DIY Wooden Nursery Sign with Cricut Lettering

My brother and sister-in-law just had their second baby!! We are all so thrilled and I was especially thrilled when they asked if I could help them make some artwork for their new nursery.

They found a couple signs they loved, but did not want to pay the high price point for them ($155 from here was the inspiration). These signs are absolutely brilliant, beautiful and well crafted, but with a new baby on the way it was hard to justify spending that much on something we could make. Check out their shop for more inspiration! If you understood how handy my brother is, you would know he could knock this project out in a couple hours. So we joined forces and made something custom for this sweet baby boy’s new room.

First, they decided on a dimension 20″ x 40″. I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 to create the vinyl lettering. I weeded the letters and put on the transfer tape before mailing it to them so when they received it all they had to do was stick the letters to the base. Here are the letters ready to get shipped.

While these cute letters were in the mail, my brother started on the base and frame. The materials you will need to finish this project are listed below. Between my brother and me, we had all the materials needed laying around so this project cost us the price of shipping the vinyl, roughly $7. Below I’ve linked similar products that can be used.

MAterials neededcost
1/4″ Plywood$0
2×2 Lumber$0
Wood Stain$0
Chalk Paint$0
Picture Frame Hanging Kit$0
Black Permanent Vinyl$0
Shipping$7
Total Costs$7

Below are all the tools we used to put this together.

Tools needed
Table SawAmazon
Table Saw Miter SystemAmazon
Cross cut Sled Tutorial
Picture Frame Jig (if you don’t want to buy the miter system)Tutorial
Cricut Explore Air 2

First step: Assemble your materials. Here is the plywood with the cross cut sled system assembled. The cross sled is going to make perfect 90 degree cuts, so it will be a lot less fuzzy when you go to assemble later.

For your frame pieces you will use the 2×2 lumber. Cut each piece a little longer than the frame itself at least two lengths at least 44″ and two lengths at least 24″. Don’t worry about cutting it to size yet, we will get there. Cut 3/8″ deep grooves centered on one edge.

Rip your plywood into 4″ widths and 40″ lengths. If you don’t have a table saw, you can ask Lowes or Home Depot to cut these lengths for you. Because we are creating a rigid frame from the 2×2 lumber, the boards in the middle do not have to be super rigid and thick. This plywood is what we had, but you can use any other thin wood. Just make sure you are adjusting the thickness of your grooves to fit the thickness of the boards.

Next step is to paint the plywood you just ripped. Chalk paint is great to use because you don’t need as much prep work to get the paint to stick to the plywood material and it goes on thick. We’re going for a farmhouse vibe here, so a matte paint works well.

Now all the pieces are painted its time to glue them together. Turn the planks over, painted side down and push the strips snug against each other. My brother used scrap pieces of plywood to glue the strips together. You could use a full sheet if you want, just make sure you do not cover the edges because you need to slide the edges into your frame. Note, the more you use the heavier your piece will be.

While the glue is drying you can assemble the frame. Measure out the exact dimensions of your final painted boards and then miter the corners of your 2×2 pieces of wood at 45 degree angles. They should all fit snug against each other and around the 4 planks. Put wood glue in the grooves at only the mitered corners and push the frame around the plywood again. You can use clamps to make sure they stay in place.

Now it’s starting to take shape! Once all your pieces are dried and you have your vinyl letters, arrange the letters on the board where you like. You can measure, or you can eyeball the general location of the letters, but using a piece of painter’s tape will help you find a straight line. The cursive letters don’t matter as much.

If you don’t have a Cricut, you can always freehand the letters, order some from another Cricut maker shop (Etsy has a lot of them), or buy stencils.

To hang this to the wall, they used a wire and picture hanging kit. I linked a similar one above. Screw these in about 1/3 down from the top of the frame, even on both sides.

Here is the final product! Extra thanks for Ken for being willing to take photos and document this process. Do you think he should share more tutorials?? (I do!)

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