Lesson Learned: Do Your Research

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The were multiple lessons learned during this project, in fact, I’m not sure much else could have gone wrong. So the idea was simple: as a cute wedding present, buy a wooden street sign shape and decorate with their new family name. Easy peasy! So I ordered the shape and a load of sharpies and got to work.

  • Things began to go wrong pretty quickly. The sign was smaller than expected; it would seem that even when I measure it out, it still looks smaller when it actually arrives.
  • Never mind, let’s get the pens out. I draw the outlines in pencil before starting with my sharpies. Mistake number 2 of course: the pen begins to bleed. Why didn’t I prime the wood?!!
  • Ok that’s fine, prime the rest of the wood and start drawing. Wait why has the sharpie stopped working? Try sharpie number 2. That stopped working… 8 Sharpies later and the sign is finally finished…
  • And I look at the wedding invite and realise… I spelt their name wrong… For… Flip… Sake… (That’s the word I used and I’m sticking with it)

So yes… there are a few lessons I learned during this project, the overlying message being: Do your research! Thankfully, once I had done it properly I realised how much better it looked with the correct pens. So I am a little thankful I got the name wrong!

DIY name sign: make your own family sign out of wood and acrylic paint pens.


No seriously, how much time, effort and money I would have saved had a just researched the project first and not just ploughed on assuming I knew best. Not least of all, the simple task of looking at the wedding invite to get the name right. Honestly.

So if you want to make one of these lovely signs follow my advice:

  • Prime your wood (I use Matte acrylic medium as it dries clear)
  • Use an appropriate drawing tool (not sharpies. Acrylic paint works well and you can get it in the form of pens)
  • Make sure you spell the name right, I really can’t emphasise this enough.

DIY Street Sign Wedding Present

DIY name sign: make your own family sign out of wood and acrylic paint pens.
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Tools Required

Wooden shapes (self-cut, or I buy mine from here)

Pencil, rubber and ruler

Matte Acrylic medium (or your preferred clear primer)

Acrylic paint pens ( I used Posca paint pens)


Step 1

Draw your wording and shapes onto your wood in pencil. I like to lay my words out in Canva and copy them down. Once you have it how you like it, rub out any excess pencil. This is important to do now because once you prime the wood you won’t be able to rub it out.

Step 2

Paint your wood with your matte acrylic medium and let it thoroughly dry. This does change the texture of the wood and make it a bit rougher so I do try to go with the grain.

Step 3

Go over your lines using your paint pens. This is the scary step, make a mistake there’s no going back!

DIY name sign: make your own family sign out of wood and acrylic paint pens.

And that’s it, really simple! If only it hadn’t taken me 2 tries…

Let me know below, what are your biggest crafting fails? Have you ever been overly cocky like me and paid for it?

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