Creating a rustic woodsy sign is easy and quick. There are few material or tools needed.
TOOLS and EQUIPMENT
Saw (if you can't find a board the size you want)
Board (preferably pine or other soft wood)
1" wire nails, finish head
Willow branches 1/4"-3/8" in diameter (remove the side branches)
Picture hanging supplies
-Small screw eyes
Black or dark brown paint or ebony stain, brush, cleanup materials (optional)
Step 1: Twig Sign Basics
Determine what you want you sign to show and how large it will be. I suggest that you stick with capital letters. The TAKE A HIKE sign in this Instructable is 7-1/2" x 17-1/2". It is rough sawn, not a a smooth piece like you would find at a lumber yard. The top row letters are 2-1/4" high and the bottom row letters are 3" high. The bottom row letters are also of larger diameter twigs, for emphasis.
You might want to do some practice layouts on paper the same size as your sign. Once you know the size and spacing, transfer guide lines to the wood. I start by putting a twig border around the edge nails every 4-5". With lines in place all you need to do is cut the branches to fit the letter guides and nail them in place. Two nails per piece should do it.
Freshly cut willow is easy to work with. It is easy to nail and is flexible for minor corrections.
If the lettering twigs are too light to show up well you can paint or stain the letters for more contrast.
Step 2: Adding the Hanger
To add the picture hanger to the back of the board, lightly draw a line above and parallel to the centerline of the board. Install small screw eyes on the line about 3" from the left and right edges of the board. Secure hanger wire to each eye, leaving a little slack in the wire.
Sign and date the back and hang your sign. I added a little short tern Fall plant material to mine, in keeping with the theme.