Rustic Fall Sign Tutorial

Rustic Fall Sign Tutorial

Transform a Dollar Tree sign into rustic, fall piece of home decor that you can customize to suit your own style.


  • Any ready-made, hanging sign from Dollar Tree. You will use the back.
  • Patterned card stock big enough to cover the back of the sign. Pick a simple pattern in only one or two colors for the best results.
  • Foam sponge brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Pencil
  • Fine tip black Sharpie marker
  • Scissors or sharp blade for trimming paper.
  • Printed out the design or phrase you like. Make your own or use the one I’ve created.
  • Various embellishments like twine, ribbon and wooden cut-outs (all can be found at Dollar Tree as well)
  • Bristle brush about 1 inch wide
  • Brown acrylic paint
  • Glue gun and glue
  • Optional: paint and brushes to paint the wooden cutouts

Step 1 – Prep

Remove the twine from the top of the sign and any tags that may be attached. Set the twine aside because you will be reattaching it at the end.

Step 2 – Apply the Patterned Card Stock

Using Mod Podge, adhere the card stock to the back of the sign by applying a generous amount to the entire back with a foam sponge. Don’t worry about covering the holes for the hanging the sign. You will reopen those later.

mmn give thanks mod podge

Apply another generous layer of Mod Podge to the top of the card stock. Be sure to cover the entire surface.

Once the Mod Podge is dry trim off any excess paper.

mmn give thanks paper trim

Step 3 – Distressing

With your bristle brush, take the tiniest amount of brown acrylic paint and and apply it lightly to the the edges of the sign to give it a vintage look. This is called a “dry brush” technique because you are only using a small about of paint. If you aren’t used to this technique, practice on scrap paper first.

mmn give thanks distressed

Step 4 – Apply Lettering Design

I created this design for you to use on this project or any other. To access the free printable, please click here to download the design. The link will take you to a sister post I wrote for my blog,, featuring a similar sign. You will find the download link in the supplies list.give thanks watermarked design

With your pencil, lay down graphite on the back of the printout by scribbling over the words.

mmn give thanks back of art

Turn the printout right side up and tape it in place on the sign.

mmn give thanks art placement

With your pencil trace the outside edges of each letter then remove the paper. You will be left with a light tracing of the design on your sign.

mmn give thanks graphite transfer

Step 5 – Fill in Your Letters

A black, fine tip Sharpie marker is great for filling in the letters.

Step 6 – Apply Any Embellishments

I painted my wooden cutouts to add a pop of color. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the pieces to the sign. Do not cover either of the holes the twine goes through for hanging.

mmn give thank bow application

mmn give thanks pumpkin application

mmn give thanks layered pumpkin

Step 7 – Finishing Touches

Take a push pin and pierce the card stock where the holes for attaching the twine are.

mmn give thanks repiercing hanger holes

Reattach the twine that originally came with the sign for hanging.

mmn give thanks finished


mmn give thanks pinterest

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MMN Arts and Crafts Blogger-Jenny Clark

Jenny Clark

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