DIY: Street Signs {NYC Edition}


A few weeks back my best friend and I went for an amazing weekend in Vienna, besides exploring the cultural and culinary sides of the city we also did some shopping. When we spent some time in the local Brandy Melville store we found those amazing vintage street signs they sold there. I wanted to buy a 5th Avenue sign but sadly it was sold out. But already on the ride back home we talked about how easy we could make our own signs.

I brainstormed a little bit and discovered a simple wooden sign would be the best solution. I paid 50 cents for the wood, about 2 euros for a whole pack of mountings and the acrylic colors, I already had at home, are about 2 euros each. That makes about 2 euros for one DIY sign when one sign at the Brandy Melville store was between 15 and 25 Euros. Pretty good deal right?

As I mentioned, I went with a 5th Ave sign because I’m currently decorating my sisters old room with all things USA (remember my DIY America flag pillows?) and wanted to add a little extra to the room. I scrolled a bit through the photos I took while I visited NYC last year to remember how the street signs were. I decided to go with the regular green color of NYC street signs as opposed to choosing the blue one. For the street name in my DIY sign I went with the classic 5th Ave because I had the feeling that this street gives the best feeling of NYC when I visited the city.

Remember you can always alter the street names or colors to your likings, just play a little With your creativity.

You’ll need

a wooden board (about 45-50 cm long, shouldn’t be too heavy so you can still easily hang it)

acrylic colors of your choice

a stencil with your chosen street name (I made one by printing out the words 5th Ave and cutting out the black parts of the font)

a mounting option (I chose triangular hooks that are ought to be nailed onto the back of pictures etc.)

Step 1

Start by painting your whole board (don’t forget the sides) in the color you chose. Let that dry completely. The thicker your layer of color is the longer it will take to dry. As I couldn’t find the exact shade of green I wanted to paint my sign in, I simply mixed a little white into the green paint and made my own custom green shade.

Step 2

I waited about 30 minutes until I moved on to taping my stencil onto the wood. After the stencil sat where I wanted it to be, I dipped my (slightly damp) sponge into my white acrylic color, dabbed of some excess and started slightly filling in the blanks of the stencil. I didn’t fill them in completely and used a sponge instead of a brush to give my sign a more vintage feel. If you’d like your sign to turn out more neat, try filling in your stencil with a brush and a thicker layer of color instead of using a sponge and less color.

Step 3

Now remove your stencil. I decided to freehand add white some borders onto my sign to make it more authentic, but this step is definitely not necessary.

Step 4

After everything has completely dried (to make sure, let it rest about an hour), turn the sign around and fix your mounting on the back of the sign (I attached mine by nailing it onto the back of my sign).

Now find a space for your new sign, hang it there and enjoy!