How to make large fall porch signs

August 30, 2018

I got this DIY fall porch sign idea when my sister and I were out oogling fall stuff a few weeks ago. We both love the season immensely and love walking around getting ideas. 

I saw a tall "fall" sign that was really cute, but I knew I could do it bigger and better myself. I envisioned it on the front porch -- I'm so excited to have a porch to decorate this season!

Luckily I keep extra wood from projects so I already had the boards I needed for these. I planned on only a tall skinny one at first, but then got an idea for a second sign too. 

First up, I found a wood pumpkin at the craft store and painted it...well, pumpkin: 
DIY pumpkin sign for fall decor

Then I got to work on the actual boards that would make the signs. I always start with a conditioner before staining. It's super easy to use and it really preps the surface well: 
prestain wood conditioner

If you've ever tried to stain without a conditioner, you know that sometimes the stain doesn't go on consistently over the wood. This helps that big time! I never go without it now. You just wipe it on and then stain within two hours. 

I've never used these staining clothes but thought this would be a good time to start: 

Staining wipes in walnut

They provide gloves on the package so you literally don't need a thing -- no applicator makes this super easy. 

Usually you'll need a brush or rag to apply, but these cloths are saturated with stain and make for quick work: 
Staining wood with wipes

I was using two different kinds of wood and they stain differently. One had more of an orange tone than I would like so I gave it a really fast swipe of Jacobean (a favorite) over the top. 

That helped the two woods to match: 
Layering stains on wood

While I had my beloved Jacobean out, I gave the pumpkin a quick coat as well. I didn't put any new stain on the rag -- just rubbed in what was left on there: 
Stain wash over paint

The orange was a little too orange for me and with the stain it was perfect! 

When the stain dried (another bonus of these wipes is it dries really fast) I applied a coat of polyurethane on both. 

The poly is always one of my favorite steps because it really brings out the beauty of the wood and stain: 
How to apply poly to wood projects

I used wipe on poly this time -- I just pour a little on the surface and then rub it in really well. It is awesome because you don't deal with any little bubbles that sometimes show up with a brush. Love it. 

I placed the pumpkin and letters on to make sure of placement: 
DIY fall signs for porch

And then sprayed the letters in a color called almond. White was too stark and this is more of an off white with some brown in it. 

I used wood glue on the backs of the letters to adhere them: 
Large wood letters for signs
While those dried I sprayed some wood trim called lattice (that I just used on the kitchen island project!) in the same color and nailed it around each board to make a very simple frame. 

I already loved them as they were...but I had plans for some fun little details. I glued moss along the bottom of the pumpkin to look like grass and then some leaves on the stem as well. The fall sign got some simple wood leaves to bring in some orange. 

I mean...come on! Aren't they the cutest??
Cute fall signs you can make yourself

Right? The fall sign is way bigger than the one I saw in the store. Which is really good for our porch and large door -- it needed to be big. 

Mine will live on the porch this season but we have a covered porch that doesn't get any of the elements. If yours does you'll want to keep a project like this inside to protect it.

These would look just as good next to a fireplace or leaning against the wall on top of a console. They could go anywhere! 

The moss is my favorite part. ;) I got the little leaves from the foliage I used to make this pumpkin wreath I shared last week
How to make your own large fall signs

They all play together so nicely! I've got a few more ideas in mind for the fall porch, but it will be awhile before I share the finished product. 

I almost used orange lights on the pumpkin but I chickened out. I was going to drill holes in the sign and push the lights in from the back. I did it on some scrap wood and just didn't trust it would look OK -- and I would have hated to ruin the whole thing. 

I think it's just as cute without!: 
Using stain for DIY fall signs on front porch

The best part is I made these porch signs the exact size and specification I wanted. And they are truly one of a kind! Hope you will try something like this out on your own! (Remember most hardware stores will cut the wood for you -- call ahead to check.) 

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  1. Very cute! I'm a Fall lover as well and am always so excited when September hits. :)

  2. Oh my gosh it's so cute and what a genius way to save money and just do it yourself!!

  3. The trim frames really add a pop and fabulous finishing touch to both your signs, great job!

  4. Love them! The lighter trim really finishes them.

  5. You should make them reversible with like a thankful or merry Christmas and just flip them around for the next season or holiday!

  6. As I was reading through this post I was thinking they were cute, but the point when I LOVED them was when you added the frames. Such a perfect finishing touch! Can't wait to see your finished porch!

  7. What is the color of your front door, in the photos it looks like a really dark brown but any idea of the paint color?

  8. So cute, Sarah! I'm in sign making mode for a booth I'm moving into TOMORROW! 😲 I'm doing some with a faux frame- painted border, so easy.

  9. These are great! I love the pumpkin with the moss!

  10. Really cute! Where did you get the hook that is holding your wreath?

  11. This looks so nice & pretty attainable-sometimes I think that DIYs look too complicated, but this isn't one of those!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style


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