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Creating a custom DIY welcome sign is the perfect way to greet your guests and make them feel like they’re at home! This tutorial will show you two ways to make a vertical welcome sign using simple supplies and tools so you can make your own whether you have a Cricut machine or not!
Recently I completely refreshed my front door area and it didn’t feel “done” until I created my unique welcome sign. I made mine with some extra material I already had on hand and love how it turned out! If you can’t find wood or wood is too expensive right now, not to worry!
In this post, I’m going to show you two ways to make your own sign. If you want to read more about how to decorate a front porch on a budget, read click here.
- Using inexpensive stuff you could pick up at a Target, Walmart or Dollar Tree
- Using your Cricut machine for a truly custom look!
It’s customizable for each season and holiday!
When I started out making my design, I just had the plain letters and it just didn’t feel “right”. I wanted something more festive and original.
Fall is just around the corner so I decided to add some unique elements to my vertical welcome sign! When you download my design you’ll see that I include a pumpkin and a snowflake to get you started! You can use these to update your sign as the seasons change and I’ll be sure to add more options in the future!
I’ll explain how to use these in my step-by-step guide.
Is making a DIY Welcome Sign hard?
Getting all the letters spaced and aligned perfectly on a big project like a vertical welcome sign can be a bit difficult but don’t worry! I‘ll show you some tips that will really help you as you put your sign together! With these tips – making your DIY welcome sign will be a breeze!
How to Make a DIY Welcome Sign with a Cricut Machine
First I’m going to show you how to make this vertical welcome sign using my FREE SVG and a Cricut Machine. If you don’t have a Cricut machine though, don’t worry – you can easily turn this craft into a dollar store welcome sign project and I’ll share how using precut letters at the end.
The beauty of this project is that all you’ll need is is a long board of some sort, some vinyl, and maybe some paint (I didn’t use paint though). Your welcome sign doesn’t even need to be made of wood – you could reuse something you already have like a vinyl floor plank! (That’s what I did!)
The hardest parts of this project, is sizing and letter placement so be sure to read the instructions below carefully or watch my video to see how I do it. I’ll explain why I use the vinyl I use, how to customer your sign for each season, how to sign the cut file for your board, and how you can get creative with the board you use!
Let’s start with my step-by-step video tutorial that will show you sizing and placement…
MATERIALS FOR This DIY Welcome Sign
You can easily find the main materials you’ll need for this project in my DIY Vertical Welcome Sign Amazon Shopping List.
- Permanent Vinyl in a high contrast color like white if your board is dark. I like this one.
- A different color Vinyl for your seasonal details – I like this orange one for the fall and Halloween and this one for the winter!
- A board to use as your sign – You can buy a plank of board from a store like Home Depot or use something you might have on hand. I used a long vinyl floor plank because I already had it on hand!
- A cutting machine and Standard Grip Mat. I love my Cricut Machine but a Silhouette works too!
- My free DIY Welcome Sign SVG from my resource library (patten #C15)
- Paint (Optional)
If you’re a fan of decor, you will want to check out my upcoming guide to decorating your front porch! I share lots of great ways you can easily transform your front door area and really make this sign shine!
For this project I recommend using permanent vinyl for your letters. It’s significantly more durable and will hold up better. Even if your sign is going to be under an overhang like mine and not get rained on directly, it will be exposed to changing weather conditions. Permanent vinyl will last much better when the seasons change.
Alternate Color Vinyl
In the materials list above I link to two additional colors. Click on the links above to see these gorgeous vinyl colors – they are just stunning! You will use these other colors to customize your sign for the fall and winter. In this post I just share two other options but you could do many others too!
For these alternate colors, I don’t recommend permanent vinyl because you will remove them when the seasons change. Here’s what I mean…
You start out with a DIY welcome sign that says “WELCOME”. In the fall, you remove the “O” and replace it with a pumpkin! Then in the winter, you remove the pumpkin and replace it with a sparkly snowflake! And so on… You can do a sunflower in the spring, a Santa for Christmas etc. Whatever you like!
Free Vertical Welcome Sign SVG
To make this welcome sign and easily line up all the letters, you’re going to need my free patterns! Fill out this form to get a FREE copy of my pattern as an SVG file and a PDF. You’ll get everything you need to make this by hand or with the help of a cutting machine like a Cricut.
Board for your Vertical Welcome Sign
The ideal size for this welcome size is around 8″ by 46″ but you could really choose whatever you prefer!
Your local home improvement store should have lots of wood plank options for you to pick from.
Tip: Many home improvement stores like Home Depot will cut the wood planks in their store for free so you can get the size you want!
For my DIY welcome sign, I decide to use something I already had on hand – A stiff vinyl plank we had just used in our laundry room upgrade! It’s stiff, the perfect size, and looks like dark gray wood! Perfect for my aesthetic!
While many people make their welcome signs out of wood, you don’t have to! If you have something on hand from a previous project that is the right size, consider using it for this project! It might be the perfect way to “reduce, reuse, recycle!” (Said in my best Bob the Builder voice…)
If you do go the route of a bare wooden plank, you will want to either stain and seal it or paint it.
Cricut Cutting Machine
For this project, I used a Cricut Explore Air 2. This is key because the Explore Air 2 and original Cricut Maker are limited to a 12×12 mat or a 12×24 mat. With the newer Explore Air 3 and Maker 3, you can cut much longer pieces of vinyl which would make this project easier. Not everyone has these newer machines though.
I’m using the Explore Air 2 to show that you can make a long vertical welcome sign like this with the Explore Air 2 amd that it’s easy with the right technique!
While you can absolutely make this project using a 12×12 mat, I find that I prefer to make it on a 12×24 cutting mat. This is because I can fit the project on 1-2 mats vs 3-4! It’s much quicker this way!
How To Make a DIY Welcome Sign with a Cricut Machine
Easy seasonal DIY Welcome Sign! This Vertical welcome sign is perfect for any front door porch and is sure to add a beautiful custom touch! Best of all, it's easy to change up for each season!
Step 1: Download my FREE DIY Welcome Sign SVG Cut File
First you'll want to download a copy of my DIY Welcome Sign patter.n. It's pattern C15 in my resource library. If you don't yet have access, don't worry - it's free! Just Just click here and within minutes you'll get access to my password protected page of goodies!
If you already have access, but forgot the password, just check my last email and it's at the bottom!
Step 2: Import my cut file into Design Space
Next you'll need to unzip the file you got from my library. This is a key step because Design Space can't read zip files.
To unzip, you can right click on the file and choose "Extract" if you're on a PC.
Next, locate the "Welcome Sign.svg" and the "Pumpkin and Snowflake.svg" files in the folder. These are the ones you will want to import. Here's how:
1. Open Cricut Design Space
2. Click “New Project”
3. Click “Upload”
4. Click “Upload Image”
5. Select the SVG file that you’d like to use
6. Click “Upload”
7. Select the files you just uploaded from the library
8. Click “Insert Images”
Step 3: Resize the Vertical Welcome Sign
Now you're going to want to resize the letters to fit the size of your board.
1. Measure the board you'll be using for this DIY Welcome Sign and then create a rectangle in design space that is the same size. In my case, I made a 8.5" by 46" rectangle. To do this, click on the shape icon, the select square. Then while the square is still selected, click the little lock icon and then enter in your dimension.
2. Now you will wan to right click on that shape and choose "Send backwards".
3. Now slide the welcome sign letters over the rectangle and adjust the size of the letters until it fits inside the rectangle and you like the sizing. In my case the letters were a bit more narrow on the board than I liked so I stretched them wider. You can do this too by selecting the letters, clicking on the lock icon again, and then stretching your letters wider.
4. Once you like how the letters look, right click on the letters and select "ungroup".
5. Now you'll want to adjust the size of the pumpkin or snowflake if you'll be using them. Drag the shape you want to use over the letter O and stretch it until you like how it looks using the letter O and the surrounding letters as a guide. Watch my video for more tips on this step.
6. When you like how everything looks, click on the rectangle and then on the X to delete it. We won't need it.
Step 4: Cut the WELCOME letters and images out of vinyl
Now it's time to bring your vertical DIY welcome sign to life and cut our vinyl!
Just click make it!
I prefer to make this project on a 12x24 mat because I'm using a roll of vinyl and this let's me cut everything in 1-2 passes through the machine versus 3-4. If you have a 12x24 mat and want to do this too, you'll now need to click on the drop down and select the 12x24 mat size.
If you plan to cut it on 12x12 mats, that works fine too! Just leave it be then.
Next you'll want to spread your letters out. After the vinyl is cut, I recommend cutting each letter (and it's associated guide-boxes) that each is easier to weed. It's hard to weed as one long 24" piece of vinyl.
To be able to do this, we need to spread the letters out on the mat preview as much as possible. If you've never done this before, watch my video to see this step in action.
Once you're done, click continue and then select the right material. Make sure you select a type of vinyl otherwise your machine won't cut it properly and you may end up wasting precious vinyl and time.
Step 5: Apply your vinyl to your welcome sign board
This step is a bit tricky if you don't know the trick - but I'm about to explain it to you!
Each letter has a box at the top and at the bottom (except for the first and last letter which each only have one box). These boxes are used as guides to help you align and space your letters evenly.
Here's how the boxes work: The letter L has a box at the top left and a box at the bottom right. When it's time to apply your vinyl, You would line up the box at the top of the L and the bottom of the preceding letter (E) so that the corners of the boxes are touching. This will help you center the E and L and space them out. Next you would grab your letter C and line the box at the bottom of the L and the top of the C which will center them and space them out the way the preceding letters we spaced. And so on... But more on that when we get to that step.
Once you have each letter separated, you are going to weed each one.
Now, pick up your first letter - the W - and put transfer tape on it and scrape it well to make sure it's on there. Sometimes you'll want to scrape on both sides.
Then fold back the backing just enough to expose a bit of your letter (or the top box) and place it on your board. Check your placement and if you're happy, peel back the rest of the transfer paper while pressing down on the transfer tape. If you don't like the placement, you'll be able to pick it up and try again since only a bit of the vinyl touched the board!
Then scrape the transfer tape well to firmly press the vinyl into your welcome sign board. Then peel the transfer tape back.
Do this for all your letters including the letter O. We may replace the O with something else in the next step but adding it now will help make sure that the M and E are spaced correctly.
Step 6: Customize and Clean up your Welcome Sign
Now it's time to decide if you want to leave it as is or add a little touch for the holidays or seasons! You can now replace the letter O with almost any cut image and I've included two in my pattern to start you off!
When I made mine it was the beginning of fall, so I replaced the O with a pumpkin!
Just pull up the letter O and apply the pumpkin in it's place.
Don't worry - event though the O was cut out of permanent vinyl, you should still be able to remove it. If you end up with some residue where the O was, it's no big deal since you're about to cover it up with something else anyway!
Once you're done with that, go back and remove all the squares that helped you line your letters up. You'll do this within minutes of putting the letters on, so you shouldn't have any issue.
Step 7: Take a photo!
Now just give yourself a pat on the back because you made a gorgeous welcome sign that you can easily change up as you wish! Snap a photo and post it for the world to see! (and don't forget to tag @analyticalmommy so I can admire your work too!)
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How to Make a DIY Welcome Sign without a Cricut machine
If you don’t own a Cricut machine, not to worry! Yes, a Cricut makes this sort of project much more customizable and quicker to make BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t make something equally beautiful without one!
I like using my Cricut machines because it’s fast, high quality, and unique, but these machines aren’t for everyone.
If you don’t have a Cricut, you have two options!
- Head to any craft store or even the nearest dollar store and purchase some large sticker letters! Even Home Depot has them sometimes! They will be a bit harder to line up because you won’t have the alignment squares that are in my pattern but that’s okay! Just take it slow and check your placement as you go.
- Download my free template and use my PDFs as a template! You can print them out, cut them out, and then use them as a stencil or template! You may need to resize them for your board. A great way to do this is to tinker with the “percentage” function in the printer settings. For example, printing at 78% full size may be right but 100% is too big.
If you think that getting a Cricut machine might be right for you, be sure to check out my review of the Cricut Explore Air 2 to help you make your decision! Also be sure to check out my weekly newsletters as I share great sales and deals there which often include Cricut sales!
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING A DIY Welcome Sign
Absolutely! I reused a vinyl plank that I had around the house so I didn’t need to, but you can 100% paint your board. I recommend using poly over your paint just to make sure it’s really strong and holds up!
Sometimes this happens. If it does, consider sealing the wood with poly before applying that vinyl. If the vinyl is already on though and you don’t want to start over, you can gently heat it up with a heat gun or hair dryer and then press it down well again with a scraper or roller.
Anything you can find that is a good size for your space will do! Doesn’t need to be fancy – I used a vinyl flooring plank!
There isn’t a rule here but the best average size tends to be around 8 inches wide and 4-5 feet long.
No – but if you don’t use permanent vinyl then the weather may cause it to ripple and come loose. If you don’t intend for it to last forever though, that may be okay!
I’d love to see YOUR DIY Welcome Sign! Please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #analyticalmommycrafts or @analyticalmommy! I can’t wait to see how they turned out!
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