By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Make a rustic Christmas tree farm sign to bring some cheer to your porch this Christmas season.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Tree Sign PDF
- Boards: I used old fence boards, and a scrap piece of 2×4. You can use just about any scrap boards, as long as they’re not really any thicker than about 1-inch. Cedar fence boards from the big box hardware store are one of my favorites to use for projects like this–they’re inexpensive, and easy to come by. ix different width boards for an even more rustic look. White wash them with thinned out white acrylic to give them a more aged look.
- Hand Saw
- DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic Paint 2 oz. #20 Christmas Red
- DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint 2 oz. #048 Holly Green
- DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic Paint 2 oz. #86 Pine Needle
- DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint 2 oz. #114 Light Cinnamon
- Plaid Paint Brush Super Value Pack All Purpose 25pc
- Saral Transfer Paper by Dritz Tracing Paper 8 1/2 x 11 in.
The sign is made by nailing boards perpendicularly along a center support. To begin, decide how tall you want your sign to be, and cut the center support to the correct length. Next, decide how wide you want your sign to be, and cut the sign boards all to length–I wanted a hodgepodge sort of look to my sign, so I just eye-balled the cuts, and purposely made some of the boards longer than the others. Fix your boards onto the center support, attaching each board one at a time with a couple of nails driven through the front of each board.
Your boards should be attached so the support board runs vertically down the back of your sign. The bottom cross-board should be flush with the bottom of the vertical support. You can be as precise as you desire, making sure everything is straight, or you can just slap it together and go for a more rustic look, like I did.
Print out the Tree Sign PDF, and use the transfer paper and a pencil to trace the words onto the top of your sign.
Use your red paint, and a small paintbrush, to fill in the lettering. Let dry.
To paint the tree, use a 1-inch flat brush, and light cinnamon paint, to paint a vertical stripe down the middle of the sign for the trunk. Make the stripe thin at the top, and fatter at the bottom to form the base of the trunk. Let dry.
Use the holly green paint, and a large flat brush to begin adding greenery to your tree. Starting at the top of the tree, make sweeping brushstrokes out from the trunk–make your branches larger toward the trunk of the tree, and smaller as you sweep outward. Add forks off some of the branches, and work across the trunk in places, for a more realistic look. Make the branches longer as you work down the tree trunk, so your tree has a nice shape. Don’t overload your brush with paint, brushy strokes are good, as they give a more feathery, “needley” look to your tree.
Work more splits onto your branches to make your tree fuller, but be sure to keep some of your trunk exposed in places all the way up the tree to keep it interesting.
While still wet, go back over the top of your branches in places, and add some highlights on top of the darker green with the pine needle green paint. Let dry.
Leave your sign as-is, or even go back and add snow with some white paint, if desired.