Father’s day present tutorial

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; step by step instructions

How to make a sign for father´s day

Originally I wanted to make this sign as father´s day present from pallet wood. But one day an old shelf suddenly appeared next to my pallets! My husband had brought it home for me from one of his jobs.

It was slightly bend, so not good enough anymore as shelf, but still perfect to make his father’s day present:)

What you need:

– a piece of wood (80 cm x 30 cm / ~ 31.5″ x 11.81″),

– 2 pieces of wood or bottom planks of a pallet (15 cm x 7 cm / ~ 5.9″ x 2.76″),

– sand paper,

– drill,

– screws,

– 2 hooks,

– small nails and a hammer,

– a candle or tea light,

– acrylic paint (my son chose red as the base and a dark green for the writing as they are his favourite colours at the moment),

– paint brush or roller and an artist brush.

– You might need a smaller artist brush for some corrections on the writing and a soft pencil and a rubber if you are not sure on the writing… Plus, if you do it like me, you might need a saw to cut the wood to the right length.

My first step was to grab a soft pencil and to roughly write out the words to see how long the board had to be.

Next, I cut it and as well 3 pieces of my half-used pallet. In the end I only used 2, but I still had my original idea in my head which would have needed 3…

This is, if you don´t have the wood in the right measurements. If you do, just follow the steps from here:

Place the 2 pieces on the back of the board centering them widthwise and at about 4 cm (~ 1.57″) from the edges.

Carefully drill two holes through them and a little bit into the board as well. Now you can screw them on. I use a normal screwdriver, but for the electrical fans under you: you can use an electrical screwdriver as well…

Place the hooks into their place and nail them on. My son wanted to do this, so I just hammered the nails in until he wouldn´t have to hold them. Seeing that he is only 7, I had to take the hammer off him a couple of times to straighten the nails back up. As you might see on the photo, I reacted too late on one nail, so we just flattened it…

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign

Rub the wood down with sandpaper and clean it, ready for painting. To give the sign a used and old look, rub a candle or tea light along the edges and places which would be worn most likely. In the photo you see how I applied it on the bottom and the corners.

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; example of candle wax use on shelf

Now you can start painting your base colour. My son decided to use the roller instead of a paint brush and seeing that we didn´t have a tray, we applied the paint straight onto the roller and then he worked it in… this gave a slightly uneven coat of paint, which worked with the idea of making it look “old”.

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; base coat applied

If you are unsure with the writing, skip the next step and leave it until the end.

When the paint is dry, lightly rub the shelf down in the places you applied the wax.

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; second last step, rubbing off the wax

I would recommend you to do the next step free-handed. Trust in your abilities. If you are too unsure, use a soft pencil and very softly write the letters.

Write your message with the artist brush. When I finished writing, my son insisted, that I put both of our initials on the bottom to add our signature.

Let the paint dry and make little corrections with the small artist brush, if needed. Depending on your colours you might have to repeat this step a few times. I had closed one of the e´s, so had to “make a hole” in it again…

In case that you are not happy at all with your writing, just let the paint dry, paint all over it with the bottom colour and start again once dry.

If you have used the pencil, take a rubber to rub off any pencil marks that can still be seen.

Rub off the wax, if you haven´t in the step before the writing…

Your unique father´s day present is finished!

Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; finished sign

Feel free to share your own version in the comments or simply email them to me: tjalva

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You might also be interested in the Upcycled mother’s day present tutorial or in the DVD-shelves I made from a pallet

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Father´s day tutorial - How to turn an old shelf into a sign; step by step instructions

18 thoughts on “Father’s day present tutorial”

  1. What a great idea! It is so easy to make too, I am totally having my kids make this on Fathers day this year 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    1. Good thing is: you don’t have to be very crafty. And if your kids can write readable, they could do it. My son’s writing is still terrible…

  2. What a lovely idea, it does get harder each year to think of gifts. My little ones would also have so much fun making it. 😊x

    1. I am sure they will. My son really enjoyed it. Plus it was a present that had more meaning for both than anything we could have bought

    1. I hope you find something! It was really fun doing it and my husband loves it. I am sure yours will as well.
      Let me know how it went xx

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