Tuesday, July 24, 2012

{DIY "printed" wedding signs}

One thing that was on my project list for the wedding from the very beginning was to create a very large sign for the bar menu.  There is always a mad rush on the bar as soon as cocktail hour begins, but guests usually can't see the bar menu choices until they get to very front where they can finally read them on a small sign.  We decided the way to alleviate this issue would be to make a huge stained wood sandwich board sign and then paint all menu choices in white paint.  The second we painted the first letter onto the sign, we found it was looking incredibly messy with the paint lines seeping into the grain of the wood.  After a little brainstorming, we figured we could print all the letters onto white cardstock and then glue them to the wood signs.  This method worked so incredibly well that we decided to make more than just the bar sign- adding in a sign for croquet, restrooms, parking and the photobooth all using only two 4' by 8' plywood boards!

You can even buy the signs from our wedding here & here.

See below for step by step instructions.

what you need:

  • plywood for signs - we used two 4' by 8' pieces of plywood which yielded two 3 ' by 4' sandwich board signs and two 2' by 4' flat signs
  • wood stain 
  • two hinges per sandwich board sign
  • cardstock
  • spray adhesive
  • exacto knife
  • scissors
  • painters tape
  • level
  1. cut all wood to size, stain and assemble sandwich boards using two hinges for each sandwich board set.
  2. write or type up exactly what you want your signs to say before printing letters so that you dont forget any letters or words.
  3. now you will print out your actual letters for the signs. First you need to select your font, I highly recommend an all caps font that is relatively thick. "Bebas" (available for download here) is what we used. As a reference, for our large signs we did about two letters per page and for the bar choices we made the letters about 2.5 inches tall.
  4. In order to cut the letters, we typed them up in a light grey color and then mirrored them before printing- you can follow this tutorial for mirroring the letters in Microsoft word.  Once they are printed you can follow the outline of the light grey in order to cut out the letter and the "front" of the paper will remain white. 
  5. Using painters tape and a level create a line as a guide for your letters. The painters tape guides will help you from having uneven text lines- especially if you are doing a sign with a lot of text like our bar sign.
  6. Before attaching your letters, lay them out in order so that you can get a good sense for your spacing and to save you from forgetting or searching for letters in the middle of your project.
  7. Coat the back of each letter with spray adhesive and firmly attach to the wood along your painters tape guide. 
  8. Since this is cardstock not paint, it does have the ability to get dirty or rip so if you do not plan on using your signs right away, I recommend wrapping them in saran wrap to protect the letters.

 {sandwich board assembled}

 {mirrored letters ready to be cut- grey on the back & solid white on the front}

 {use an exacto knife to cut out the centers of letters}


  1. Looks great! Such a fun idea. LOVE the bar menu.

  2. I love this!! Definitely will be keeping this idea in mind!


  3. Excellently amazing and exciting too. Can you please mention me the source of your reference... I am happy that at least somebody gave this subject an attention.

  4. I love this tutorial so much! Thank you for all the details you included, like the links to the wood and hinges. So helpful. I know this comment is pretty late to the game, but I was wondering about the stripes on your signs...is that tape or did you cut out strips of paper and attach them with spray adhesive? (I'm wondering if the tape will ruin the board somehow...)

    1. Hi Anne,

      Those "stripes" are just thick peices of ribbon. I attached them by stapling them to the underside of the boards.

      Hope that helps!

      Natalie X.

  5. beautiful tutorial! love the lettering against the wood - such great signage, thanks for sharing! ^__^

  6. Hello!
    I just wanted to let you know that I followed this tutorial and made all of these signs for my wedding! They looked great!

    1. You MUST send me a photo! I would love to seeee! :)