Candy Cane Kitchen Sign

Hello all!! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are all ready to dive into Christmas! We have been listening to Christmas music and tonight we’re going to watch a Christmas movie and start decorating the house. I’m so excited. :)

This is a re-post of my Candy Cane Christmas Sign that I posted over at Tatertots and Jello recently. I’ve added in a couple of pictures and instructions for more details – I tend to over-detail tutorials sometimes and I didn’t want to blast the readers over there with pictures. But I thought I’d add them back in for you (because you’re used to me doing that :)!

I have a fun Christmas Sign tutorial for you – my Candy Cane Kitchen Sign!

Isn’t it fun and vintage-y?
I got the inspiration for this sign from this super cute plate I found at Pier 1.

I just fell in love with the design but I decided I needed it on a bigger, grander scale.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

• 1 – 1×6 piece of wood, cut into three 16″ pieces
• Glue
• Craft Paints & a variety of brushes
• Base Color Spray Paint
• Freezer Paper
• Exacto Knife and Cutting Board
• Sandpaper
• Iron
• Design Patterns – Click Here to Download
(I also have these patterns available in JPEG form if you have a Silhouette and would like to use them!)

I started off by recreating the design on my computer. Then I took each segment and made a separate paper pattern for each. You can skip that and use the Design Patterns I created if you want.

Cut your wood into three 16″ pieces.
(Which Mr. F.T. kindly cut for me and he later pointed out that I didn’t mention it in the Tatertots and Jello post. Since he apparenly felt the need to be famous too I am now mentioning it. Thanks honey for cutting the wood.) 

Glue the three sections of wood together, along the long sides, so you make one large square.

Clamp the wood together while it dries.

You can skip this next step if you want, it’s your call.

Go out to the garage and check your wood – and realize you’ve glued it to the concrete.
Say some fake swear words and pry it up with the hugest screwdriver you can find. Nice.

Consider setting your boards on something else, or upright, while they glue.
Gorilla Glue expands as it dries. If you are more careful than I was, you can wipe the glue off as it expands and you won’t have this issue at all.

Once your boards are glued together, spray paint the front with your base color.

I used a Krylon Burgundy but it wasn’t quite dark enough, so I did three coats, one Burgundy, one Black, and the last Burgundy. That gave me the nice dark red color I was looking for, with the added benefit of another layer of color that will show when it is distressed.

I believe you could do several of these next steps with a Silhouette or other cutting machine. I do not have a magical machine so we’ll be doing this old school.

Cut out all your pattern pieces. You will need to tape several of the large pieces together since they are too big to print out on one sheet of paper. On the “Cane” Pages, I’ve left the outline of the word “Candy” so you will know how close together to place the words.

Layout everything on the boards to check your placement.

Trace the designs onto Freezer Paper. Leave enough room around the designs so that when you paint, there is plenty of Freezer paper around the stencil.

Paint your base colors on the sign with your craft paint.
The craft paint colors I used (all from Walmart) were Folk Art Calypso Sky (light turquoise), Cardinal Red (dark red) and Navy Blue (dark blue).

Cut out your stencils. I used an exacto knife on a self-healing cutting mat.

You don’t need to worry about the little snow marks or the windows. You can add those details back in by hand later.

Lay the tree stencil at the top of the board so that the bottoms of the trees just barely overlap into the red section.

Lightly iron on the stencil.

Here are some tips for ironing onto wood.

• You don’t want the iron super hot. It will cause the paint to bubble excessively. We want a little of this, because it will help with distressing, but not too much.
• Be careful to keep the iron on the freezer paper. Use the tip and sides if you need to. Paint WILL come off the wood and onto your iron if you iron on the painted section. If this happens use a balled up damp paper towel and wipe it off while the iron is hot.

Once the stencil is in place, paint the trees and house red (Cardinal Red).

While that is drying you can do the same thing with the Kitchen and Bakery stencil.  I did the little stars by hand, and I used the same light turquoise paint (Calypso Sky) that was at the top.
For the letters that had pieces inside (B, E, and A) I cut those little pieces out separately and then placed them in position before I ironed it on.

After you paint in the designs, lift the stencil. You could have some base paint come off, because of the ironing. This is fine. Saves work later.

There is a chance that the paint will leak under the stencil just a bit. Once the paint dries, just go over the edges a bit with the color below and paint over those little sections with a tiny brush. This will clean everything up.

In this picture you can see the stars, the snow on the trees, and the windows of the house. You can also see where some paint came up with my stencil. Cool huh?

Next steps are the large green circle, the candy cane, and the snowflake on the top right.

 For the candy cane, I stenciled in a lighter red(FolkArt Apple Red) than the base red, and then painted the white(FolkArt Wicker White) stripes by hand. You could make two stencils if you don’t want to free hand it, and then stencil the white once the red has dried.

Once the green(FolkArt Fresh Foliage) circle has dried, stencil on the other snowflake.

 Last stencil – the Candy Cane lettering!

 That looks pretty awesome, but it’s way too “new” looking. Time to distress! Or in other words – scrape off some of your previous hard work. ;)

For the distressing, I sanded all four edges. I used smallish pieces of freezer paper at different parts on the sides and ironed them on, then pulled the paint off.

Then I sanded some of the lettering and shadows. If you look closely you can see that I sanded a shadow around the Capital C in “Cane”. You can also do extra sanding on the places the boards are seamed together and any knots or irregularities in the wood.
I finished with a light sanding in both directions over the whole sign. Don’t go all in one direction with your overall sanding. It wouldn’t distress that way normally and will look more realistic if you sand in several directions.

Here are some close ups of the distressing.


 Add in some hanging hardware if you are going to hang your sign.

And we’re all done!! So much more fun than a little plate right?


I hope you enjoyed the tutorial!! 


  • Reply December 8, 2010


    I love vintagey signs as well. you did a fabulous job with this. Thank you so much for sharing how you did it with your wonderful tutorial.

  • Reply December 8, 2010


    Wow, love this. Great directions!

  • Reply December 14, 2010


    Just wanted you to know how much I love this sign and I posted about you with a link :)

  • Reply December 15, 2010

    Chanda Bentley

    Thank You so much for the tutorial- I don’t have time but it’s getting squeezed in before the family party on Monday. Thanks again

  • Reply December 16, 2010

    Jessica Hills

    Just wanted to let you know that I featured this today on FTF! Grab a featured button if you would like one and don’t already have one! Thanks and Merry Christmas!!

  • Reply December 23, 2010

    Roeshel@the DIY Show Off

    It is so pretty and perfectly vintage! I love it! Great tutorial too!

  • Reply December 27, 2010


    Just wanted to thank you for this amazing tutorial. My sister saw the plate this was inspired by, and loved it! I made this for her for Christmas, and it turned out so great. She loved it! I’ll share pictures soon!

  • Reply September 25, 2011

    Cari Bella

    You are the best! I love this tutorial. Painting usually is a bit too daunting for me, but now I think I want to give it another try. Thank you!

  • Reply November 10, 2011


    What a great idea and excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply December 28, 2011


    just came across this on Pinterest, love it! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  • Reply November 10, 2013


    I LOVE this – have been wanting to make it for the last 2 Christmases, and this year I’m gonna!!! I see that you have it available for the silhouette, can you email it to me? Or, if i overlooked it, let me know where to find it? TYSM!!

  • Reply December 27, 2013


    Thanks for the tutorial. It is so wonderful ! Where can I get the jpeg for the design? Thanks again :)

  • Reply January 17, 2015


    What a cute Christmas sign for the kitchen! I’m definitely making this so THANKS for all the pics… yep I’m craftily challenged and need all the help I can get!

  • Reply September 1, 2015


    I would love the jpeg version for the silhouette. I made one of these for my mom back in 2010 for christmas and would love to make more

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