Ye Olde Tavern Sign




My daughter and son-in-law enjoy touring craft breweries and wineries. They adopted a sweet little dog and named her Brew. I remembered that my parents had this reproduction tavern sign hanging in their kitchen when I was a child. I dug it out of the garage, blew off the dust, and got to work creating a personalized "old" pub sign for my daughter and her husband for Christmas.

Step 1: Choose Your Wood

First, you will need a board or an old sign. If you enjoy hunting through thrift stores, ebay, or simply smelling fresh sawdust at your local hardware store-this project promises fun!

If you cannot find a sign or an old piece of wood, simply head to the hardware store and have wood cut to size. Craft stores can supply metal hooks or rope for hanging.

Step 2: Strip

Using stripper to remove the old varnish and paint I was able to get a fairly clean, blank area to work with.

Step 3: Sand, Sand, Sand...

After scraping the varnish and old paint away, the surface was not as smooth as I had hoped. I used a hand sander to smooth and clear away any remaining varnish.

Step 4: Style Search

I knew I wanted my daughter's dog to be the center piece of the pub sign.I found several old tavern signs by doing a search on google, old pub signs, old tavern signs. I found so many great vintage signs and selected elements and ideas from several. However, finding a small fat dog image was not as easy, I knew I needed to dramatically change the image for dog.

Step 5: Copy, Cut, Edit, Copy, Cut, Edit

I found an image I could start with and then put it into a Word document. I edited to reflect the true size and shape of my daughter's chubby dog, Brew. I then printed it out in black and white. I cut the dog shape and the dog bowl from the printer paper.

Step 6: Detail, Glue to Background

I had to create my own background as my paper was not large enough for the size needed. I used cray-pas/oil pastels to create the fine detail of the dog and the bowl. I then took it to Staples and had it printed on regular printer paper.

Step 7: Create the Words

I created the words using the printer, a pencil, and scissors. Scribble on the back of the printer paper with words using a pencil. Position the paper words where you need them, trace over them with pencil. You will see a faint image of the letters and be able to use a paint pen to fill in the letters.

Step 8: Attaching the Image

Spread Modge Podge made for photo transfer, or a gel medium over the surface of the wood. Position your picture and carefully spread a thin coat-like a thin coat of paint-across the back of the printer paper with the picture facing the wood. DO NOT touch it for at least 24 hours.

Step 9: Pick It

When it is completely dry use a damp cloth to get the paper wet. Then, pick or roll off the paper. The picture will now be transferred to the wood! *I did use oil pastels to clarify the image and create shadows. Finally, I sprayed the entire image with a matte sealer.

Homemade Gifts Contest 2017

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2017



    • Sensors Contest

      Sensors Contest
    • Frozen Treats Challenge

      Frozen Treats Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest

    7 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Nice! This is actually an idea that's been on my to-do list for years . . I've wanted to make an "old" pub style sign basically just like this! It's great to see how yours turned out. Very inspiring!!

    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Very well done. Classy and whimsical at the same time.

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, it was fun!


    1 year ago

    Wow, this is great!


    1 year ago

    Awww! That is absolutely precious! You did a great job on the painting :)

    1 reply