Introduction: It's a Sign: a Personalized Gift

About: At the Eureka! Factory, we love making things, and thinking about things, and learning about things, and enjoy helping empower others to a curiosity driven life, too, so we can all live and learn in meaningful…

We're super big fans of the Gourmet Grandpa, not just because of his amazing cooking skills, but because he's also an awesome father and grandfather. We do a lot of cool, crafty and tasty things at Eureka Factory, but we come by our thirst for creative endeavors somewhat genetically,and we wanted to give our Maker Forefather something befitting his stature as the head chef of his kitchen and beloved person in our lives.

Hence, a handmade shingle for his kitchen that we think celebrates his achievements in the true maker spirit, and his signature place in our hearts.

There's probably someone in your life who would appreciate the gift of a personalized sign for his or her kitchen, garage or elsewhere in their home or place of business. What follows is a step by step look at how we made the Gourmet Grandpa's sign, that you can easily adapt for that special person in your life.

Step 1: Materials

You'll need some version of the following for this Instructable:

  • Scrap wood (we used some leftover wood from a pallet)
  • Wood stain
  • Sealant
  • oil or acrylic paint
  • Small Dremel tool style router
  • sandpaper or sander and planer
  • leather or rope for assembly and hanging

Step 2: Measure & Cut Wood

We made this sign out of two 18 inch long pieces of about 1"x 4" pallet slats. You can make your sign out of a single piece of wood, of course, but we wanted a hanging shingle style sign, so we cut two pieces of wood to connect via leather when finished.

Step 3: Prepare Wood

We planed and sanded our two little slats to make them nice and clean and smooth. This is the time to drill your holes, too, if you'll be hanging with either rope or leather, or to attach picture frame hangers if you'll be displaying that way.

Step 4: Create Titling

We decided on a nice frontier style font for the Gourmet Grandpa sign. Whatever you use, space carefully to ensure the letters were a good readable height and width, and the words are centered on your board. We free handed the letters, but you could also stencil or use a Silhouette Portrait to create the lettering.

Step 5: Engrave

We used a Dremel tool to lightly carve the outlines of each letter. You can sand off any raised or splintered wood from your routing, or engraving, or leave as is, for a rougher look.

Step 6: Stain Wood

We used a dark wood stain but you can use whatever you'd like to achieve the effects unique to your own gift sign. Then we hung the wood to dry completely.

Step 7: Paint

In our case, we painted in the letters in a contrasting color with oil paint - pale yellow for our purposes - then outlined in black and set aside to dry again. It's been super humid in Tampa, so it took forever to dry, so depending on where you live, you might prefer to use a different type of paint, like acrylics.

Step 8: Seal

When it's dry, you can varnish or otherwise seal the finished artwork on your wood. Since this sign will be kept indoors, we just used a light coat of clear fixative as a protectant coat. If the sign is intended for outdoor use, protect accordingly.

Allow the sealant to dry before proceeding to the next step.

Step 9: Assemble Sign

We cut leather strips from some leather left over from another project, to connect the two pieces of wood, about a finger width apart, and then attached a longer piece at the top to use as the hanger.

Step 10: Gift!

The Gourmet Grandpa was suitably pleased with his handmade sign which I'm sure we'll see hanging in his kitchen soon!

Bon Apetit, Grandpa Ed, and happy sign making, to the rest of you!

You can find some good eats from the Gourmet Grandpa at and find more 'ibles from all of us at

Leftovers Challenge

Participated in the
Leftovers Challenge

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015