Skip to Content

How to Make a Driftwood Sign

Yes, another driftwood post. I can’t help myself!

Every time I go to our family’s lake house on Seneca Lake, my dad will drive the boat to the other side where he and the hubby do a little fishing while I hop into the freezing water and make my way to the shore. With a large blue Ikea bag in hand, I scour for awesome driftwood pieces.

I love using it for DIY projects! What’s not to like? It’s free, beautiful and extremely versatile.

We were up there last month and I returned with another large bag full of different sizes. While I was looking for a piece of scrap wood for a sign to put above our pass thru in the living room, I couldn’t find one that was long enough. Then, I nearly tripped over the bag of driftwood that was conveniently sitting in the middle of my office. I took a quick peek and found a piece that was long enough, flat and had a great surface.


I knew I wanted the phrase “Live Simply” and I wanted it to be simple to go along with the the meaning.

I figured it would look nice if I just wrote on it freehand using a Sharpie paint pen. I wrote it out and it was okay. I’m not a real fan of my handwriting at times, but this seemed to work.


I attached a picture hanging bar to the back and hung it up. It looked nice!

Until the next day.

I was sitting on our couch just staring at it and I started hating it more and more. It looked really amateur, like something my 21 month old would write. Down it came and out came the sandpaper.

I sanded off the writing and started a different process.

Using PicMonkey, I found a font that I wanted, mirrored the image and printed it out.


I cut the words out and taped it to the wood. I then took a pen and traced out the letters making sure I was applying enough pressure. Since driftwood is really soft it’s really easy to put an impression in the wood.


I removed the paper and traced the indent with my Sharpie paint pen again. Perfect! It was exactly what I was looking for. I sanded it down a little more just to dull the brightness of the white paint.


I love it. What do you think?


If you would like to purchase one of my handmade driftwood signs please visit my Etsy shop or contact me for a custom piece.

mariann m seyfferth

Friday 26th of October 2018

Hello...could you please explain the mirror imaging? In the picture showing you tracing the words, it looks like the letters are reading normally.

Thanks so much...great work.



Sunday 28th of October 2018

Hmm...this post is 3 years old, I don't know why I mirrored the text. If you are applying pressure to the wood for your stencil, then you can just print it out normal. I usually use the mirroring technique on a different type of sign. You can check out all the simple ways to make a sign here:


Monday 30th of April 2018

Awesome post, now I need to letter mine as well. One question though, how did you hang this up?


Monday 30th of April 2018

I just used a regular picture hanging hardware attached to the back.

Alicia Becerra Mendoza

Thursday 8th of March 2018

does the lettering come in black? also, where does one buy it -


Sunday 18th of March 2018

It can! You can visit my Etsy shop: If you don't see anything you like let me know and I can customize one for you.


Wednesday 5th of August 2015

I love it too. I would buy one :)


Wednesday 5th of August 2015

Thanks Debbie! I'm actually going to add a few to my Etsy store this week!


Wednesday 5th of August 2015

I love it The simplicity is great


Wednesday 5th of August 2015

Thanks Mary!

Comments are closed.