Hi there! Today I’m going to share with you 13 unique materials that I have used to make farmhouse signs. I’ll also give you links to a post where I used that material myself. Most of them are either hanging in my own home or I’ve sold through one of my selling venues.
1. Chair Seat
What makes this chair seat so amazing, of course, is the wonderful paint splatter. Clearly, before it fell apart, this chair was integral to someone’s painting process. I stumbled across it–as is–at a local garage sale. The owners laughed at me when I asked how much.
“A dollar,” they said, “but what are you going to do with it?!!” “I have no idea,” I replied. Many months later, inspiration struck, and a sign was born.
2. Cutting Board
Now that I’ve planted the idea in your head, you’ll never look at a cutting board the same way again(!). Almost any board can be turned into a sign, including those cut into various shapes.
You could stencil a board shaped like a pig with the [cruel] word “bacon” or a butterfly with the word “fly” for a little girl’s room. There are so many possibilities…
What makes this board especially unique, is the drip line all the way around the outer edge. It’s perfect for creating a “natural” outline for your sign.
3. Screen Window Frame
I came across this pile of worn and chippy goodness at a cute gift shop in the Glens Falls (NY) called, The Fox & the Chicken Coop.
My [girl] family members and I popped in a couple of years ago on our annual “Ladies Day Out.” The aqua paint on the screen window alone would have sold me, but the $2 price tag clinched the deal. Can you guess how I took the window apart and reconfigured the frame to create a fantastic sign?
4. Cupboard Door
Okay, using cupboard doors for signs isn’t all that unique, but they are so fantastic and so perfectly sized for signage, that I couldn’t leave them off the list.
5. Enamelware Cooking Sheet
Most metal baking pans or cookie sheets would be far too boring to turn into a sign, but an enameled one? All midnight blue and white spattered? Now there’s an unusual material for you. The surface was perfect for stenciling and the result pure farmhouse. I never wrote a post about this one, so you get to see the finished product. [Stencil kindly provided by Vintage Sign Stencils.]
6. Fence Pickets
With their pointy ends, fence pickets make wonderful directional signs. I often find suitable pieces in junk piles on the side of the road or next to houses holding estate sales. This pile I picked up via a Facebook market ad from a fellow who deconstructs fences and barns.
You can make signs to point to the garden or the cabin or anything your heart desires.
7. Ironstone Platter
Ironstone platters are one of my favorite materials for making farmhouse signs, particularly ones that have some damage and would not otherwise be used for their intended purpose, like the one you see here. I make several every year to sell at the Shaker craft fair ($28-35)and I always write one word.
8. Crate Lid
I bought an antique crate a while back, thinking it was salvageable. It was not. However, I hung onto the lid for a while, and it finally dawned on me that I could make a very cool sign out of it. And that’s what I did. I stenciled my favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas time word on it and it sold quickly at my Christmas craft fair for $35.
9. Bench “Leg”
This hunk of scrap wood was also part of something I thought I could save–an antique bench. Again, it was a no-go, but this piece, on its own, made the perfect shabbilicious sign. I don’t think you could recreate this perfection of pink, moss green, and rust if you tried!
10. Taring Knife
Making a sign with this taring knife surely falls into the category of uniquely creative ideas, and I have to say, it received lots of attention at the time that I posted about it. It’s gotten me into the habit of looking at old tools as canvases for my sign making.
This storm window allowed me to create perhaps my very favorite sign ever. Stenciling on glass is tricky, but it can be done. The results were pretty spectacular, and hooks attached along the bottom made it even more appealing. I sold it from my antique booth for $45.
12. Window Vent
I think this sign, made from an old window vent, marks my absolute most creative upcycle. It resulted in another very popular blog post and sold (for a special price to my antique shop owner’s wife) for $20, down from $30.
13. Side of an Apple Crate
Final Fabulous Sign: I came across a couple of fallen apart apple crates at an estate sale a couple of years ago. I picked up all the side pieces because their design attracted me. The two trimmed out edges creates a frame of sorts that makes it unique. And I left the nails surrounding the edges–more uniqueness(!).
I hope you enjoyed these thirteen different materials that can be used for farmhouse sign making. You probably have one or more of them in your house somewhere. Why not get your DIY on and make a sign or two?
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