Vintage Lettered Sign DIY

I am always on the hunt for inexpensive ways to stage and decorate our fixer uppers.

Learn how to make your own vintage style sign for under $25!

You will need:

  • 1 x 18 x 48 top choice board
  • acrylic paint in satin finish
  • spray paint
  • water
  • paint brush
  • painters tape
  • yard stick
  • Avery 8.5 x 11 adhesive printer labels
  • printer
  • scissors
  • tweezers

Let’s do it again!

One day, my grandpa packed the family into the Monte Carlo and they set out with the intention of find the best camping spot for my 13 year old father and his siblings. They drove for hours, not knowing where they would end up. Finally they landed at Chopaka Lodge, which sits on the most beautiful lake. Our family has been going every summer since, for almost 50 years. When I imagine heaven, it’s Palmer Lake.

I figured that if I was going to invest the time into the making this project, I should pick a theme that is close to my heart.




Stage, Shoot, & Sell a Fixer Upper

Collecting my design essentials in preparation for my favorite day of the entire remodeling process, Staging Day!

“It’s the best day of the year” (month, week, etc… I’ve  been binge watching a lot of Parks and Rec on Netfix lately.)

imageFor the inside scoop on how you can Treat Yo’ Self to these goodies, I’ve included a shopping list at the bottom of this post.

I love a polished home photo that signifies a job well done. But if I’m going to be real, there is a whole circus act behind the scenes that gets us to this point. What you don’t see is how we spent the majority of the day. We began at 8 AM, staring into an almost completely empty storage garage. It is the peek of the listing season, and the majority of our decor supplies have already been used to stage other projects. Time for a lightning round shopping spree at Target. I had 7 minutes to grab as many things as I could fit into the cart, and then I stood in the checkout line trying to justify each of them to Joel. (About half of the items were handed back to the clerk, but hey, I got to keep half a cart full! #winning)


We drove 45 minutes to a previous listing, filling our cars to the brim with furniture, baskets, lamps, books, flowers etc… (I swear I could be a rep for Scion, the amount of stuff I can pile into that thing.)


Another 45 minute drive, with a less than shabby view… And finally we arrived at the project.

A few dozen dry wall screws and half a Swiffer box later… this adorable house is ready to make its debut onto the real estate market.

It might be a bit unpredictable at times, but looking back on a day like this, I fell so blessed to be able to do what I love with the person I love.

 Shopping List:

Gray Woven Rug & “Fresh Baked Pies” Sign – World Market

“SOAP” Galvanized Metal Letters – Michaels

Loom Wall Hanging & Wood Cutting Boards – Target

Rope Mirror – Hobby Lobby ($25 on sale)

Lavender Vanilla Room Spray & Wood Bowl – TJ Maxx

Industrial Dining Room

Step 1: Open up the Space

The new open concept Dining Room has been one of the biggest transformations in this house. Originially there was a large, awkward wall dividing the dining room and living room. The layout of the kitchen was also odd, with an extended countertop that jetted out into the dining room space.

We took a risk by deciding to opt out of doing an island. We toyed with the idea of continuing the cabinets and counter tops onto the far wall, and expanding the kitchen. In the end we fell in love with the open space. We decided to keep it clear for a dining room table. I’m glad with our decision, I think it flows a lot better, is great for entertaining, and compliments the size of the home.

(Behr “Snowfall” white paint. In eggshell finish.)


Step 2: The Light Fixture

I love, LOVE this light. It’s so modern but the black rod iron finish & exposed light bulbs gives it just enough of an industrial edge. It just gets me.

Also. It was incredibly well priced at $299! Compared to other similar styles, which range from $700-$1,900, it was a steal. I’ve had a lot of requests on Instagram for the source, but I’m only posting this one on the blog.


Modern Geometric Pendant Light /By: Design Classics Lighting

Step 3: The Table


Galvin Cafeteria Table $599 (regularly $799)

Base: Solid Metal / Top: Wood

This beautiful creature is a product of World Market! And yes, we bought it on sale! (Side note: if you purchase an item at WM, and within 60 days that item goes on sale, they will give you the difference on a gift card! Even if it’s a only one day sale! AND they are always having sales.)

We were a bit skeptical at first about the attached stools. They are easily detachable if you want to change to something else, so that is a nice feature. We decided to go for it. Plus it was nice not to spend the extra money on chairs. (Saved about $250).

It’s been in the house for 3 months and we have used it more than any other table our previous houses. Poker nights, board games, art projects, dinner with friends… We love it!


Step 4: The Accessories 

(if you can’t buy what you want, build what you want)

I wanted to accessorize the room with pieces that had dramatic usual interest, without competing with the Light Fixture. I custom built this ladder. The idea was that if you are standing in the living room, looking straight on, it will fit exactly in the blank space between the wall and light. It was also important for balance that the line continued floor to ceiling.

Building the ladder took about 2 hours overall, hopefully I will get a chance to post DIY instructions on this soon. Or, you can purchase this item on my etsy shop; TWObyJillAbsten.


I built this Vintage style “Lumber Mill” Sign the day Joel bought the house, with the intention of putting it in that exact spot. What can I say, I love signs. The bigger the better! Especially in the white with black lettering, it’s big enough to fill the space without feeling heavy. Also available to purchase on my etsy shop; TWObyJillAbsten.


The Modern Cabin 

I was determined to fit this antique moose rack somewhere in our 3 bedroom – ranch style home. Although it’s not actually mine, it’s incredibly sentimental. It’s 100 years old, and it was a gift-on-loan from a former customer. It hung for three years in my little Fircrest Shop. Now, he fits wonderfully tucked into this nook in the bedroom.


I tried to think outside the box in this room. I’m a little burnt out of the “go to” bedroom layout; a standard dresser, with a lamp, and a picture above it. I wanted to be original. Also, our house is not huge, a dresser would be too heavy. In preparation for resale I have to think “what will make the room look open”. Well… how ’bout a giant moose?



If you notice to the left, there is the closet’s barn door. We built, stained, & installed this ourselves. All together it cost about $200. I will put the details of the “DIY Barn Door Project” in a future post. I’d like to also give some helpful tips for buying the right track, and installation notes. (It looks simple but there are some key points that can become big problems if your not prepared.)


The leather tufted chair is a staple piece for me in every one of our houses. Before we even knock down our first wall, I have already decided exactly where it will go in the house. It’s also my favorite item to post updates on in every house, “The adventures of an arm chair… Where will it go next?”

(Notes: The chair was purchased at World Market, and sadly, they’ve discontinued it.)


Compass pillow • Etsy

Tribal Stich Rug • World Market

Vintage School Boy Light • Lowes

White Curtains • Target

Barn Door • DIY
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