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Monday, July 30, 2018

How to Make an Affordable No Vacancy Farmhouse Sign

The easiest way to make an affordable farmhouse no vacancy sign without fancy cutting machines! 

Last year I bought a fancy Cricut on Black Friday.  Have I used it yet?  Umm, no.  I'm sure I'll eventually knock off the dust and figure out how to use it, but until then, I'll just keep making signs the 'ole fashion way.  It may take more time and effort, but making signs without fancy cutting machines is my favorite (and cheapest!) way to create custom DIY signs. 

affordable farmhouse No Vacancy sign

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- Foam brush (for stain)
- Sandpaper (I used my Ryobi Corner Cat)
- Mitre saw
- Drill or screwdriver
- Ruler or straight edge
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Pen (or other sharp object) for tracing 
- Alphabet stencils or printed letters
- Black paint (I used airbrush paint simply because I had it on hand)


The affordable farmhouse no vacancy sign I made was inspired by one I bought from HomeGoods last year.  I knew it would be easy to make, but I couldn't leave it behind.  It hangs above our T.V. in our master bedroom and I just love it.  So much so that I decided to make a few to take to Sweet Clover barn and thought I would share the quick and easy tutorial.

No Vacancy sign hung in modern farmhouse bedroom
I'm not a fan of the look of stencils, so I printed my own letters using the font Impact.  Once I had my letters printed I laid them out to determine the length I needed to cut my board.  (You should be able to make 3 signs out of one 12 foot board)
Supplies for affordable farmhouse No Vacancy sign
To give the wood an aged look I applied a coat of General Finishes Antique White to the top of the board making sure not to paint all the way to the edges.  Then I applied stain to the top, edges, and back of the board.  Once everything was dry I gave the board a good sanding to rough up the edges and blend together the paint and stain.
Painting wood for No Vacancy farmhouse sign

Paint and stain added to wood to create farmhouse No Vacancy sign
I lined up the letters then traced each one using a straight edge and sharply pointed screwdriver.  Then, following the indentations, I outlined the letters with a black sharpie before filling in the letters with black paint.  I finished off the sign by adding 2 D ring picture hangers on the back.
Tracing letters onto sign
 I love all the texture in the wood and how it gives the sign the perfect rustic farmhouse feel.
Texture and paint details of No Vacancy farmhouse sign
I hung a sign up in my mudroom and now I'm wondering if I should keep one for myself, haha.
DIY No Vacancy sign hung in mudroom

Easy DIY No Vacancy sign

DIY No Vacancy farmhouse sign

I love that the band sawed Eastern pine board gives these no vacancy signs the look of authentic barn wood while the technique of tracing makes them super affordable and easy to make!

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How to make an affordable no vacancy farmhouse sign

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Affordable farmhouse signs made without fancy cutting machines

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  1. Yes, definitely keep one for yourself. Looks so good there... keep up the great ideas, love them!

  2. I 100% NEED a sign like this!! I'll have to try my hand at it. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips and DIYs!!!

  3. LOVE THIS! I literally JUST discovered you & now I'm obsessed!! So many awesome DIY'S! Curious as to how you did the distressing on the letters on the sign? Just lightly sand them?

    1. Yay, I'm so glad you found me! The wood is actually textured so there's no sanding required. I just painted the letters on and some of the paint didn't get into the groves.