How to create a vintage sign with decoupage

How to create a vintage EAT sign with decoupageOver here at Hammer Like A Girl, we like old type, old magazines, and we like to eat. It was that combination that inspired us to make a “vintage” decoupage sign to hang in the kitchen. It’s a simple project with big impact.

You will need:

  • Old magazine/book that you are ok with cutting up
  • Piece of substrate (we used particle board cut to 21″ x 10.5″)
  • Mod Podge Satin
  • Brayer
  • Foam brush
  • Computer/printer
  • Paper cutter or X-Acto knife
  • Wood trim for frame (we used old garden stakes)
  • Old measuring tape (optional)
  • Good glue (we like E6000)
  • Hand saw for cutting frame and particle board
  • Sand paper
  • Clamps

Making the Graphics & Preparing the Board:

First pick out an interesting background paper. We wanted a vintage feel and love the look of big black letters printed over the top of small text. Old magazines and books are perfect for that and have a great yellowed/aged quality. (I also liked the fact that the woman on the cover looks a little bit like my grandmother.) Make sure whatever you choose isn’t too busy or it will interfere with your large word.

FarmingMagazineNext find/cut a piece of wood that will be used to Mod Podge the pages on to. We used an old piece of particle board and used a hand saw to cut it to the right size – about 10.5″ x 21″.

particleboardCarefully remove the pages from the magazine and trim the pages so they will fit through the printer. Old books/magazine are fragile, so to make the page more sturdy and to prevent it from jamming your printer, tape the leading (bottom) edge to a piece of printer paper. Set up 3 individual pages in the computer (we used Adobe InDesign, but any graphics program will work) and size the letters so they are as large as possible. Print each letter on a separate magazine page. Carefully peel off the tape after it goes through the printer.

TypePrintedMagazineTrim (using paper cutter or X-Acto) the excess paper around the edges of each page, cutting so that the pages will fit on the board.

TrimmingPagesLayout the pages onto the board, overlapping edges.

PagesTrimmedMod Podging the Pages:

Apply Mod Podge with a foam brush to the board.

ApplyingModPodgeBoardWorking one page at a time, apply Mod Podge to the back of the page and then carefully lay the page onto the board. Use a brayer to press the page down onto the board. We coated the top of the page with Mod Podge right away, but it works better to wait until the page is dry before Mod Podging the top surface.

BrayingPages1Continue Mod Podging and braying the rest of the board/pages, aligning the edges to the board and overlapping the inside edges as you go.

ApplyingModpodge2After it completely dries (about 4 hours), apply one last coat of Mod Podge over the top with a foam brush. Let it dry for about 4 hours. If you want a “stippled” look instead of brush strokes, apply one last coat of Mod Podge with the foam brush and then use a brayer to lightly roll over the surface.

BrayingModPodge2Embellishment (optional):

If you want further embellishments, cut a metal tape measure to the length of the board.

TrimmingRulerAttach the measuring tape to the surface with E-6000 glue.

GluingRulerE6000Creating the Frame:

Cut frame pieces to size.


SandingBorderUse E-6000 to glue frame pieces to sides of particle board. Clamp in place.

ClampedBorderWait 24 hours before removing the clamps.

That’s it – an easy way to add a graphic message to your house.

This project would be easy to modify and customize:

  • Use your child’s name to make a sign for their room
  • Use the word “KEYS”, add some hooks and hang it by the front door
  • Instead of using a piece of wood for the substrate you could use an existing tray or framed picture

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How to create a vintage EAT sign with decoupage How to create a vintage EAT sign with decoupage