sign lasts for many years!
Using your foam brush, dip it into the can of wood finish, making sure to wipe off any excess – you don’t want drops falling onto your table or wood.
Lightly coat all sides of the wood board. If you wish to add a second coat (though this is not necessary), wait 2-3 hours before applying.
Once fully coated, you will again have to let it dry for 24 hours before applying the vinyl.
Cricut Design Space
While you are waiting for the stain and/or finish to thoroughly dry, you can begin working on the design for your sign. First, download and install the PN Breakfast Burrito Font from Creative Fabrica. Both the Cricut Explore and Maker cut this font beautifully and weeding it could not have been easier! Plus, I love the whimsical vibe that this font brings to the sign! 🙃
Open up a new project in Cricut Design Space, and insert a shape from the Shapes Library that best reflects the shape of your wood blank. I used a 12 x 6 pine wood board so I inserted a square shape. This will be your template, so you can unlock it and change the size dimensions to that of your blank.
To create the frame for a rectangle-shaped sign, search for “rectangle frame corners” in the Images Library. Scroll through and choose the frame that you like best – but if you want to use the same one that I did, the image number is #M3F701.
Insert the image, unlock it, and change the width and height to be slightly smaller than your blank so that it fits nicely on the template.
Now your sign is ready for some fun images!😊
Again, open up the Images Library and search for a bird image that you like. I used the image of a bird that was “perched” on a flourish that resembled a swirly branch. If you would like to use the same, search for #M42FCC, then in the layers panel just delete the solid layer if you would like the color of your stain to show through the wing. This is optional of course – if you would like to play with different colored layers just remember to plan for that before you cut!
Now you can resize the bird to fit best for your sign. Keep in mind though that you want your house numbers to stand out too, so don’t make it too big!
Next, insert a text field and type in your house numbers. Change the font to the PN Breakfast Burrito Font that you installed earlier and enlarge it so that the numbers really stand out on the sign. If you like, you can also add in your street name, a welcome message, or anything you would like your sign to say. My family is French-Canadian so I added “Bienvenue” which means “Welcome” in English. Then to add a little extra, I inserted a little flourish underneath. Just place everything in a manner that fits your sign nicely.
Now that we have our final design, go ahead and delete the template in the layers panel as you will not be cutting that. Select everything, attach, and click on that Make It button!
Once cut, weed and apply your transfer tape.
Applying the Vinyl
After the first coat of finish is dry, you can add your vinyl decal!
Once you have lined up the transfer where you want to apply it, go ahead and burnish it. Don’t worry if your vinyl is stubborn, wood can be one of the trickiest surfaces to get your vinyl to stick to because it is quite textured. Just go slowly and burnish with your scraper as you lift the transfer tape. The exterior wood finish that you applied previously will help to make the transfer go much more easily than without it.
After it has been applied, lightly burnish to ensure that there are no air bubbles, but be careful to not damage the vinyl!
Now you can grab your heat gun and warm up the vinyl slightly, pressing it down as you move along. This will not only give the sign a lovely painted-on finish but will also save you a lot of “curing” time. It will also help to ensure that the vinyl has adhered well for the final step. Be extra careful though! Use some oven mitts or heat-safe gloves because the heat gun is extremely hot.
If you don’t have a heat gun, no worries! Just allow the vinyl to “cure” for at least 12 – 24 hours before adding the final coat of finish.
Apply one final coat of the water-based exterior wood finish to further protect both the vinyl and wood. This extra coat will make your home address sign last for years to come!
After 24 hours, take a sawtooth picture hanger and attach it to the back of your wood sign. Place it in the center and at roughly 1 -1.5 inches down from the edge, depending on the size and shape of your sign.
Voila! Now you can hang it up outside and then stand back and marvel at the beautiful new addition to your home!
Keep on Crafting! 💖