Today I am excited to share with you my easy DIY song lyrics sign! The best part is you don’t have to have any sign painting skills what-so-ever.
(UPDATE: I did not want to completely remove this post for those who want to try this method, however I do want to disclose that I have had some issues with a couple recent signs bubbling, one I can attribute to using the wrong Almyrs adhesive, but the others I have used the right one and it has bubbled 😞. I am working on a solution to that problem and will update this post when I have tweaked the proces. Keeping this in mind feel free to try this original method if you wish, to see how it works for you!)
It has been almost a month since my nephew married his beautiful bride at my sister’s summer property in Prince Edward Island. It was a small private family affair. If you missed it, you can read all about it here. We haven’t had a chance to see them since we all got back, but this past weekend my sister hosted a reception back here at home for extended family and friends. They really didn’t want any wedding gifts, but I knew right away I wanted to make them a sign with the lyrics to the song from their first dance.
There were just two tiny problems with my gift idea. One, I didn’t know what their song was going to be. My nephew chose it, and kept it a secret until their first dance at the wedding in PEI so I couldn’t give it to them at their wedding.
The second problem, and this is a big one. I have not exactly honed my sign painting skills to the point that I felt confident it would turn out well enough that they could actually read the words!!
The first problem was solved when I found out there was going to be a reception held at home 3 weeks after their wedding. This gave me the opportunity to find out what song Zach had chosen and an extra 3 weeks to complete my project.
The second problem was solved after spending much time searching tutorials on how to hand paint signs. I almost gave up on the idea, but after racking my grain as to how I could make it work, I came to the decision to make the sign without painting it at all!
Thanks to the beauty of Canva, a new font downloaded from Creative Market, engineering prints, and edge glued pine I am thrilled with the outcome! And, I am happy to share the process here with you today.
Easy DIY Song Lyrics Sign Tutorial
(This tutorial contains affiliate links for your convenience in finding the products I used for this project)
Step 1 – Designing
In Canva choose a “use custom dimensions” and set the dimensions to 36″ by 24″ (or whatever size you want your finished sign) and click design. Then choose “Text” from the left hand menu. Click on “add a little body of text” which will open a new text box on your document. Choose the font from the drop down menu at the top left of your document. I downloaded the Tigerlily font from Creative Market and start typing your chosen song lyrics. The text box will automatically expand to fit as you type. When you have it all typed out, then go back up to the font size and play around until you get the right size to fill the page as you like it. I think I used 33 for mine. Download as a PDF.
Upload your pdf to a memory stick and take to your local Staples or other printing outlet that prints Engineer Prints to have it printed to the size you had designed.
Step 2 – Mounting
All the tutorials that I read about mounting engineering prints suggested using foam board, however I wanted something more substantial. I headed to Rona and found this edge glued pine board sized exactly to 24 by 36 inches. It is solid pine, sanded smooth and ready to go! Just give it a quick wipe with a clean cloth.
Protect your work surface with paper or drop cloth and work in a well ventilated area!
Position print on the board and have someone hold firmly to one end while keeping it aligned. Gently fold back the opposite end and thoroughly spray the pine board evenly with adhesive spray, making sure you get it to all the way to the edges. Carefully position that side of the print back over the adhesive and smooth out. I first used my clean hand to smooth it over the glued surface making sure their were no air bubbles or wrinkles.
Once firmly in place, repeat with the other side, and again using your hand press the print smoothly into place. I then used an old credit card with the edge covered in a clean tea towel to further press the image down. Pay special attention to the edges to make sure they are firmly adhered. Let it sit over night to completely bond.
Again, many of the tutorials I read suggested trouble with wrinkling and bubbling with certain brands of spray adhesion, some of which didn’t occur until a day or two after adhesion. I used this one from Alymer pictured below and had no problem what-so-ever. It is acid free, no bleed through and non-yellowing. You can find it here.
I did have to re-spray one corner a bit the next morning with a bit of extra adhesive as it hadn’t completely bonded, but that was user error!
Step 3 – Framing
I wanted to frame this song lyrics sign in a narrow wood trim in a weathered gray colour. I think the trim we used is considered a “door stop” trim and again we picked it up at Rona. Tim cut the corners at 45 degrees with his mitre saw before I stained it.
I then painted it with two coats of Amy Howard’s One Step Paint in A Good Man is Hard To Find. It is my favourite shade of gray!
After drying overnight I sanded it lightly and then gave it a good coat of Amy Howard’s Liming Wax to give it an aged, worn patina.
Finally, Tim glued it into place using a wee bit of carpenters glue before adding a couple of brad nails with is air nailer. He was sure to dry fit it before the final assembly and the corners fit perfectly.
(sorry about the grainy photo- it is getting dark early here in the north making lighting a bit challenging!)
Step 4 (Optional) Sealing
My goodness did I stress about this final step! Like, lying awake for an hour thinking about how to do it stressed! I really didn’t know whether to seal it or not. I didn’t want to risk any yellowing, or bubbling or other “disaster”, so I really thought about leaving it alone. I didn’t really need to seal it as it looked great just the way it was. However I had a nagging feeling I just needed to give it a bit of protection given it was going to be wrapped, unwrapped, and then transported to my nephews home.
So, after ruling out any spray varathane type products, I decided to give the liming wax a try. I first tested it out on an old computer printed paper I had hanging around, and it seemed to work just fine without smudging or discolouring. In fact I really liked how it kind of faded some areas of the letters a little bit.
So, I held my breath and just went for it. Using a soft cloth and a light touch I applied the liming wax to the entire print, buffing gently. The result was a very smooth surface with no extra shine. Only time will tell though!
And that, my friends, is my easy DIY song lyrics sign! I couldn’t wait to give it to them, and the bride and groom really seemed to love it. I am so happy I could give them a little piece of their wedding day as a keepsake. A pretty cool keepsake if I do say so myself!
Oh, by the way. Did anybody guess the song Zach picked for their first dance as husband and wife? It is called Love You ‘Till The End and it is by The Pogues. Love!
Until next time…..
That looks awesome! And that is PAPER?! adhered to the pine? I never would have thought something so stunning would be so easy. I also didn’t know you could custom print things like that at Staples instead of a specialty printers. I love this post! Just love it!
My mind is completely blown that you created the graphic on Canva!
This is a great project.
LOVE IT MAUREEN !!!
I am going to try this for sure!!
Thanks Leslie! Can’t wait to see what song you choose!
Hi Maureen , you mentioned that you use Canva , is that a app for a Mac desktop ?
Hi Kendall! Canva is website, which also has an app. Visit http://www.canva.com. I do all my work on the actual website as opposed to the app!
This looks great!! I have attempted this same project twice now but modge podge has absolutely ruined it!! Wrinkles everywhere! I am going to look for this adhesive and try again! Hopefully third times a charm! Thank you for sharing!
Just curious if this would work on another surface like a canvas?
I haven’t tried it on canvas, but my concern would be because of the texture, it might be difficult to get the paper to really adhere to the surface. Now I am curious though and might just have to try it on a smaller scale!!
I can’t figure out how to use the alignment of “justify “. Could you let me know how you did?
Hi Denise! I just want back to check my file in Canva, and I have it aligned left. The right margins are not justified. Hope that helps!
You could take your print to a frame shop and have it dry mounted. It’s ready to frame then:)
That would be a great idea too, but I have done that in the past and found even the “mat finish” a bit to “glossy” for my liking! Now, that was many years ago and so I should look into it to see if things have changed! Thanks for the tip!
Tiffany Rogers says
I found your site/post on pinterest and am currently trying to make this exact project, different song for my sister. How did you get the sides to not peel up over time? I noticed that your trim is aligned along the outer edges of the board piece instead of more like a frame, so this wouldn’t protect the paper from peeling. I bought a different style of trim for more of a framed look but this too wouldn’t “tack” the edges down and i worry that it would peel.
Thank you for stopping by! I did use trim that aligned with the edges, however the print was large enough to just ever so slightly fold over the edges of the board I used. I did make sure to thoroughly spray the edges with adhesive as well. My nephew told me that they did get some bubbles form, however when they brought it back to me to take a look, after a couple of days at my house the bubbles disappeared. And, back at their home it bubbled again. I am not sure if it is the adhesive or the humidity level in their home. In either case, I have to try this project again using a different adhesive to see if makes any difference.
Debbie Arthur says
My first time finding you. This awesome post, by you, on Pinterest brought me here. And I am so glad it did. Also, thank you for not removing the post because of bubbles. Those are deets that we fellow humans can work and share back to help each other. While you helped us with the big part! I am so excited to try this and will be doing this! My thought on the bubbling…since pine wood is really very porous, I wonder if you sealed the back with modge podge, the spray sealer, or something like that, would it keep the wood from absorbing the moisture and bubbling in their home? We are in East Tennessee mtns and while we have humidity, it is nothing like my sister’s home in Nashville, TN. Just a thought. Hope it helps. Thanks again for posting it. When you put something out into the universe, it is impossible to know how it will effect others. You have been a blessing to me today!
Thank you Debbie! Your suggestion to seal the wood first certainly makes sense. I am going to give that a try 🙂
Great project. I’m def going to give it a try. I think sealing the board first may make a difference. I happen to think the wrinkles are ok. I even think giving it a light, light dark wax to accentuate the wrinkles could look very cool.
Thanks for sharing with great details, but not too many. Personally I hate scrolling thru 30 pics of the same thing to get to the info.
Thank you Denise! Great tip to seal the board. I really must carve out a bit of time to try it again. I might just surprise my husband with our wedding song lyrics!