DIY Merry Christmas Wood Sign

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas decor ideas. You should add this DIY Merry Christmas wood sign to your list! It’s a fun and creative way to get into the holiday spirit, and it’s a great project to do with family or friends.

Follow along for step-by-step instructions on how to create this charming sign and make your home merry and bright for the holidays.

before photo of a Merry Christmas sign

First of all, having a Merry Christmas sign is a great way to add some festive flair to your home during the holiday season. It’s a simple yet impactful decoration that can instantly bring joy and cheer to any room.

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Plus, with so many options for personalization and design, you can make it truly unique to your own style.

But purchasing a Merry Christmas sign can often be expensive, and not everyone wants to splurge on holiday decorations. That’s where making your own comes in! Not only is it a budget-friendly option, but it also allows you to create something that is one-of-a-kind and special.

You don’t have to be an expert crafter to create a beautiful Christmas sign – just follow these simple steps!

Supplies Used for DIY Merry Christmas Wood Sign

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Cutting Plywood to Size

To start off your project, you will need to cut a piece of 1/2″ plywood to the size of the Belles and Whistles Dixie Belle Decoupage Rice Paper design called “Snowed In“, which measures 11.5″ x 8” tall.

We used the top half of this decoupage paper design, while the other design was used for a different Christmas sign.

This is an important step as it sets the foundation for your sign. Make sure to measure carefully and use the correct tools for cutting. If you don’t have a saw, most hardware stores can cut the plywood for you.

Here’s how to decoupage furniture with rice paper to learn more about how to apply decoupage on furniture.

Sanding Edges of Plywood

Once you have your plywood cut to size, it’s important to sand down any rough edges or splinters. This will not only make handling the sign safer, but it will also create a smoother surface for painting and applying the decoupage paper.

We recommend using sandpaper with a medium grit like 220 grit sandpaper for this step. Sand the edges until they are smooth to the touch.

Creating Sign Frame

Next, you will need to create a frame for your sign. We used wood furring strips and cut two pieces at 8″ long and the other two pieces at 13″ long using a miter saw.

If you don’t have access to one, you can also use alternative methods such as a hand saw or having the hardware store cut them for you.

photo of cutting wood with miter saw

Just like the plywood, it’s important to sand down any rough edges or splinters on the frame. Use 220 grit sandpaper then clean up any dust with a tack cloth.

Painting Plywood

For our sign, we used black Waverly chalk paint in the color Ink and a Zibra fan brush to cover the plywood. This paint dries quickly, usually within 30 minutes, and provides full coverage. If you’re new to this paint, here’s everything you need to know about Waverly chalk paint.

You can also check out our Waverly chalk paint review for our honest thoughts and tips.

applying Waverly chalk paint to plywood using a Zibra brush

You can use any color you like – it’s all about personal preference! Let the paint dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Staining Wood Frame

For the staining process, we used Lilly Moon Gel Stain in the color Old Fashioned. We love this gel stain for its quick drying time and lack of strong odor, making it perfect for indoor projects.

Using Lily Moon gel stain to stain the wood frame

To get an even application and to make the stain stretch further, we sprayed a light mist of water onto the raw wood before brushing on the gel stain.

This also helps slow down the drying time so you have more time to work with it. Be sure to apply the gel stain evenly on every side of the wood pieces, and let them dry completely.

If you’re not familiar with staining, here’s our tutorial on how to stain wood you can use as your guide.

Applying Decoupage Paper

To apply the decoupage paper to the plywood, line up the design and tape it in place on the top side of the sign. This will keep it in place while you work.

Lift up the rice paper and use a paintbrush to apply a coat of Varathane water-based polyurethane to the black painted plywood, then carefully lay the decoupage rice paper onto the polyurethane.

Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles, making sure the design is straight and aligned with the edges of the plywood.

photo of applying tape and brushing Varathane polyurethane to glue the design to the wood

This polyurethane glues the decoupage paper to the plywood. Once it’s dry, you can move on to sealing the decoupage paper.

Sealing Decoupage Paper

Before doing so, you should cut the excess decoupage paper around the edges of the sign. We cut ours using sandpaper to also sand the edges down at the same time. With this way, you’ll have a clean and smooth edge.

cutting excess decoupage paper with a sandpaper then applying topcoat

After trimming the excess, seal the decoupage paper with another coat of Varathane water-based polyurethane using a paintbrush. This will protect the design and make it more durable for long-term use.

We also recommend using a matte sheen for a non-shiny finish. You can explore our list of topcoats for painting furniture if you prefer a different finish or for other options for sealing.

Attaching Frame to Plywood Sign

After the poly dries, and with the frame and plywood pieces now fully prepared, it’s time to attach them together. You can use a nailer or simply hammer in small nails to secure the frame onto the plywood sign.

If you prefer not to use nails, you can also use wood glue or even instant super glue. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the product for proper application.

For the frame excess, we carefully positioned most of it on the back of the sign so that it doesn’t stick out more than 1/4″ past the front, giving it a clean and finished look. You can also create a sign on the back side of this sign for a two-in-one decoration.

Check out this DIY Santa Painting with Decoupage Rice Paper as an inspiration for the back side. This works unless you are planning to hang the sign up from the back.

Or go through my list of unique DIY Christmas signs to spark your creative ideas. Here are wooden Christmas door signs that you can hang outside to welcome your guests this Christmas season.

photo of wood frame attached to plywood

Now that your sign is complete, it’s time to display it proudly in your home! You can add additional embellishments such as ribbons, bows, or even lights for an extra festive touch.

Get creative and have fun with it – after all, it’s your unique Merry Christmas sign that you can proudly say you made yourself!

Here’s another small Merry Christmas sign that’s simple enough for beginners but still allows room for creativity and personalization. Or if you want something different, this Merry Christmas standing sign can be placed anywhere in your home.

Sprinkle your home with more homemade wooden Christmas decorations for a unique and personal touch.

close up view of Christmas sign with stained wood frame
full view photo of Merry Christmas wood sign

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

close up view of Christmas sign

DIY Merry Christmas Wood Sign

DIY Merry Christmas wood sign

Create this DIY Merry Christmas wood sign and make your home merry and bright for the holidays.


  1. Measure and cut a piece of 1/2" plywood to the size of your chosen decoupage paper design. Make sure to use the correct tools for cutting, or have the hardware store cut it for you.
  2. Sand down any rough edges or splinters on the plywood with 220 grit sandpaper. This will create a smooth surface for painting and decoupage.
  3. Cut wood furring strips to create a frame for your sign using a miter saw or alternative methods like a hand saw. Make sure to sand down any rough edges on the frame as well.
  4. Paint the plywood with your desired color, such as black Waverly chalk paint in Ink. Let it dry completely.
  5. Stain the wood frame with your preferred stain, such as Lilly Moon Gel Stain in Old Fashioned. Apply evenly and let it dry completely.
  6. Line up and tape the decoupage paper onto the top side of the painted plywood. Use a paintbrush to apply Varathane water-based polyurethane to glue the paper onto the wood. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
  7. Cut the excess decoupage paper using sandpaper for a clean edge. Seal the paper with another coat of polyurethane for durability and protection.
  8. Attach the frame to the plywood sign using nails, wood glue, or super glue - whichever method you prefer. Make sure it is securely attached.
  9. Position most of the excess frame on the back of the sign for a clean and finished look. Add embellishments like ribbon or lights to make it your own unique creation.

Recommended Products

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before photo of a Merry Christmas sign

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