DIY Rustic & Distressed Thanksgiving Sign

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that fall is my favorite season. Everything about the fall makes me so happy; the crisp air, the colored leaves, and the amazingly creative holidays. Speaking of which, Thanksgiving is right around the corner! If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, like we are, this is a great opportunity to get creative and make your own decor! With the help of RYOBI Power Tools and The Real Milk Paint Company, I’ve put together a simple project for Thanksgiving! PS. this project is fool proof… yes, actually. It’s impossible to mess up, so there is no excuse not to try! Want to learn more? I’ll explain later!

With a few simple supplies and a solid day of work, you can create your very own “Give Thanks” sign to show off at your Thanksgiving gathering. Here’s the foolproof bonus! For my beginner and advanced crafters out there, because this project calls for milk paint, it’s literally impossible to mess up! I’ll show you how!

What You’ll Need:

Circular Saw or Table Saw (optional)

Milk Paint
Wood Wax or Sealer
Sandpaper or Sanding Block
Painter’s Tape
Tape Measure

The Steps:

1. Go to your local Home Depot and pick up some plywood. If you don’t have a circular saw or table saw, ask a friendly associate to cut the plywood for you so that it is your desired size.

2. Use a sander to sand down the wood before painting. This will remove any debris, marks, and create an even surface.

3. For this project you will need 2 different colors of milk paint. Choose a base color for your project (this will be the color of your lettering) and paint the plywood. Allow the piece to dry for at least 2 hours.

4. While the plywood is drying, hop on your computer and figure out what font you’d like to use for your sign. This can be done in Microsoft Word or Photoshop. Just make sure that the letters are the size that you want them to be when you print them out.

5. Print out your letters and lay them out across the board to make sure you are happy with them.

6. Cut out the letters.

7. Use painter’s tape to tape the back of the letters to the board.

8. Use a tape measure to find the center of the board to make laying out the letters much easier.

9. Once the letters are taped down, paint over the letters and the board with your second color. Allow at least 2 hours for the sign to dry.

10. Once dry, use sandpaper or a sanding block to sand the corners and letters on the piece. This will add an aged and rustic look to the piece.

Psst.. This is where it becomes super easy! No matter where you feel like you may have messed up, you can repaint and sand as many times as you wish!

11. Finally, wipe away all of the excess dust and use a wood wax or sealer to complete the piece.

Display your amazing Thanksgiving piece proudly and use it as a topic of awesome conversation while stuffing your face with delicious food! Yummm.

While my family has already tried to call dibbs on my own sign, this piece is going to a local food bank so that lots of people can enjoy custom holiday art during their own Thanksgiving dinner.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this easy and affordable Thanksgiving project and that everyone has a wonderful holiday!

P.S. Please continue to share your amazing projects with me at  #diyhunted on social media! I love them all so much!


    1. Ah! This one is a tough one to answer. My best advice would be if you have a design software like Photoshop or Illustrator, you can input the size of your canvas and play around the font sizes that way. Or, make a sample font list on Word with a few letters in different sizes and print it out for comparison. Hope that helps!

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