Make Stencil Overlay Garden Signs

Overlay Garden Fresh Sign

This post contains affiliate links for Dixie Belle Paint and Cutting Edge Stencils, Click here to read site terms.


Gardening at Quail Grove has been interesting and starting from scratch in a new location has been time consuming.  However, plants are growing which means keeping things simple has really benefited the outcome.

With everything growing it was time to add a new sign because every garden needs a little flair.  I have an entire chapter in my book, Startle Garden about “Garden Flair,”  learn more here. I Love Garden Flair!

The scrap wood pile is growing again which means I’ve been busy making a few signs, some crates and other fun things to remove the clutter.  Scrap wood just kind of drives me nuts after a while…

Painted the Boards First

With this garden sign we’re using an overlay stencil technique which means I used several stencils and colors of paint.  Let’s begin with the supply list just in case this is something you may want to duplicate.  I hope so, it was really fun!


  • Chop Saw, Drill, Hammer and finishing nails.
  • Scrap wood: Cedar and Pine; cut Cedar boards at 2 ft. each and Pine boards at 8 and 11 in.
  • Things I had: Antique glass door handle and 4 ft copper wire.
  • Paint and Stencil brushes.
  • Gorilla Glue and Painters Tape.
  • Dixie Belle Paint Colors and Get Stain, Rebel Yellow, Tea Rose, Midnight Sky and Voodoo Smoke.  Purchase Here
  • Cutting Edge Stencils, Rose, Farm Fresh and Cap Alphabet Letters. Purchase Here

The first step after the boards are cut is to apply a thin coat of that Rebel yellow to each base board and let it dry.  This isn’t a problem because Dixie Belle paint dries so fast you’ll be moving forward minutes later.

Rose Transfer From Cutting Edge Stencils

Beginning with the Rose Stencil

Once the boards dried I grabbed the rose stencil and began transferring with this pretty tea rose color.  Between this amazing paint and all these awesome stencils, I’m in heaven.  Get my how to Stencil tips here.

Remember to hold the stencil in addition to the tape because it will lift while you transfer.

Stencil Transfer With Tea Rose Dixie Belle Paint

This transfer was pretty easy going over both boards with a little bit of an overhang.  Once this was finished I let it dry and prepped for the next set of stencils.

Letter Stencil Applied Next

Fresh and Cap Letter Stencils

First, I transferred the word Fresh using color Midnight Sky.  After that I took my Cap letter stencil and actually cut it in half prior to make it easier to work with.

These letters are awesome but the stencil was huge and a little difficult to handle. I used painters tape to line up each letter so the word Garden is even.

Cutting Edge Stencils are a lot of fun and they have so many neat designs to pick from.  Shop here if you like.

Staining the Pine Wood Next

Stain and Connect Sign

Here comes the VooDoo Smoke color from Dixie Belle Paint.  I used this to stain the connecting end boards and it took just minutes.  This stain is amazing and really is so easy to use.  Just squirt on the wood and rub in with a rag.

Once these boards are dry go ahead and connect the sign with finishing nails from the back side.  This is really easy, I flipped everything and connected one board at a time to the gray ends making sure everything was lined up correctly.

I also added the short piece to the left with a little bit of an overhang, this was optional as sometimes I just like to do things a little different.

Drilling for the Door Handle

Drilling and Adding Details

Now it was time to drill holes right through the ends so I could pull the copper through.  This is for interest and will allow an easy hanging option to the trellis in my Startle Garden.

The vintage door knob has been traveling with me for a while and it was a perfect match for this sign.

I drilled two holes without going through all the wood so the knob can sit inside secured with glue.

Make sure before you glue that knob you’ve finished adding the copper wire. These last two ideas were not planned and after I found another twisty piece connecting it via loos was just kind of fun.

Adding the copper pulls in a touch of character in addition to including a hanger.

NOTE:  I never add a protective coat to my outdoor projects and they do amazing. However, a simple matte spray finish will seal this project in minutes.

Garden Fresh Sign

The sign was hung on a cedar garden trellis with the copper hooks; this is where I planted a few blackberries.  This makes a pretty statement and now I need to uncover something fun to hang from that door knob.  Maybe another string of copper?

Making an overlay garden sign is a lot of fun, you just need to plan things out and go for it.  Do you think garden signs are on your radar for a summer project?  If they are then make sure to browse through our projects because more ideas are just a click away.

Get Creative in the Garden with Stencil Overlay Signs


  1. Patti says:

    I love it! You make a basic sign looks so easy. Then to top it off, you show us how we can embellish it further. How fun. I think the door knob would be a great place to hang a bag For gathering flowers herbs veggies even weeds while working in the garden.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you -it’s warming up here so I’m seeing more fun projects in my future. Robert is finishing the loft in the Tiny House this week too which means more scrap wood, I had it down to one pile… Sigh… That door knob use to be clear but I had it in my old garden and the sun turned it purple, pretty neat! A weed bag – great idea!

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