Make and Hang DIY Vintage Christmas Signs

December 4, 2019Allison Murray

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DamageFreeHolidayDecor #CommandDoNoHarm #CollectiveBias

Last year was the first year we decorated my Mom and Dad’s house for Christmas in a long time. 16 years ago we all traveled to my sister’s house for Christmas as she was heavily pregnant with my oldest nephew. After the little guy was born that pretty much ensured that we’d all go to them because traveling for the holidays with little kids is a bit difficult. It just made sense. But now that the boys are both teenagers (gah!) we’re all going to my parents who are older. It works because my dad hates leaving his house these days and there’s a lot more to do in the Houston metro than there is in Southern Oklahoma. Last year we even took my youngest nephew and brother-in-law indoor skydiving. It was such a blast! :) This year my mom wants to go all out. And so I’ve already begun decking the halls. And though she might be a weensy bit late to the party, my mom has a newfound affection for all farmhouse stuff. So I thought it would be a lot of fun to make her some custom fake vintage Christmas signs. *Spoiler alert, she loves them.

Damage-Free Temporary Decorating with Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hooks & clips

Since I made DIY faux vintage Christmas signs, they were reasonably going to need to be hung on the wall. But the thing is I’m hanging them on a wall in my dad’s house. My dad HATES holes in the wall. I was literally hanging the Saloon sign and he asked very loudly when I planned on patching up all of these new holes I made on his wall. And from his tone, the guy was definitely irked. So I smiled as prettily as I could manage and told him there were no holes anywhere because I wasn’t using nails, I was using Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hooks that use only removable adhesive. So boom. The discussion was over and that was that. I won and was free to continue moving and placing and re-moving and re-placing all of my Christmas decor items in peace. Well, mostly. “Is that really where that wreath wants to be?” <– he really said that :)

A total blank slate, this mantle and fireplace need some Christmas cheer, stat!
So here’s what I was working with… a total blank slate, this mantle, and fireplace need some Christmas cheer, stat!

With Command® Adjustables™ Repositionable 1 lb Hooks and Clips you can move your hooks around up to 3 times to get that perfect placement!
But the thing is I’m totally flippant. I can love something one minute and the next it’s just the absolute pits! And in the few pics above you can see just I moved things around A LOT. First of all, I totally loved this reindeer metal statue thing and I hung it up in 3 different places on the wall until I decided it was just too big for what I wanted. But you want to know what’s really cool? I only used 1 Command® Adjustables™ repositionable hook to move that reindeer around all over until I decided it just wouldn’t work. You can reposition these hooks up to three times in the first 20 minutes until you get it just right!! Isn’t that cool? This is a game-changer, my friends. And though I didn’t keep that big metal reindeer on the wall, 1 Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hook was strong enough to hold the full weight of that guy on the wall. Add strong-holding to the list of the pros for these little hooks.

Finding the material to make your DIY Vintage Christmas Signs

Both of my signs are made of plywood. The Saloon sign is a piece that I dug out of my dad’s wood scrap and the Reindeer Rides sign was made of wood I purchased at the home improvement store. Since we’re going to faux age the boards you don’t need to worry about whether your boards actually are reclaimed or not. In the end, though one board was already distressed and the other perfectly pristine, they both look perfectly vintage with a little bit of DIY know-how and paint. Which brings us to paint. For this project chalk paint is your best friend. It doesn’t require any prepping or priming and it dries very fast and very matte. Anything with a sheen to it will make the painted surface kind of slick and it won’t hold the HTV design very well. Which brings us to… HTV is heat transfer vinyl. If you hang out on Pinterest it’s that stuff that’s used to make custom tees. But it works on a lot of surfaces including wood! Using a cutting machine (I have a Cricut Maker) you’ll cut out your vinyl designs and then transfer them onto your prepared boards using heat.

Supply List Needed to Make DIY Vintage Christmas Signs

We’ll cover the supplies you’ll need for each sign, made exactly as I have, separately:

Tangled Tinsel Saloon – Coldest Eggnog in Town

  • Plywood Dimensions: 19″ x 10″
  • Brown Chalk Paint
  • White Chalk Paint
  • Red Heat Transfer Vinyl
  • Heat Press or Iron
  • SVG Cut File (Get the Bundle HERE)
  • Cutting Machine (Cricut, Silhouette, etc.) & Necessary Tools (Machine Mats, etc.)
  • Weeding Tools
  • Picture Hanger

Reindeer Rides – $2 – Pilot License Not Required

  • Plywood Dimensions: 18″ x 14.5″
  • Black Chalk Paint
  • Red Chalk Paint
  • White Heat Transfer Vinyl
  • Heat Press or Iron
  • SVG Cut File (Get the Bundle HERE)
  • Cutting Machine (Cricut, Silhouette, etc.) & Necessary Tools (Machine Mats, etc.)
  • Weeding Tools
  • Mouse Sander or Sand Paper/Block
  • Picture Hanger

How to Make DIY Faux Vintage Christmas Signs

Find a piece of plywood or purchase one at the home improvement store. Cut it as needed to the correct dimensions or ask them to cut it for you in-store.

Find a piece of plywood or purchase one at the home improvement store. Cut it as needed to the correct dimensions or ask them to cut it for you in-store. Lightly sand the wood, where needed, to make the surface and edges nice and smooth.

First, paint your darker color your board and allow the paint to dry. For this board, I only painted the edges but for my next, I covered the entire board with the undercoat. I strongly suggest painting the entire board. Next, paint over your first coat of paint with your primary paint color and allow it to dry. Add a second coat if needed and give it time to dry as well.

First, paint your darker color your board and allow the paint to dry. For this board, I only painted the edges but for my next, I covered the entire board with the undercoat. I strongly suggest painting the entire board. Next, paint over your first coat of paint with your primary paint color and allow it to dry. Add a second coat if needed and give it time to dry as well.

Once the paint is good and dry using a mouse sander or a sanding block/paper, remove the top coat of paint on the edges and in various places on the sign's surface.

Once the paint is good and dry using a mouse sander or a sanding block/paper, remove the top coat of paint on the edges and in various places on the sign’s surface. Don’t worry if the sanding takes the under layer off and goes right into the wood, that’s totally fine and gives a nice aged effect, also. Use the sander to even the surface as well as you can. Use a dry paper towel and wipe down the wood several times to remove any paint dust that will prevent good adhesion of our heat transfer vinyl.

Adding the Heat Transfer Vinyl to Make Vintage Looking Signs

Using your cutting machine, mirror your image and then cut the design out of HTV.

Using your cutting machine, mirror your image and then cut the design out of HTV with the carrier sheet side of the HTV down on your mat. The reindeer sign files come as one large image or 2 pieces. Since the largest my Cricut cut anything is 11.5 x 24″, I cut the 2 files and then applied them separately to my sign. Do whatever you need to do with how your machine handles cutting materials. Weed the design and heat up your press or home iron.

Apply the design on your sign just as you'd like it. Apply heat as directed on your HTV's directions.

Apply the design on your sign just as you’d like it. Apply heat as directed on your HTV’s directions. DO NOT overheat. Too much heat can make the adhesive ooze out from behind the HTV and around it. When that happens, it doesn’t stick any more! Take note, that the wood will heat up much more than something like a tee shirt and it will retain the heat so be very careful.

Peel away the carrier sheet carefully to reveal your design, applying more heat where necessary to make the vinyl stick.

Peel away the carrier sheet carefully to reveal your design, applying more heat when necessary to make the vinyl stick. Read your packaging directions for your brand of HTV to determine if you need to peel the carrier sheet while it is still warm or when it has completely cooled.

To finish your DIY vintage signs, add a picture hanger to the back the plywood.

Supplies Needed to Hang Your DIY Vintage Christmas Signs & Decorate Around Them

 

How to use Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hooks & clips

The adhesive for our Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hooks and clips come on sheets of four. My first instinct was to tear off the adhesive bits one at a time but it’s easier just to keep the whole thing intact. Remove the small protective paper piece from the sheet and then place your hook on top of it. Press the hook or clip onto the adhesive and give it a little bit of pressure for a few seconds so it really sticks. Remove the entire hook (glue backing and all) from the sheet and then press onto your wall or mantle where you want your decorative item to be. Again apply pressure to the hook or clip, this time on the surface it is sticking to for the best adhesion. Let the hook stand without weight for about 5 minutes and then place your item as desired.

As you can see in the image above you can barely make out my Command® Adjustables™ repositionable 1 lb hook at the top of my sign. But this is an awkward angle I took just so you can see the hook in action. It’s not noticeable at all when you’re just gazing on the wondrous Christmas beauty that is my parents’ mantle. Thanks to me :)

Oh my goodness… Can you even with this room? And can you believe it’s only 21 days until Christmas? You’d better get to making these signs quicksmart then, friend!

Comments (3)

  • Syl

    December 6, 2019 at 7:11 AM

    It is beautiful! Thanks for tutorial.

  • Carrie

    December 10, 2019 at 5:35 PM

    Is there a reason you use HTV vs using permanent vinyl? I’m new to using vinyl on signs so I’m curious

    1. Allison Murray

      December 12, 2019 at 8:29 PM

      Yes! I have the most difficult time transferring big designs. In my experience I always put the vinyl down just right to be wrong and it’s off and it drives me nuts. And once it’s down a lot of the times you can’t get that stuff back up to tweak the placement. Since the HTV is on the carrier sheet I can literally move it around and around until I’m happy with how it is sitting on the sign. It just works much better for me. If you prefer to work with regular vinyl and it works well for you, I’d so go for it! As long as you don’t mirror the design you can use any vinyl you please!

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