How to Make Large Framed Snowflake Signs

Sunday, November 17, 2019

share more
This tutorial will show you how to make graphic black and white wood framed snowflake signs, perfect for a Christmas mantle!

Christmas mantle

Affiliate links may be included for your convenience; my full disclosure policy can be found here. If you click through and make a purchase I'll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Welcome back to Deck the Home, a group of DIYers who love to share our passion for creating and all things DIY with you! This week we're sharing Holiday Signs and I've gotta tell you that I am thrilled with the results of my large, framed snowflake signs.

This was one of those projects that I'd worked out in my head before time, and then had several frustrations along the way. But I'll share more about that as we get into this project.

Here's what you'll need to make these framed snowflake signs. 

Supplies


* Even if you don't own a Cricut or Silhouette machine, you can still do this project! Try cutting out your snowflakes from stiff paper and then you can use them as a stencil to paint the design onto the wood. Or think way outside the box...cut snowflakes out of stiff vinyl tablecloth material and use a spray adhesive to attach them to the signs. But if you're serious about crafting, I suggest investing in one of these die cut machines! Black Friday is a great time to get an amazing deal on a bundle like this (that's how I purchased my machine).

How to Make Snowflake Sign

Cut and Prep Plywood

I'm proud to tell you that I did this part all by myself! I'm getting braver with the power tools, although every time I use the chop saw, it takes me a few minutes to figure out how to use it again!

We have several pieces of wood in our stash, so I grabbed one, marked off two 16" squares and cut them out. My plywood is rough and needed to be well sanded to smooth it out. I also like to sand the edges really well, and even the back because so one wants splinters!

squares of plywood

Paint Wood

When my wood sign pieces were nice and smooth, I brought them into the house, set up a little work station on a plastic table and painted the signs. Originally I was going to do a red sign and a white one, but the more I thought about it, I decided that the black and white would pop nicely against our painted brick fireplace and really suit the style of my decor better. Plus, I knew I'd keep them out longer than just Christmas because they feel more wintry than Christmas-y...make sense?

painted plywood

Each piece got two coats of chalk paint. You don't have to use chalk paint! Use leftover paint that you have already.

Wax Signs

I gave each sign a coat of clear wax so they weren't so matte. My vinyl was glossy and I wanted the signs to have a little sheen too.

wax

Waxing is super easy, don't be intimidated by it! You'll need to have a couple of soft, lint-free rags available. Use one rag to wipe on the wax, spreading it evenly over the board.

rub wax into board

Give it a few minutes and then use a clean rag to buff the wax. All that means is that you work the wax into the wood with the rag, the results are a beautiful soft sheen like you see below. Buffing also removes any excess wax.

buff with clean rag

Cut out Snowflakes

I found some free snowflakes online at Craft Bundles. They're already SVG (cut) files, so I simply downloaded them to my computer, uploaded into my Silhouette file and selected them. I wanted them as big as possible, so I stretched them to fit my 12 x 12 cutting surface as much as I possibly could. Then I cut them onto glossy craft vinyl.

create snowflake in Silhouette

I used a large piece of transfer paper to transfer the cut out snowflake in preparation to securing it to my painted and waxed board.

transfer design to transfer paper


Did I mention that I procrastinated with this project? No? Well I did. It occurred to me late in the week that I had to post a finished project today!!! So I had to jump into action and get these signs knocked out asap. 

It would have been much, much better to give the painted and waxed boards a week to cure before moving on with this project, but I just didn't have the time. So please keep this in mind if you decide to make signs this Christmas!

Transfer vinyl snowflakes to wood

Because my paint and wax hadn't fully cured (I was doing everything in a single day), my snowflakes did not want to transfer to the wood. Basically, they wouldn't stick!

I gave up trying for a few hours and left the wood on a table near the fireplace to hopefully speed up the curing process for me!

Later in the day I attempted to transfer the snowflakes to the wood again, and even though I had to 'wrangle' the vinyl bit by bit, I was able to get the snowflakes where they were supposed to be!

Incidentally, during the making of these signs, I also ran into a "bad batch" of vinyl, that didn't want to weed correctly. I had to send it back to Amazon for replacement.

attach design to wood

Measure and Cut Frame Pieces

No doubt you've seen framed signs like this at craft shows. This is how to replicate that look. Furring strips are cheap (less than $1 for 8 feet!). I purchased two, and marked them where I needed to cut, then proceeded to cut them into sections and sand them. 

Because I wasn't using perfectly planed plywood, in other words, my wood was slightly wonky, each of my 4 sides was slightly different. I marked each piece with a pencil after cutting it so I'd remember where it belonged.

Basically, two of the pieces will be the same size as the sign, the other two will be that size plus the width of the furring strip times 2. Here is an illustration to help you visualize what I'm talking about in case you're rolling your eyes in confusion!

diagram for frame measurements

Stain Frame Pieces


stain frame pieces

Staining goes very quickly. Lay out pieces on a work surface, and working one at a time, brush stain along all sides and edges then immediately wipe off with a rag. I stuck my hand inside a plastic bag to protect it from stain because I didn't have plastic gloves. Worked perfectly!

The stain I chose is quite dark, so enough was able to penetrate the wood and give me the look I was after with this method. If you're using a lighter stain, you may need to leave it on longer before wiping the excess off, or do multiple coats.

Attach Frame Pieces to Board

The final step is to nail the furring strips to the plywood sign, creating a frame. The skinnier edge of the strips is what will be on top. Sorry I don't have a picture of this step. Mr DIY helped me with this part. We nailed one piece at a time.  Here are the beautiful results!

finished sign

These handmade framed signs cost me less than a drink at Starbucks! This project was definitely more time-intensive than costly, but it was time well spent because I know we'll enjoy these snowflake signs for years to come!

signs on mantle

I like that these large snowflake signs are bold and graphic. They're simple but make a statement! They have a bit of a modern Nordic farmhouse look to them, if that doesn't sound too weird!

graphic black and white snowflake signs

Pin for later

snowflake signs on Christmas mantle

Are you motivated to try making signs this Christmas? Maybe you just need a little more inspiration! 

Click here to see more Deck the Home Holiday Wood Sign Projects


I'll be sharing more of my Christmas mantle soon, as well as practically every other area in my home as the Christmas decorating commences! 🎄🎄🎄


bringing beauty to the ordinary, 



If you enjoy my content, please
Like me on FB
Follow me on Instagram
Find inspiration on Pinterest
Follow me on YouTube



This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to recreate any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility for any injuries or damages incurred. Read my full disclaimer here.
share this post
more

8 comments

  1. Those snowflake signs are STUNNING!! Amazing!!

    I had a project once where the vinyl wouldn't stick... I just thought my vinyl was old and threw it out! Oups!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Christine! It sure is frustrating when it won't stick!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love these! Awesome that you can use them all winter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Eileen, I'm certainly glad I thought that through!!

      Delete
  4. That is a lot of work and it came out perfectly! I love decorating with snowflakes throughout Christmastime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meegan, it was but now I can enjoy them for all the Christmases to come! ;)

      Delete

Your comments are like sunshine and chocolate! Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice one ;) I read all comments and love to respond if you leave your email! Otherwise, please look for my response under the post where you left it!