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DIY Faux Wood LAKE Sign

I will show you how to create this fun lake sign from faux wood.

You guys!

I am so excited about this DIY project today.

I. can’t. get. over. how. well. it. turned. out!


This month’s  Make It: Fun Crafts® team assignment was to come up with some summery wall art, and I knew what I wanted. A rustic vintage style (faux) wood LAKE sign – the type with the arrow pointing towards the lake.

Have you seen signs like this before? I’ve seen a ton of them in stores and online. In fact, I’ve been looking for one for a while, but the arrow ALWAYS pointed the wrong way. And since we actually live on a lake, it would look pretty weird if the arrow pointed up to the road, right?

I had my doubts that I could achieve the look I wanted with foam. Even after I read this amazing post about the faux wooden sign that Rebecca created I wasn’t sure if it would work.

But it did!

And I love it!

Even my husband was shocked it was foam – he thought I had whipped up a wooden pallet.

But, no, it really is a DIY faux wood sign. And so lightweight! I love it.

DIY rustic vintage style faux wood LAKE sign super light weight with full tutorial.

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To make this I used:

Make It: Fun Crafts® Foam Sheet – I used a full 1/2″ thick by 12″x36″ sheet
Make It: Fun Crafts® Smooth Finish
Make It: Fun® Foam Knife and Tuck & Scribe Tools (part of the Foam Tools set)
FloraCraft Styro Cutter Plus
Putty Knife
High Grit Sand Paper (I used 220 grit)
Wood stain wipes
Acrylic Craft Paint in two colours (I used Martha Stewart “Summer Linen” and “Summer Haze”)
Long ruler
Printed lettering and arrow (Download the printable LAKE template  and the  Arrow template here)
Carbon tracing paper
Jute Sisal Twine

I started by applying two or three coats of the Make It: Fun Crafts® Smooth Finish using a narrow putty knife but after the second coat, I discovered that the wider putty knife worked much better. I let it dry thoroughly and then gave it a light sand with my 220 grit sand paper.

A putty knife and a plastic container of Smooth Finish on the table.

Applying the smooth finish with the putty knife.

Next I measured out 4″ strips along the length of my foam and marked it in regular intervals. I lined up my long ruler and used it as a straight edge to cut along, creating a gap using my foam knife. This was to mimic the look of wood planks. I also used “tuck and scribe” foam tool to smooth out the cut.

To further give it an authentic wooden look, I applied wood stain (using a wipeable stain cloth) around the outside edges as well as long the “edges” of the “planks” in the middle.

Wood stain applied to the faux looking wood.

Once dry, I gave the sign a quick coat of “Summer Linen” craft paint – missing areas to allow some of the wood stain to still show in several areas (along the top, side, and “plank” edges).

Painting it white except for the edges to make it look like real wood.

Once the initial paint was dry, I lined up my arrow and lettering, taped them on using delicate painters tape, and then traced the outline using carbon paper and the end of a mechanical pencil (not the lead part – just the plastic tip was enough).

Tracing out the word LAKE with pencil on tracing paper.

The final step was the fill in the lettering using “Summer Haze”. I used a fine tipped brush to get straight-as-possible edges and went lightly around the “plank” edges so that some of the wood stain and rough edges showed through the LAKE lettering and arrow. (See the materials list above to download your own PDF versions of the lettering and arrow that I used).

Then I cut two wholes in the corner using my FloraCraft Styro Cutter Plus and threaded the jute twine through to hang it on.


The word LAKE painted in light blue.

The lake sign hanging on the wall with a star hook.

Up close look at the letter E.

Side view of the faux wooden sign.

A little blue arrow by the word lake.

Up close picture of the sign on the wall.

The sign above the coat hooks with a basket purse with flowers in it hanging on a hook.

The foyer of the house.

What is the awesome part about making this out of foam instead of wood?

  1. I did it all myself and didn’t need to get out our saws and tools to build a pallet.
  2. It is super light weight!! Perfect for spots where you don’t or can’t hang a heavy wooden sign (wooden signs can be super heavy – especially the larger ones).

The Materials I Used:

Think you might try a foam sign??

This is awesome! Pin it to remember it!

How to make a faux wood sign with FOAM tutorial poster.

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Disclosure: Thanks to FloraCraft and Make if Fun Crafts for the chance to be on the Make if Fun Team this year.

I may link up at some of these fabulous places below, for more info check out housie partiesMonday Funday Inspiration MondayNifty Thrifty Tuesday, Project Inspire{d} , Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Hit Me With Your Best Shot,  Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday From Dream to Reality, The Inspiration Exchange, Wow Us Wednesday, Live Laugh Rowe Live Laugh Linky, Thursdays Are Your Days, Inspire Me Please, Catch as Catch CanFabulously Creative Friday, Party Junk,  Pinworthy Projects , Link Party Palooza,, Weekend Bloggy Reading, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Spotlight SaturdaySuburbs Mama , That DIY Party


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    1. Thank you for the amazing inspiration, Rebecca! I had wondered about trying it but wasn’t convinced it would work until I saw your gorgeous project!

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