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Wood-stain typography art tutorial

I don’t mean to brag…

But I have to be honest: My friends are all kinds of incredible. Exhibit A: Cassie from Primitive and Proper came down and spent the whole weekend with me last weekend and we had SO MUCH FUN.
She shared the whole play-by-play right here

…which I am reluctant to even tell you about because she also shared an incredibly unflattering post-workout photo of me halfway dead which I never would have agreed to if I’d known it would be on the interwebs. HOWEVER, you have to check out her hilarious photo in my laundry room.

That girl is SO SO fun. So real. And hilarious times a million! I’m trying to recruit her to become my sister-wife. I really think that situation could work nicely. All I need is the okay from her and Andy. And her husband. That’s all.

Exhibit B: my girl Erin and her ridiculous level of talent. (Fun fact: Erin is the photographer who took these photos of my family.)

My jaw was ON THE FLOOR when Erin brought in this killer typography art piece she’d made for Carrie’s surprise makeover:
Typography art piece - simple DIY project
The picture does NOT do it justice. The scale is outrageously cool too. You can kinda see the scale better in this pic:
our bedroom_17 (1)
Nice, right? Wanna see how to make your own? Erin was kind enough to take pictures of the whole process so I could share it. I thought about telling her I needed more photos so she’d be forced to make another one (for me). Maybe you guys could ask for more details in the comments section or something, and make that happen? OkayThanks.


  • Wood. For this size, you’d use 3 8-foot 1×6 boards and 1 8-foot 2×2 board. Plus some nails to hold the sign all together.
  • Wood stain and polyurethane. Erin used Minwax Polyshade like this*, which is a stain + polyurethane in one. You can use that, or just get two separate cans: one in a stain color you like, and one can of polyurethane. (It’s in the wood stain aisle.)
  • Vinyl letters in the verse or quote that happens to rock your particular world
  • White spray primer and glossy white spray paint
  • Exacto knife
  • *Affiliate link

1. Build your wood piece/sign thingy
Erin and Jeremy, her equally talented other half, used 3 1x6x8 boards, which they cut in half (to 4 feet) and stacked them six high to make a 3×4-foot rectangle. Obviously, you could make your sign any old size to fit your wall.

2. Stain
Use a foam brush or paint brush to stain the portion of the boards where your letters will go. If you’re not using a stain + polyurethane in one, let the stain dry and brush on a coat of polyurethane according to the directions on the can.

3. Add your vinyl letter stickers
Stick your letters right on the (dry) stain and poly section.
Attaching letter stickers
None of my girls have a silhouette or cricut to cut out our own custom letters, so this is how epic Erin is: she planned to cut out her own letters with an exacto knife out of contact paper to make this sign for Carrie. That’s real friendship, guys. (Not like trying to trick Erin into making me a sign too. That’s called mooching.)

Fortunately, Jessi from Practically Functional came to our rescue! She created the letters with her silhouette and mailed them to us. Blog friends to the rescue!

Although seriously: why don’t I own one of those things by now?!

4. Spray paint
Just spray paint right over the whole board, the letters, everything. Cover it in spray primer, then glossy white spray paint.

5. Remove the letters
Now you’ll just caaaaaarefully remove the letter stickers. Erin and Jeremy used an exacto knife to cut the paint around the letters so they came off cleanly and didn’t end up with a giant fail like I would have had.

6. Hang and enjoy!
How fabulous is this?
Typography art piece - simple DIY project
Answer: so much. So much fabulous… ness.

I love the quote they chose too. Such a perfect thing to wake up and see in your master bedroom every morning, ya know? A little reminder that happy, lasting marriages don’t happen without understanding what real love is from the One who is Love?

Word up, kids.

See? My friends are so much cooler and more talented than I am. Andy says his dad always taught him as a child to have at least one friend who is slower than you, so if you ever get caught doing something and need to run, you won’t be the one who gets caught. (True story.) Pretty sure I serve that purpose for these amazing girls, but I’ll totally take it.

DIY wood stain typography art

Have you ever made typography art? Have you ever tried to recruit a sister-wife? I’m just sayin: some days, when the laundry piles up, having another set of hands to help out doesn’t sound so bad. (Okay NO. Not really. No one get any ideas.)

P.S.: Looking for more inspiring DIY art ideas? Check out this fun chipboard art project (so easy!):

Or this easy herringbone art (kid-friendly!):

Or it doesn’t get more simple than this yarn art!

Let's connect


  1. cassie says:

    love the art and the large scale of it! and i was thinking that a commune might be the way for us to go since we both have great husbands who are hands on with the kids.

  2. Katie @ pps says:

    I love that! It looks easy. I’m sure I’d screw it up. 😉

  3. Cassie DID look pretty comfortable in your laundry room…

    I love that it’s SO GIANT. (Capital letters are necessary because they are also GIANT.) Large-scale art is my favorite!

  4. Lisa says:

    The art looks so great! I’m glad you and Cassie had tons of fun together!!!

  5. Kristin says:

    I just started following your blog after a random Pinterest post about curtains. Love it! It has inspired me to tackle some decorating projects I’ve put off for a long time. I’m a GA girl too but I’m at the bottom of the state in Valdosta. Thanks again for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

  6. You’re right…your friends are amazing!

  7. Totally LOVE this sign – gorgeous!

  8. debbiedoos says:

    That looks Awesome Kelly!~ Really unique and one of a kind art work.

  9. That looks amazing. I love the wood stain with the white. Such a great contrast. I love the scale too. Fabulous!!

  10. It turned out GORGEOUS! I love how the stain shows through in the letters, what a fun idea!

  11. Bliss says:

    Guess I’m too old to be a sister wife huh? Gramma-Mom? I can be hands on too. Cassie’s photo is now under your photo on my bathroom tour. Seemed like a must have addition, maybe I’ll frame them both as art.

  12. Love this! The white really makes the stain pop.

  13. The scale is what takes that to over-the-top-awesomeness land! So cool

  14. Lisa E says:

    Very cool. Yes, your friends are very talented. So are you with that fancy duvet cover.

  15. Love the sign – and you should totally go for the Silhouette. Just got one in January and I love it SO much!

  16. Love that! It’s so gorgeous!

  17. I love how the stain is unexpected…from a distance I thought it was dark paint, but the stain is soooo much cooler. :)

  18. Angela says:

    Love the sign! Great friends! I once stayed with a friend for 10 days. I mean me and my husband and our, then, 5 kids (we ave 6 now). So it wasn’t an imposition at all. Good thing they lived in D.C. where we could sight see and stay with them, you know, for free. Anyhoo we cooked together, cleaned together, tag teamed on bed time and getting up with the night wakers and I totally thought it would be awesome to live like that for awhile. But at night it was the best to have my own man to cuddle with–so not sister wives for sure, but maybe a duplex with fold back walls and one HUGE kitchen.

  19. yeah, i need to make this soon!

  20. carrie says:

    so fabulous!! we love seeing this each day!!

  21. Amy says:

    Kelly, I’m a little slow when it comes to things like this. (sometimes) Is there any chance your friend could maybe make a new sign with more details and instructions? She could always give the new one to you if she doesn’t need it for herself! I would really love to make one of these signs 😀

    Have to go ask for forgiveness now for lying ….

  22. this really is so, so cool!! and your friends are pretty cool, too!!

  23. Sharon B. says:

    Sister wife, LOL! Girl, EVERY time with the laughing with you. Love the artwork and the day spend with girlfriends. They really make life so much richer.

  24. Nicole Baker says:

    I love the wall art. The combination of stain and white wash is perfect (and unexpected). The message is also beautiful. You’re right, that reminder would be such a wonderful way to start the day.

  25. I love Cassie! She’s so sweet! We made wood stained art for Ramona’s room for our last pinterest challenge. It’s such a great look!

  26. ooh, I really like the stained wood w/ white look! It seems like some blog or other is giving a silhouette away pretty much every day. I keep wishing I had one and then thinking if I’d just get on entering those giveaways, odds are I’d HAVE one by now 😉

  27. Gwen says:

    Commune. I vote for commune. You need to move closer to us so we could have a serious pow-wow-wow…

    Oh, and the art is cool, too. I can handle that, yo.

  28. You do have such amazing friends, you lucky girl! What a gorgeous, gorgeous sign. I love that saying. Such a great reminder. Also, I frequently tell Donnie that I need a wife to help keep this place up but he never seems to take me seriously. What gives? 😉 Hope you are having a fantastic week, friend! Happy 4th!

    ~Abby =)

  29. Maria G. says:

    I have never tried this art before but it’s interesting and very simple yet it makes the whole room elegant. I agree that the quote is a very excellent choice. It makes you remember to pray every morning when you wake up. After all, you were able to wake up every day because of that “love”.

  30. this piece of art it’s beautiful and you do have great friends!

  31. This is beautiful!!! I have never seen the idea of staining where the letters will go before painting. Absolutely love it!! I’m going to have to try this:)

  32. Okay, I’m still cracking up at the sister-wife comment, I’m in awe of the fact that you are doing insanity, I’m still perplexed at why the Rafflecopter won’t give me your name for my Silhouette Giveaways (I have asked it nicely…I might need to use my I-mean-business teacher voice), annnnnd that DIY art is pretty much the coolest thing ever. (And that is my epic one sentence comment.)

  33. melissa pearce says:

    Kelly! I have been MIA with our move and settling in (we’re in GA for permanent!) and I am catching up on your blog and man, I love love love this. (Run-on sentence, anyone?) I wish for cricut letters. I have this big open space above my fireplace that is calling for one of these signs. Alas, I wait until I can figure out some time to do it the long way.

  34. Amy says:

    This is amazing! I love it! Do you know what font she used for the words? I am definitely going to try this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  35. Jessica says:

    Love. Excellent job. You are a beautiful writer.

  36. Viet Anh says:

    Thanks for your post :)

  37. beth jerome says:

    way to bring scripture to life! love the use in day to day art….as it should be…

  38. Annette says:

    I have a question about what the best way is to hang this gorgeous piece of art? What’s the best method you found? And I love reading your posts — love your style of writing! :)

  39. DIY projects involving a herringbone pattern are very hot right now. How about this wall art, reminiscent of watercolor, created with acrylics?

  40. Xandré says:

    I love this!! I used a similar idea to make an art piece for my guest bedroom!

  41. Jessica says:

    I am so glad I came across this because I was about to throw out a piece of wood I stained for a similar project but I had planned to have white on the interior and stain on the outside. I didn’t realize I could spray paint over the stain. Great idea. So my question is this….how did they use the exacto knife to help cut out the letters? Was it just to help lift the vinyl letters better? I really want to try this but am also worried I will have an epic fail too. And btw – your post on the gold box fail was pretty funny! Thanks for any advice you have about using the exacto knife. I realize its a lame question but I’m worried it’s not going to look good.

  42. I love the perfect imperfection of the individual “bones

  43. Suca says:

    Thank you for sharing and showing how to do this board, so we can actually do any other beautiful bible verse…It is better on board than actually commit to a location on the wall, that you won’t be able to move it later (I love moving my furniture around :)…
    …and you’re an adorable person, by the way :)

  44. son doong says:

    I link this post, ít’s good story for me.

  45. son doong says:

    I love the perfect imperfection of the individual “bones


  1. […] I love this art piece so much. Erin and her husband made this, and here’s the tutorial to make your own wood stain typography art! The words come from a Bible verse: 1 John 4:19. They seemed fitting for a couple’s master […]

  2. […] DIY projects involving a herringbone pattern are very hot right now. How about this wall art, reminiscent of watercolor, created with acrylics? I love the perfect imperfection of the individual “bones.”{found on viewalongtheway}. […]

  3. […] DIY projects involving a herringbone pattern are very hot right now. How about this wall art, reminiscent of watercolor, created with acrylics? I love the perfect imperfection of the individual “bones.”{found on viewalongtheway}. […]

  4. […] DIY projects involving a herringbone pattern are very hot right now. How about this wall art, reminiscent of watercolor, created with acrylics? I love the perfect imperfection of the individual “bones.”{found on viewalongtheway}. […]

  5. […] DIY ventures, including a herringbone example, are extremely hot at this time. What about this divider craftsmanship, reminiscent of watercolor, made with acrylics? I adore the idea blemish of the individual “bones.”{Found on viewalongtheway}. […]

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