This cute farmhouse-inspired Christmas sign took about two hours to make, but most of that time was taken up by paint and Mod Podge drying. It was seriously so simple to make, and I used only supplies I already had in my stash. Most of it came from the Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot and my scrap wood pile. I love how it came out. I felt my inner Martha Stewart coming through, for sure. I hope it inspires you to create something of your own from your own craft stash!
This project really started out when I found a random piece of MDF in my scrap wood pile. I do a lot of woodworking projects these days. You may have seen the awesome Picnic Table I built, which turned out VERY nicely. I’ve done a lot more than that that hasn’t appeared on the site yet, but maybe they will eventually. Anyway, I have a lot of scrap wood. So I had this piece of MDF which was around 12 inches by 18 inches or so. I thought it would make a great base for a sign.
I searched through my craft stash to figure out what I could do, and the first thing I figured out is that I needed to paint it. MDF isn’t like other wood that has nice grain and can be left plain. It really needed to have a good base before I could do anything else. I grabbed some of my Waverly Chalk Paint in white and painted a nice base layer.
By the time I was done, I was already convinced that I wanted a nice buffalo check background. I thought it would really fit in my farmhouse style, and it was neutral enough that I could go bold on the foreground. I had some buffalo check contact paper that would work, but it had too big of a pattern.
I kept searching, and I eventually found a packet of napkins that I’d bought from Target’s Dollar Spot at some point. It had a tiny buffalo check pattern that would work perfectly. I decided I’d just use some Mod Podge to add it to the board, and that would work perfectly.
I had to separate the layers of the napkins, as the buffalo check was only on the top layer. The second layer was pure white. I thought it would look better if it was a really thin layer. I was fine if the napkins ripped or tore. I wanted it to be distressed in the end. I even thought it might fade a bit and become more transparent once the Mod Podge was added.
Spoiler alert – it didn’t.
In fact, the Mod Podge kind of made the napkins look darker and shinier than I wanted, and I was kind of disappointed with the end result. D’oh!
I waited until the Mod Podge was completely dry, and then I went at the edges with a sanding block. I tried to distress the edges and even the main face a bit, but I realized in the end that it wasn’t actually that important. The main face of the piece wasn’t really going to be seen much, as I intended to cover it up with the main elements anyway.
While the Mod Podge had been drying, I had searched again through my stash and found another Target treasure. This wooden cutout sign was one of many I had hidden away, and it seemed perfect for this project. It fit exactly right in the space I had available, and it only needed a bit of paint to stand out.
I broke out another bottle of Waverly Chalk Paint, this time in red, and I gave the cutout a nice even coat. I love this paint because it drives pretty quickly. Especially on a little piece like this – the wood was dry almost before I finished painting it!
I used my Surebonder Cordless Hot Glue Gun to affix it to the sign, and it was looking pretty good.
Side note: I love my glue gun. I can’t stop recommending it to people. If you are a crafter, please do yourself a favor and buy one, as it is honestly the best one you can get. They have different sizes, but this one has been the most versatile for my needs. It has not ever failed me. I also HIGHLY recommend you use Gorilla glue sticks, as they work the best. I have tried so many other brands, and my crafts seem to come apart eventually. I have NEVER had that happen with my Gorilla glue crafts. End side note.
For the bottom of the sign, I had a bunch of different ideas. I thought about using a photo clip so we could add different photos or Christmas cards or whatever, but I hated that it would mean a blank background most of the time. I didn’t want that. I also didn’t want anything flat. I needed it to be more 3D.
I found this old gift bag that Hallmark had sent me at some point many years ago. I had saved it because I really liked the decoration on the front. I wanted to incorporate it on this project somehow. But it was too small on its own.
I finally decided that I would make a little wreath. I could affix the little deer decoration on the front of the wreath, and it would be super cute. But first I had to find some greenery. I had already used most of my garlands for other projects, but I had this weird thin plasticy garland I had bought a while back and not used, so I decided I would use it to make a wreath for this project. It seemed perfect.
As it turned out, this garland wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought it. It had little branches that fluffed it up as it went, and it made a really cute wreath. I may have to go and make a few more with it! I sized this one so that it would be a little oversized on the outside, but the middle would be perfect for the paper deer detail.
Of course the wreath was a bit bare on its own, so I dug out some of my Dollar Tree florals to give it a bit of OOMPH. I had some oak leaves and some red and white berry type stems that I was able to cut up and hot glue to my wreath. I found some baby’s breath, as well, so it really helped to complete the look.
Every time I thought I was overdoing it, I added a bit more because you just can’t trust that you have added enough. At least I can’t. I usually just walk away for a minute or two, then I come back and notice a ton of empty spots.
Once I was happy with the wreath, I glued on the deer head detail to finish it off.
I went back and forth on whether or not to make the wreath a permanent fixture on this board. I could have glued on a hook and made the wreath removable. It would have been quite simple, and then I could have changed it out for other wreathes or even tried my original idea of adding Christmas cards or photos. But the more I thought on it, the more I wanted this to be a permanent sign. So I grabbed that glue gun and went to town gluing the wreath to the board.
I think it turned out really well. It looks great, and it stands out as really Christmassy. One thing that I hadn’t thought about much was the weight. Obviously all of the elements on the sign are super lightweight. But the board itself is 3/4 inch MDF, which at 12 x 18 inches, weight about 4 pounds all on its own. YIKES.
That’s a pretty hefty sign to hang on a wall. So I thought I’d see what it looked like just sitting on a shelf instead. Perhaps I could style it nicely that way.
On a shelf wasn’t too bad, I don’t think. It looked pretty good in my craft room. I could definitely see it on my sideboard in the dining room or somewhere like that. But it really was intended to hang, so I just had to try. I used a heavy duty D-ring picture hanger on the back. These will support up to 40 lbs, so my sign should be no sweat. I hung it on my wall in my craft room just to check how it looked. I wish I’d tried it on a colorful wall, though, so I could really see it shine.
I do prefer it hanging, as the wreath can spread downward as it is meant to do. I just think it looks good when it’s not squished up. But maybe you disagree?
I’d love to know what you think. Would you make something like this? Or is it too far out of your style? What do you think of the buffalo check background? Would you have done it differently? Let me know!
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Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.