How to Make a Large Frame Wood Sign for Under $10!

My favorite projects are always upcycled projects. If you've been reading along for any length of time this wouldn't be a surprise to you. It's part me being super cheap and part resourcefulness. I've always had a knack for being able to see something in a different way. Back when I started to DIY and craft Martha Stewart was big on the scene. I remember one time feeling inspired to create something she had shown on her show only to be disappointed that my limited budget couldn't {and didn't want to!} afford the supplies. I tweaked the project idea Martha Stewart had featured and used supplies I had on hand. The project didn't turn out exactly how Martha Steward had shown, but it had a Rachel flare to it that I liked better. 

I'm sure this is my own memory but it's my memory {and my blog, so roll with me}. One of the projects I remember reading about in the Martha Stewart magazine I flipping through at the library pre-thanksgiving the first year after I got married, had a project that required picking berries and then using them to create a dye that you would then use to color the tablecloth that you hand-stitched. I'm not kidding. I was crafty and resourceful but I wasn't crazy! And that's why I try to focus on real projects here.


diy vinyl silhouette art

diy vinyl silhouette art

It's why the final part of my tagline is real projects {real people, real projects, real life!}. I don't want you to feel like you can't make something. I never want you to feel limited based on your abilities or in your access to materials or heck, even intimidated by the process. The crafts and DIY projects I share are one-of-a-kinds, but they should also help you feel inspired to create your own, one-of-a-kind project using similar items, like this large wood frame sign. I see these all the time at thrift stores and garage sales so I know you have too. And if you don't shop second hand we can't be friends you might just have something similar hiding in storage.  Here's how I made a large frame wood sign for under $10 from an ugly castoff.

before and after art upcycle from goodwill outlet

How to DIY a Large Wood Sign

painted vinyl silhouette sd upcycle

What to look for in a picture or frame to upcycle?

I always look for a picture that is smooth and can easily be painted over. You want to make sure it's free of holes or tears {especially in canvas}. Check around the perimeter of the frame to make sure there aren't any gouges or nicks that you weren't wanting. Some of those gouges add character. But you may not be looking for character so keep that in mind. 

Where can I buy a cheap frame or large artwork?

My go-to places for cheap frames and large artwork are garage sales. I also search at Goodwill Outlet. Notice I said, Outlet and not the regular Goodwill store. You may be able to find some great deals at your local Goodwill, but I find that at my local stores, the people who price the merchandise are always fearful that they have the next Monet on their hands. They always overprice framed artwork. At my local Goodwill Outlet, there is a set price of a quarter for any frame or art piece regardless of size.

How to Shop Goodwill Outlet. Tips to Make your First Experience Successful

I started to upcycle my art piece by using an off white paint on the whole frame and picture. I'm not one for prepping my projects {always my least favorite part!} but if you want, you can sand down any rough edges or slick looking paint to prime it to take a good coat of paint. I like Folk Art chalk paint for this very reason. It works as a paint and primer in one.

I painted 3 layers of paint on my picture and frame and then once it was dry, I taped off the inside edges of the picture and used a brown texture paint on the outside frame. 

My friends, this is not a stained wood frame. Tricked you didn't I? I probably could have gone the extra step, sanded down the frame, taped it off, blah blah blah. But I didn't! I just used brown paint on the outside to get exactly the color I wanted. Even if you are an inch away, you are none the wiser. I promise. 

Now let's get to the fun personalization part! The part where you get to take your framed picture and use vinyl to have it say anything you want it to say. From a catchy phrase to something meaningful. It's up to you. 
vinyl silhouette upcycle

What are SVG files?

An SVG file is a graphics file that is supported by your Silhouette and Cricut cutting machines. These images are easily manipulated and can be scaled to any size you need.

How can I use SVG files with my Silhouette?

There are so many great files available for purchase. You can design your own, but for me, this isn't my strength. For $3, I bought this cut file from etsy. What would have taken me hours to design was as easy as a downloading my purchased image and opening it in my Silhouette design studio. There were directions on how to download the purchased file that came right to my inbox.


vinyl silhouette sign DIY

Vinyl is one of my favorite things to use in my Silhouette machine.

If you've never used it before, check this out:

How to Use Vinyl like a Pro!


it is well with my soul vinyl silhouette sign

Cutting the SVG file after I uploaded it took me all of five minutes. After weeding it, the application was easy. I had my finished framed wood sign completed.

Want to know all my tips on finding the best deals at garage sales? I have everything you need to get started. If you've never gone to a garage sale before or if you've been a thousand times, there is something for everyone in this book!





Goodwill upcycle it is well with my soul

Love this upcycle? I think you'll like this one too!


Check out how I took a large horse picture and transformed it into a large chalkboard!



I've seen a lot of these framed wood signs available for purchase. Something this size could cost you upwards of a few hundred dollars, but I managed to create it for under $10. I love that it was a project that I DIY'd myself and just like old times, I gave it a little Rachel flare. I hope this inspires you to create a little something. If you do, tag me. I'd love to see it!

disclaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Rachel Teodoro. Thank you!

1 comment

Reema dsouza said...

Thank you for these tips very interesting, it's really nice to find articles as interesting as yours! I wish you health, longevity, success, happiness and peace of heart.

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