How to make large DIY fall signs for the porch or inside!
You can make your own wood porch signs for way less than buying in the store…and you can customize the size and message to anything you want!
I got this DIY fall porch sign idea when my sister and I were out checking out fall decor in the stores a few weeks ago. We both love the season 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:
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:
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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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
I placed the pumpkin and letters on to make sure of placement:
I used wood glue on the backs of the letters to adhere them:
If you want to save a few bucks, there are other options instead of the ready-made letters:
- Print out the letters and trace them onto the board with a pencil, then paint!
- If you have a Cricut or other cutting machine, you can use those to apply letters as well.
I already loved these 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…they’re pretty cute, right?
The fall sign is way bigger than the one I saw in the store. Our porch and large door can take larger pieces like this…anything smaller would be a little too wimpy.
These would look just as good next to a fireplace or leaning against the wall on top of a console. They could go anywhere!
They all play together so nicely! All I need new is a few hay bales and corn stalks and we’ll be in business. 🙂
I almost used orange string 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!:
They look great with our IKEA lanterns! (They’re not necessarily meant to be outdoor lanterns but they’e held up well for years!)
The best part is I made these porch signs the exact size and specification I wanted. And they are truly one of a kind!
I hope this tutorial was helpful if you want to try making fun signs for your fall porch display! (Remember most big hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot will cut the wood for you — call ahead to check.)