The making of a vintage sign.

I can't tell you how many emails I receive asking ..

"how do you make your signs"?

I'm often asked..

"can you show me a picture of my special order before it's painted"?

In these days and times so much is instant.

Computer generated.

Not me.

I'm a old school er. LOL

So for those of you wondering,,,

here we go..

1) It starts with an inspiration.

While in New Orleans, I spotted this jewel of a sign. I snapped a photo from the street looking into a business. The sign appeared to be quite old so no worries with copyright issues.

2). I took that inspiration and went with it, starting with good old freezer paper and pencil.

The original sign was metal, had neon lights and was huge so I tweaked it to work for me.

3). After I had my design drawn out, I cut around the edges.

Using my paper pattern, I cut out my wood using a piece of birch.

It's a smooth wood and works well for many of my pieces.

I love the retro style..

4).I gave a couple coats of navy craft paint.

5). Using my paper pattern, I traced over my design onto the wood.

I don't use stencils for my letters.

I print them out from my computer or draw my own.

Starting to take shape!

After my painting is complete, I sand the edges.

6). I wanted this sign to look really old so I really roughed it up.

I hit the edges with just a touch of stain to complete the aging process.

All done!

I hope this post explains a little of my crazy process.

This sign measures 24 1/4" x 14" and is for sale.

If interested, you can email me at

I would be happy to share more info with you.

xoxox Susie


  1. You are amazingly talented!

  2. Wow! That is one wonderful sign! Thank you so very much for showing us the process that you go through to make your signs.

  3. hey there.
    so happy to hear that yall are all okay and have power again. i thought of yall and prayed when i saw it was going to visit your neck of the woods.
    looks like you made the bet of it and there is so much to be said for famiy down time together.
    we went through many hurricanes in florida and enjoyed the camping lifestyle too.
    love your signs and the fact that you do it old school style. have several signs from a woman that painted for Disney and she was taught old school too before everything was computerized. i cherish them.
    also i see your signs on pinterest here and there and i am always like oh that is one of susie's! :) you have a unique style girl.

  4. Isn't it funny, how I look at your work and I love it, but i just don't have the patience to do it yet put a cake in front of me and, well I'm in heaven. Love the sign and I know the folks that I'm giving the others too for Christmas will be delighted. Love and hugs my friend

  5. Love your sign and your "old school" process! You're very talented! I'm glad you survived Isaac. I'm in MS and Isaac rained BIG buckets on us ... we survived, too!

  6. I too love your "old school" process. Sometimes you have to just get back to the basics. You are an extremely talanted person. Thumbs up on the sign. :)

  7. I'm glad you guys survived Isaac! This was interesting to see. Be on the lookout - I dropped an envelope in the mail for you containing an order for that fabulous yellow sign!

  8. cool beans there. Does look like one of those old neon signs.

    Awesome job at this.

    warm hugs,

    Cotton Peony

  9. In the picture after step #4, I noticed in the background, what looks to be a HOG sign.....could I see more of that?

  10. Hey Susie!
    Love your sign. You always come up with something different from everything out there. Thanks for sharing your process. I too love to old school it with the same process when I make my signs on canvas.
    Your oyster sign got me hungry for oysters. Have you ever been to Drago's? There is nothing like chargrilled oysters! and Drago's does them best.

  11. I make signs with the same process as you, but mine are usually rectangle and I just love how you shaped that sign. It's wonderful!

  12. Beautiful sign full of NOLA charm! I also love the "Woo Pig Sooie" sign in the background - would you sell one like that!?

  13. Hi Susie - Just stumpled upon your blog via Pinterest. Gotta love it! I have a quick question and would so appreciate a quick answer if you have a moment. When you say you traced over your design to get the letters on the wood, what do you mean? Did you have the letters on paper and then "draw" on top of the paper so they indent into the wood? I see that often but I swear, I cannot get it to work for me!!! I'm at my wits end! My next step is to go out and buy a Silhouette machine for $300! I just do this for fun - no business side for me so I really don't want to spent that money! Also, I cannot stencil. Just can't - tried it - hate it. Thanks so much. I look forward to hanging out on your blog and see your other awesome creations!

    Jaye @ Just Trying to Make Cents of it All

  14. I love your genorosity...that you sell a product, but would share the how to is beyond generous. Thanks so much! :)


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