Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Surfboard Signs Tutorial

Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how, come and make a sign with me...

I am back in England now as you may have seen from my last post. I am missing the beach already but am loving the weather that followed us from California! And we have surfboard signs to remind us of our great sunny summer...and a tutorial on how to make surfboard signs for you.

I must say that although I'm writing this tutorial, I had help making these from my mom and dad. They're the ones in the pictures below and have their own blog, Jerry & Kay. They'd love for you to visit it if you haven't already. :-)

Now, here's how you can make your own surfboard sign...

What you need:
1. Surfboard Template and Wood (we used craft wood from Lowes)
2. Primer, Outdoor Paint, Spray Fixative, Foam Paintbrushes 
3. Saw or even better...Someone to cut the wood
4. Alphabet Stickers and Stencils
5. Acrylic Craft Paint & Palette
6. Small Paintbrushes (we used sizes 0, 3/0, 5/0, and 10/0)

Trace the template onto the wood. Cut the wood. Sand the wood. It was perfect to be staying with my Dad because he's great at this part of the process and I don't have any of the tools at my house in England.
 After the wood is smooth, prime it and paint it a colour of your choice. We used outdoor paint for the signs that will be in the garden and craft acrylic paint for the indoor signs. We painted two or three coats, depending on the colour and how it looked after the second coat of paint.
After the paint dries, spell out your names/words with the alphabet stickers. Then embellish with your fabulous artwork. For ours, the kids had special requests... 

Evangelyn: a Hawaiian girl and lots of flowers.
Corey: a palette on the left with all the paint colours, some paintbrushes next to it & an easel on the right.
Henry & Canaan weren't as specific with their request of turtles and fish.
Lily's was a gift, so she didn't put in a special request. :-)

We sketched some pictures and found some others on Google, then transferred the images onto the surfboards (you can see how here). Then we painted them carefully with our tiny paintbrushes. We started with larger (but not very large) paintbrushes but immediately realised that we needed ones that were much, much smaller in order to get the detail that we wanted. So, once you have your tiny paintbrushes, you can paint with acrylic craft paint. You're almost done!

Time out for this little guy...maybe not so little is a better description. He was really attracted to our painting palette...and we were a little loony from the paint fumes & skinny girl, so I had to get a good picture of him...but then he flew away.
Okay, back to the tutorial. We painted our garden signs slightly differently. My dad suggested painting a line down the centre, which was an idea that we loved! You can use some masking tape to create a thin line down the centre of the board. I suggest about a 1/4 inch space between the two pieces of tape. Then, use a stencil brush to paint on the colour of choice.

Next, choose what you want your sign to say and arrange the alphabet stencils in the correct order. Tape them down so they don't slide around while you're painting...and paint! I used the top edge of the bottom piece of tape to make sure my letters were in a straight line and then used smaller pieces of tape to secure the bottom of the stencils. After the paint is slightly dry, peel the tape off very carefully.

After the paint is completely dry, you can attach a hanger (I don't know the real name for these) to the back of the boards so they can be hung on a wall. We did this for the name boards.


Attach a post to the board with a hammer and nails. I kind of wish I had done this before painting and stencilling so that the paint would cover the nails. Oh, well...next time!

Lastly, spray the boards with a protective spray.


'Pray 4 Surf' is for our garden in England. 'Surf's Up' is for my mom, my brother's family, and my mom's neighbour. 

The pictures on the boards met all the expectations of the kids and they loved them!

Best of all, my mom, dad and I made some great memories throughout the saga of making the surfboards...

...and I get to think about those memories every time we glance at the signs in our gardens & on our walls! 

If you make a surfboard sign from my tutorial, I'd love to see it! You can post a pic at my Share with Sunny Stitching flickr group.


  1. These look great :)Thanks for linking up to Creative Mondays ...

    1. Thank you! I always love Creative Mondays :-)

  2. Wow, I LOVE these! They look great!! Liz

  3. Those are really cute! I'm thinking I want to make me some too! I wonder if it would be possible to find some pre-cut wooden boards. I don't have the right tools or the know-how to cut my own. I'll have to so some searching.

    1. I just emailed my dad about cutting out some more in case you can't find any on your search. :-)


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