How to Make a Wooden ABC Sign - Elementary Education

How to Make a Wooden ABC Sign

We’ve all been there.

Scrolling through Pinterest, a cute, “easy” project catches our eye, and suddenly, we are off on the DIY train, guns blazing. What we DON’T know is that this point is like the calm before the storm–a moment of pure bliss, as we make a mental list of materials needed for this beautiful, pristine work of art. This stage is denial, the belief that we really can make this super awesome project, when deep down, we know it will possibly be the end of all things sane.

I’m here to tell you that all hope is not lost.

Not only am I a teacher, but I am a soon to be mother. And when I’m not creating for the classroom, I am in search of the perfect nursery. I am a lover of barn wood and lettered signs, but my patience and wallet disagree. Imagine my surprise when this week, I totally threw together this little ABC wall hanging and DIDN’T SAY ONE BAD WORD THE ENTIRE TIME. And it came from my own imagination. And, I only spent about $20.00.

You guys, it’s this easy:

1. Go to Lowe’s. In the lumber section, get 2 pieces of 4×6 wood. They should be $4.58 each.

2. Next, go to the picture hanger aisle. Get picture hangers. I bought a pack of 6 for $1.50. They are the kind that look like pointy teeth.

3. Mosey on over to the paint aisle. Get a can of ebony stain. I used Rustoleum, but any ebony will do–half pint is MORE than enough.

4. Next, drive your crafty self to Michael’s where you will purchase vinyl letters, hopefully with a 40% off coupon. I used 3 inch, Helvetica in white. They are found in the stencil aisle.

Other things you will need: yardstick, hammer, some type of sponge or paint brush, a bowl of water, and 2 old rags. I won’t insult your intelligence by posting photos of those, I assume you are familiar with those items 🙂

Okay, so this next part is super easy. You will want to shake your stain (shaken, NOT stirred). You are going to drench your rag in the water and wipe down one side of your board so that sucker is soaking wet (I’m talking WET). Next, use your brush to paint stain on the part you have soaked. Quickly after, use your dry rag to wipe off all of the stain. Much of the stain will remain, but it will have a faded look rather than a solid. Repeat this on all surfaces of your board & feel free to repeat on some areas to achieve a darker look. This took me about 15 minutes and my boards looked like this when I was done:

Now for the part I thought would be the deal-breaker. I’ll be honest, I was super excited about my vision for this project but I thought this would be the point where I just went clear off the deep end–applying the letters so they were evenly spaced and straight.


Turns out—EASY.




1. Mark an inch on either end of the board. This is where your letters will start and end.



2. Starting at one end of the board at your first mark you made, make additional marks every 3 1/2 inches. This will be the parameters for your letters.



3. Lay your yardstick so that its top edge is flush with the top edge of your board.



4. Keeping the yardstick still (this took occasional repositioning), place the letters in between the 3 1/2 inch marks so the top of the letter touches the yardstick. Repeat on both pieces of wood, with 13 letters on each.


Not exactly scientific, but that’s how it’s done folks! One last time for your viewing pleasure:



Happy (no, really) crafting!

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  1. October 23, 2014 / 12:24 am

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