Our next big upcoming project is renovating our baby girl’s nursery. We’re going full-on rustic woodland nursery, and it’ll be gorgeously epic. (I may or may not have mentioned a bazillion million times already how excited I am about the woodland nursery theme, by the way.). I’m currently putting together the GRAND PLAN, which I’ll share with you as soon as it’s ready. But I wanted to give you a sneak peek of a project that’ll be included in the nursery: this gorgeous rustic woodland sign, complete with handmade DIY fabric flowers. This rustic sign project was oh-so-easy and affordable. I can’t wait to share with you how to make it!
Materials for this Rustic Sign with DIY Fabric Flowers
For this project, you’ll need a few things. (Not many, I pinky promise!) I tagged the materials list with affilaite links so you can check out the products on Amazon.
- Pre-made wood sign
- Sponge brush
- Pickling paint (I used stormy skies)
- Staining rag
- Fabric or old onesies
- Pencil for lettering
- Carbon transfer paper (optional)
- Needle and thread
- Small paint brush
- White craft paint
- Antiquing wax (optional)
- Wax brush or rag (optional)
- Hot glue and glue sticks
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 1: Use the Pickling Wash
For this project, I was super excited to use pickling paint. I’d never used it before, but loved other projects I saw online. I picked out this little bottle from Michaels, for only a few bucks.
There are a ton of colors, but I chose this stormy skies because the blue-grey was a great neutral. I knew I’d want to add pink and white DIY fabric flowers. So I wanted a color that would tone down the overall pink hue and add a nice contrast. Stormy skies it was!
Pickling wash is somewhere between a paint and a stain. It really soaks into the wood like a stain, but it has a nice color payoff like a paint.
Why use pickling wash? This is a good option when you want a vintage look that has a touch of color and still allows the wood grain to peep through.
I applied a coat of color, then wiped it off with a rag to take off any excess. It dried SUPER fast. Faster than I expected! I wasn’t able to wipe off as much color as I had anticipated, but because the formula is kind of thin, I didn’t get a color that felt too dark.
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 2: Trace Your Letters
For this sign, I wanted to use a very feminine script with curly ligatures to add interest.
You can also find fun scripts on sites like Font Squirrel. Just get prepared to go down the font rabbit hole when looking for the perfect one!
I typed out my daughter’s name, then printed it out on a piece of paper.
Since I was feeling confident (or maybe just lazy), I decided to freehand the lettering onto my sign using a pencil.
If you don’t trust your ability to freehand or if you want to make sure its an exact copy, you should use carbon transfer paper. This paper works like a charm for transferring letters.
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 3: Paint Your Letters
Once you’ve penciled in your letters, grab a fine paintbrush and some craft paint in the color of your choice. I like craft paint for lettering because it has good coverage. It’s also not too runny so you don’t really need to worry about it dripping or smearing unintentionally.
This little bottle was super cheap at Michaels! I went for white to give a nice contrast to the pickling wash.
I bought my brushes at Michaels. These came in a three pack and, while they are not brushes a fine artist would use, they certainly are great for projects like these!!
Also, I kinda think they’re just cute, too.
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 4: Age Your Sign
If you want to give your sign an aged and vintage look, you could definitely add some brown wax to the edges of your piece.
Again, this step is optional, but I knew that I wanted a strong contrast between the rustic vintage feel of the piece and the lightness of the script and flowers.
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 5: Make Your DIY Fabric Flowers
Alright, so now for your DIY fabric flowers! I decided to cut up some of my daughter’s clothes for this. You could easily buy fabric online, too. I like how these flowers look with t-shirt material. Plus, t-shirt material doesn’t really fray, which makes this project so much easier.
We had some sleeping sacks that my daughter hated (HATED!) so they were perfect for use in a project. We’d gotten them from a thrift store in the first place, so it’s like giving these items a third life.
I cut the outfits into strips, keeping the strips about an inch wide and 8 to 10 inches long. I didn’t use exact measurements, just kind of roughly eyeballed it, trying to keep the cuts neat.
With the strips cut, I grabbed a needle and thread.
I ran a wide running stick in the midline of each strip of fabric. My stitches weren’t perfect, but I knew they’d get hidden in the end.
Once I sewed to the end of the trip, I held the thread in one hand and used the other hand to gather the fabric along the thread. The strip of fabric was bunched up to about 5 or 6 inches long. Then, keeping the “bunch” in place, I tied off the thread in a little knot.
With my bunched up fabric, I folded it in half along the running stitch, kind of like a long taco. (MMM, tacos.)
Then, I started curling the strip (now folded over onto itself) into a coil, like a flower.
Truth? This took a number of tries. Other tutorials I’ve read made this seem super easy.
I actually found that I needed to keep a needle and thread nearby to use a loose stitch on the underside of every coil to keep it in place.
The underside of each flower was a big old mess of stitches, but my coils stayed in place.
Rustic Sign with DIY Flowers Step 5: Attach Your DIY Fabric Flowers
With the flower coils secure, I cut a little circle to fit on the underside of each flower. I glued the circle in place with hot glue.
Then, I used hot glue to fix the flower onto the sign.
I thought this sign looked great with three flowers, not too many, not too few. But I do think a sign that was, like, COVERED in flowers would be adorable. Add that to the list of never-ending projects! What do you think? Does baby girl like it??
So tell me, would you want to try making DIY fabric flowers? What project would you use them for?
Pop a comment below. I’d love to hear!