Crafts Crafts

Crafty Farm Girl’s Carved Wooden Farm Sign

Now I’ve never carved anything in wood in my life, but recently I got it into my head that I needed a beautiful carved sign to hang in front of my farm (that is once I get my realfarm, not this dinky little thing I call a farm here).

I’ve seen some lovely signs hanging outside of farms. Something for everyone to notice as they are driving by. My farm will need one of those. Signs like these:

When I went to my local lumberyard they told me they didn’t have a board in the width that I needed and sent me up to the Woodworker’s Store. There they helped me pick out a piece of basswood, which is soft carving wood with very little grain, and I paid a small fee for the shop to glue three lengths together to get the desired size of 18″ wide by 24″ tall. They did an amazing job and you literally could not find the three seams where the boards were joined. Even when I was carving it I couldn’t tell where they were. From there I took my logo to the local Fedex/Kinko’s and enlarged my logo so that it would fit proportionately on the board. Then with my home-made lightbox I used some white craft paper from a roll I have and copied the taped together image onto the one larger pieces of paper. Using regular old carbon paper I pieced four pieces together to get the proper size, laid the copied image over that and taped it onto the board. With a well-sharpened pencil I traced the image onto the wood.

Then using some of the carving tools I’d bought while at the Woodworker’s Store I just started. I had no idea what I was doing, but I generally had a picture in my mind of what I wanted it to look like. It was really fun. It was calming. At the end of the night I would spend a half an hour peacefully working on it. I played with textures and shapes. I love the straight cuts I made to look the barn like siding. I love the way the spool/door looks.

Now I had to paint it. I chose the same colors that were in my Crafty Farm Girl Logo. I used normal craft paint that you can buy at any craft store. The work was very very detailed however, as I wanted the paint only in the actual logo and words and not on the wood as I planned on staining that and keeping it a natural wood color. Luckily my father (a qualifier for the show Hoarders, but he’s working on letting go of stuff) had an old magnifying light that worked perfectly for my needs. I literally couldn’t have painted this without it. I also, thankfully, have tons of paintbrushes in every shape and size.

Then, even with a magnified light there were still parts where the paint came out over the edge of the letters or barn logo, so I had to go in with very fine sandpaper and sand the paint off.

All sanded and ready for stain. The stain came out much darker than I anticipated. I wanted a light finish on it. This may have been that I didn’t use a stain preparation liquid first so the stain just sucked right into the wood quickly.

Anyway, I wasn’t thrilled with it the way it was, so I lightly sanded it which removed some of the color from the high points in the carving, and I liked the way that looked since it showed the texture better.

Then I put a very light coat of stain on and multiple coats of polyurethane that I sanded very very lightly with very fine grit sandpaper in-between coats.


It’s finished for now. I’ve got too many other things on my list, but one day I’ll built a frame of sorts around it like a real farm sign and put at the front of my farm. For now though it was really fun to do and to learn, at least the beginnings, of how to carve.


  1. very cool! I’m so impressed. No wonder you are jonesing for more hours in the day…

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