The blank wall space above the grill on the playhouse was begging to get filled. I wanted some type of ‘business sign’ since it is a playhouse slash restaurant after all. Since ours is beach themed I decided to do a wooden DIY surfboard sign with pink ‘open’ and ‘closed’ wooden script. I thought it would be fun if they could interact with the sign by flipping it over to say if they were open or closed…it did not occur to me that they cannot reach it so I will be the one doing the flipping.
- Jigsaw (and preferably a skill saw if you have one)
- 1/4″ radius rounding over bit (for router)
- Paper for template (I used computer paper)
- Measuring tape
- Illustrator (a Cricut would be ideal so the words are cut out for you, but Microsoft Word or Canva can do the trick too if you find a font you like)
- 3/4″ plywood (for the surfboard)
- 1/4″ plywood (for the words)
- White spray paint (if you use eyehooks and don’t find white ones)
- Sandpaper – 60 grit and 180 grit
- Pre stain conditioner
- Classic Oak Behr Water Based Stain and Poly
- Olympic WaterGuard wood sealer
- Stir stick (you need to stir the pre stain and stain, not shake)
- Rag (to use with the pre stain conditioner or use a brush)
- Stain Brush (to use for the stain)
- Rosy Blush Benjamin Moore Paint (for the words)
- Poly top coat (for words)
- Wood glue
- Wood filler
Step 1: Create DIY Surfboard Sign Template
I made our surfboard about 18″ in length by about 5.5″ at the widest point. I taped two pieces of computer paper together and marked the length and width with my measuring tape. You do not need anything fancy to make a template. Then, I freehanded the surfboard drawing. It isn’t perfect but it turned out cute. The extra blue tape is from mistakes I made while cutting, whoops.
Step 2: Create Open/Closed Lettering Template
I created the open and closed lettering template on Illustrator. You could use a Cricut or even just Microsoft Word. Canva is free and would be a great option as well. I created two art boards sized 8.5″ by 11″ landscape. This font is Shelby Bold at 496.022 pt. I printed both pages out and cut them each out with kid scissors…yep, kid scissors. Again, not perfect but good enough for me.
Step 3: Plywood surfboard
We used 3/4 in thick plywood scrap that we had in our garage. We cut ours out with our jigsaw and used clamps to secure the wood. There is probably a better tool for this but this is what we had on hand.
We used a router with a 1/4″ radius rounding over bit for the edges.
We sanded over the edges with 60 grit sandpaper since it was not a very smooth finish after cutting it with the jigsaw. Then, we sanded with 180 grit going with the grain on the top and bottom. Here is what is looked like before staining.
Apply the pre stain and then the stain. Follow the directions on the labels. I picked the Classic Oak Behr Water Based Stain and Poly to match the raw wood we left in the bottom half of the interior of the playhouse.
We also sprayed the surfboard with this Olympic WaterGuard wood sealer since the stain was for interior wood. This should provide waterproofing protection.
Step 4: Lettering
We do not own a skill saw and did not want to purchase one for this project so we used our jigsaw. I would not recommend this unless it is all you have and a skill saw is not in your budget. It was not the cleanest finish and our closed sign broke in half. We glued it back together with wood glue and added wood filler to smooth it out. It looks fine but this wasn’t the best experience. It was tedious and you have to be very precise, but it can be done.
Sand the words with 180 grit sandpaper. We then used wood glue for the closed sign where it broke and wood filler to make the wood more even. Then we sanded it again. We painted the words using the Rosy Blush Benjamin Moore paint to match the triangles and applied two coats of poly.
Attach the words to the board with wood glue. We did not use a clamp on the open sign but the closed sign needed one. I would recommend using clamps on both, don’t rush like we did.
We used eyehooks spray painted white with white string to hang our DIY surfboard sign up.
Let me know if you made this sign or something similar!
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