how to make a custom verse sign {tutorial}

how to make a custom verse sign

 so some of you may remember my little project for our church over the summer. i made a bunch of these verse signs in an effort to make money for our church’s sister church in Russia. {you can see this post here}.

i am just finishing up the last few orders for the summer and then i’m going to take a big long break from making word signs. {ya, we’ll see how long that lasts}


we gave the sample board to my brother in law when he came to visit a couple of weeks ago. doesn’t it look awesome in his room next to some of his other art?

anyway, i have had quite a few compliments on them and i wanted to share with you how you can make your own!


  • wood boards cut to size. {mine were 18×24 and 24×24…rather large!}  also-the helpful guy at home depot said i could just buy a portion of the 4×8 foot board if i wanted, but i was going to make a lot, so i needed it all. but if you only wanted to make one or two, i bet you could just by half or a third of the board!
  • primer
  • word program or photoshop
  • printer
  • modge podge or glue
  • contact paper
  • scissors/exacto knife and pencil
  • paint {white and color}
  • hanging wire
  • lots of time {!} i’m serious, each one takes me 2-4 hours.

first things first… here are all my boards and primer in the back of my car! i bought  1/4″ mdf and then had the guys at home depot cut it down to size. easy peasy.



step 1:

prime your boards.

while they are drying,  next you need to type up your verse. i used photoshop to make a full size version of my posters. that means that each image in photoshop was already 18×24. i’m pretty sure you can do this in word or most other programs as well. this helps you get the spacing right. it also allows you to make the “stickers” as you see in the next step.

**note: the simpler the font you use, the easier it will be to cut out…as you can tell some of my earlier signs used a serif font…made my partner in crime{aka, Husbuddy} a little crazy! so we simplified and still loved the results. 


then, the most important thing: save it as a pdf and then print as a poster. {unless you have access to a plotter or something to print full size 18×24 sheets of paper. but most of us don’t have one of those handy things at home… someday i might in my own architecture office…but until then, this is what i do.}

this is how to print as a poster from adobe:

how to print


step 2:

take your printed sheets and tape them together.

when you have your template ready, modge podge or glue your template to the contact paper. this is how we make “stickers” of our custom verse. {i guess you could also go buy a pack of premade stickers from the store and just stick them to your board but it would be hard to find the right size and it would get way more expensive!}

putting together poster

step 3:

draw guidelines on your board for each line of words from your template.

cut out every letter. the tedious part. oi. {helpful hint, do this while watching your favorite tv show…}

stick it on the board. {rub each letter with the back of the knife or something to really get it to stick!} sometimes the printed paper falls off the contact paper. that’s ok, you only need the contact paper anyway.

pasting letters combined

step 4:

get out your paint and marvel at how easy it is to paint over the letters!  paint 2 coats minimum.

{sorry for the grainy pic guys…it was late at night and in an effort to get up really close, it grainified!…is that a word? nope. well, it is now.}


step 5:

once you have the color and peel off the letters while paint is still slightly wet.

pulling up words

as you can see, sometimes a little bit of your color paint gets under the stickers. it’s ok! don’t freak out! but look at how easy it will be now to just go over each letter with a new coat of white paint!

{sorry again for the grainy picture, i took it while working hard late at night} 

letters up close combined


step 6:

use a small brush and paint over the white letters to clean up all the edges. it’s ok if your hand isn’t perfectly steady or if you mess up. these are handmade, works of art that are bringing to life scripture in an unique way! finished painting

step 7:

after it has dried over night {so you don’t smear the paint} sand the piece! there were times i was tempted to leave it nice and crisp, but sanding it took away all the imperfections, the way you could feel the letters raised from the white paint and smoothed the board. it also gives it a more finished feel.

tada! you’re done! it’s probably not perfect. but neither is life. hee hee. i kinda love that scripture can speak to us even when we’re not perfect.

i hope you guys do this project too! !

combined closeup

now i’m off to finish a few more of these babies.

let me know if you have any questions and i’d LOVE to hear what verse you would pick if/when you make your own!

xo-kimberly renee

PS-the giveaway is still open until tomorrow at noon! go subscribe on the right of this post to automatically be entered to win!! 

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