hand painted family sign for under £5

Years ago I was in my favorite bit of Ikea. The ‘as is’ section. They had a bunch of random bits of wood piled up, and in the mess I found a white door that was meant for a kitchen cabinet marked down to £1.50 (Or about that. I know it was under £2). I quickly snapped it up thinking I would make a sign out of it. I had no idea what I wanted it to say yet, but it was a bargain and it had two holes in the back already, made for hinges, that would be perfect for hanging.

I decided I would put our last name on it and make a little ‘family established’ sign! My process for doing this is a little complicated because I didn’t have a printer, so bear with me. I went into Word and found a font that I liked. I did one letter at a time on my computer screen, so I could get the letters the size I wanted. Starting with R, I placed a piece of paper over my screen and lightly copied it with pencil. Once I was done coping all the letters, I drew over them with black marker. This was just to make it see through because then I flipped them over and traced them with pencil again, on the back. Heavily trace the letters with pencil this time. Then I placed the letters on the door, with the newly traced pencil facing down, and using a plastic card, I rubbed. This made the pencil rub onto the door giving me a nice outline.

After I had all my letters traced, I used one of the kids paint brushes and some left over paint in a tester pot to carefully paint in the lines. 

It was not perfect. It had some crazy edges, but I loved it. Represented our family perfectly. 🙂 

When we moved back to the States last year I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t want to toss it but I also couldn’t bring it with me either. My father-in-law told me he wanted it and don’t I dare throw it away. Ok then! So away it went. It was stored away the entire time we were gone and when we came back, he gave it back to us. I was actually quite surprised he had kept it to be honest. It really meant a lot to have something meaningful from our old life be kept and also to be able to have it in our home again. 

Unfortunatly, after being stored away it was a little banged up and some of the letters were scratched. So I fixed it using the same method as before. Just a kids paint brush and a tester pot of paint in a similar colour.




You can see the scratches above. Fortunatly, the wood itself wasn’t scratched, it was just the paint rubbing away. Taking my time I just painted each letter again. I didn’t redraw them, I just went for it. 




 And there she is all shiney and refreshed. It is still a little wonky in places, and for the life of me I could never get that 6 looking perfect either time. But that is ok. We are a little wonky too, and seriously who cares? It hangs above our front door and not a single person has noticed the little imperfections that I do. It is perfect.



The only thing I was nervous about was it being above the door and possibly falling with the door being shut/slammed over time as the holes for the hinges are quite big. So I used blue tack all around the edge of the sign, hung it on two nails, and then used a rubber mallet to tap it all around so it stuck to the wall. It has not budged.


In. Love. It pleases me so much to have this sign back with us in our new house. Hanging it up was like telling the house ‘you will do just fine’. And there ya have it! A family sign for under £5! The tester pot of paint was from Homebase and was less than £2 too. And it was so thick and close in colour, I only needed to do one coat.

Last but not least, it is not a trip to Ikea without hitting up the ‘as is’ section. Do it. You never know what treasures you will find.


3 thoughts on “hand painted family sign for under £5

  1. Pingback: mirror mirror on the wall: the toothpaste method | everlasting home

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