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Mini Woodworking Project: a decorative sign

decorative sign | the hobby room diaries

The thing that irks me the most about being home during the day is solicitors.  It seems like every other day someone is knocking or ringing the bell with the hopes of taking some of my time and possibly some of my money.  I don’t know if it’s just my neighborhood or if this is something everyone experiences.  I get it, sometimes this is the best way to get new customers, but still, it’s annoying.

The problem is that we get packages from the UPS or FedEx man somewhat frequently, so I do have to check to see who’s at the door.  Also, we have a barky little dachshund to alert us to visitors and of course the boys go running to see anytime there’s a knock.  So people know that someone is home.  And they wait. And I guess I’m just too polite to walk away after someone waves and smiles through the window.

I decided to be one of those people and put up a No Soliciting sign.  I feel a little rude about this, though, so I also decided to add a “welcome” sign to the door itself and some cheerful flowers.  Somehow letting people I actually want to knock on the door know that I want them to be here compensates for telling everyone else to go away.

I added “please” to the sign to make it a little more polite and I put it right under the doorbell, so I think there’s no excuse not to see it.  I guess the only way to find out if it works is to wait and see if solicitors are still ringing the bell.  At that point, is it rude to ask if they can read or not?

decorative sign | the hobby room diariesdecorative sign | the hobby room diaries

Rather than buy a sheet of fiberboard for the project, I went up to my parents’ house where my mom has a veritable warehouse of tools and project supplies.  My mom is a project-making genius and although I could have done this myself, it only took me one try and 45 minutes with her help.  Not 8 hours and a box of tear-stained tissues.  That said, using a jigsaw is really easy once you’ve had some practice and there are lots of things you can make with one.

You might not have a need to keep solicitors away, but this is really a tutorial for getting your feet wet with woodworking and making a decorative sign.  What you choose to say with it is up to you.

1.  To make your own decorative sign, determine what shape you would like and make a template.  Trace with a dark marker onto fiberboard.


2.  Using your jigsaw, cut the traced portion out of the bigger piece of fiberboard and cut out another piece of similar size.  Stack the pieces with the design on top and clamp to a work table.


3.  Using the jigsaw and a steady hand, slowly cut around the design through both pieces simultaneously.  You will need to un-clamp and shift the boards a number of times to get the best angle to cut, so make sure that the boards don’t shift apart when you do this.


4.  One piece will be the bottom of the sign, so leave as is.  Take the piece you are using for the top and draw the next cut line around the piece, about an inch from the edge.


5.  Using a drill bit wider than your jigsaw blade, drill a hole near the inside cut line.  Starting in the hole, use the jigsaw to cut around the inside of the piece.


6.  Lightly sand all edges of both pieces.
7.  Prime both pieces, then paint the frame portion of the sign black (or some other dark color) and the bottom of the sign a light color.  Allow to fully dry.


decorative sign | the hobby room diaries
8.  Add letters–I cut out letters in vinyl with my Cricut machine, but you could also use rub-on letters.


9.  Wood glue the pieces together and add weight or clamp until the glue is dry to ensure maximum adhesion.  I attached the sign to the house with Command adhesive strips which do not adhere to the textured back of fiberboard, so I glued a scrap of fiberboard to the back of the sign, textured side to textured side leaving me a smooth surface to attach the adhesive strips to.
decorative sign | the hobby room diaries

Now I have a lovely decorative sign that will hopefully keep unwanted visitors away.  The beauty is that if it doesn’t work, I can just peel the vinyl letters off and use it for something else.  I love multi-use things, don’t you?

Do you own any power tools?  Do you ever use them?


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  1. What did you make the welcome sign out of? I like your idea and think it's fine to ask solicitors to leave you alone. You've done it so nicely, after all. And I've always said that your mom is the most industrious woman I've ever met!

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