Thankful Sign ~ DIY with Rope and Wood

Thanksgiving is not the only time of year would should give thanks for all of our blessings. In hopes to keep my mind on what to be thankful for, I have a fun DIY Thankful sign for you. It’s all about some wood and rope. Woot!

Make Your Own Thanksgiving (or Anytime) Thankful Sign with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

It’s a simple build that you can create with reclaimed wood, and can even be built from new wood. This project is versatile and can be changed up to suit your decor – paint it, change the word…do whatever you feel. The mini chalkboards make this thankful sign unique since it can be changed as you see fit. Have fun with it! My example is just that…an example.

Make Your Own Thankful Sign with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too! (see full disclosure)

Here’s what you need to get started: (do note you are more than welcome to create these projects for home use only – not to be sold)

  • 1 – 1″ x 6″ x 22″ board
  • 4 – 3″ x 3″ pieces of scrap wood
  • 1 – ¼” x 50′ rope
  • 4 – masonry nails
  • 4 – 12″ pieces of twine
  • glue gun/glue sticks
  • drill
  • drill bits – 5/32 and 7/64
  • flat black paint or chalky paint
  • artist’s paint brush
  • “thankful” print out (see below)
  • chalk
  • 2 – large sawtooth picture hangers
  • hammer
  • utility knife or scissors

For my example projects, I used two scrap pieces of barn wood. One was a piece of dark weathered barn siding with a lighter colored rope, and the other was a piece of chippy siding with dark colored rope. You can find the rope at most home improvement stores.

Rope on Shelf | Prodigal Pieces |

Supplied needed for Reclaimed Barn Wood Thankful Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

I am showing you that this project doesn’t have to be limited to my style. You can paint your wood or do whatever you like to get the effect that suits your style. If you don’t have scrap wood, you can use new wood bought from a home improvement store (psst…Home Depot will cut your wood for free), and create an aged look using my layering tutorial or stain it to look aged with a weathered stain.

Reclaimed Barn Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Once you have your board cut and ready to go, you will need your “thankful” print out. Go ahead and click the images and print.

Thankful Sign Image 1 | Prodigal Pieces |

Thankful Sign Image 2 | Prodigal Pieces |

Trim your printed paper close to the edges and tape together to make one piece for you thankful sign.

Creating Transfer for Reclaimed Wood Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

Next, you can follow my transfer method tutorial, use an artists’ oil pastel to rub the back of the image. (I use a light pastel for dark wood, and a dark pastel for a light wood) Place your sign on a window or light box to make sure you are covering all the text. You could also use transfer paper to do this too.

How to Transfer onto Reclaimed Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Now place your “thankful” sign on your board. I chose to have mine right justified (set to the right of the board), but you can place yours wherever you like.

Placing Transfer onto Reclaimed Wood Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

Grab a blunt object, like the top of a marker or dull colored pencil to trace over the “thankful” text. Press hard to make sure you get the pastel to transfer to the wood.

Tracing Letters onto Reclaimed Wood Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

Now grab your hot glue gun, glue sticks, and rope. Working in small batches, apply a bead of hot glue over the transferred “thankful” text and press your rope into the glue, holding for a minute or two to let it cool. Just unwind the spool of rope as you go instead of cutting a piece so that you don’t run out of rope. Also, don’t worry if it doesn’t set right, you can always pull it up and do it again. Be careful of that hot glue and your fingers!

Hot Glue to make Thankful Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

Once your glue has set, add your picture hangers to the back about 1 ½” in from the ends and about ¼” down from the top edge.

Adding Hanger to Thankful Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

Now you’re ready to add the nails. Using your drill and the 7/64″ bit, drill two holes 2″ in from either end and about ¼” up from the bottom. Drill the next two holes 5 ½” in from your first holes.

Drilling Hole for Thankful Sign | Prodigal Pieces |

I like rust and so I rust any type of metal I can, including my masonry nails for this project. Great thing is you can rust a whole box at once and have them ready to go for another project. You can find my rust recipe HERE.

Rusted Masonry Nails | Prodigal Pieces |

Nail the masonry nails into your pre-drilled holes.

Adding Nails to Reclaimed Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Next, you’ll need your four, 3″ x 3″ pieces.

Pile of Reclaimed Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Using your 5/32″ drill bit, drill two holes in the top edge of your pieces about 1″ apart and  ¾” in from the edges.

Drilling DIY Chalkboards | Prodigal Pieces |

Now you will need your flat black paint or, like I used, a bit of black chalk paint. Either will do.

Flat Black Paint to make DIY Chalkboards | Prodigal Pieces |

Paint on a small chalkboard in any shape you desire. Don’t feel limited to do a square as I did. Make a heart, circle, star…whatever!

Painting DIY Chalkboards | Prodigal Pieces |

Do two coats of paint, letting cure between each coat. Thread a piece of your 12″ twine through the back and double knot at the front. You will then need to prime your chalkboards with a coat of chalk.

Priming DIY Chalkboards | Prodigal Pieces |

Embellish your board with things you are thankful for, hang, and you’re done!

Rustic Reclaimed Barn Wood Sign by Prodigal Pieces |

Corner of Thankful Sign by Prodigal Pieces |

The best part about this project is that it doesn’t have to be limited to the “thankful” theme. Use any word you like for the text and hang something different below if you choose.

Mini Chalkboards made from Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces |

Weathered Barn Wood Thankful sign by Prodigal Pieces for |

I’m not sure which sign I prefer more…which thankful sign is your favorite?

White Barn Wood & Chalkboard "Thankful" Sign by Prodigal Pieces |

If you’re not the DIY type, you can find these sweet signs and other goodies in my shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Do pin and share so other can learn how to make a thankful sign too.

Build a DIY Thankful sign perfect for the holiday season by Prodigal Pieces |
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like my thankful sign:

Want to create rustic decor for the fall season? You can create this DIY harvest sign with only one power tool and this tutorial by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpiecesDIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces #prodigalpieces


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  • Cecilia

    I love it! Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday…family, friends, and focusing on what we are thankful for! This is perfect for that.

    October 24, 2015 at 9:16 am Reply
    • Larissa

      It’s such a fun time and my hope is that our family will remember to be thankful all year. Thank YOU for stopping by!

      October 27, 2015 at 5:48 am Reply
  • VANGIE Batson

    Great for year round reminder.

    October 24, 2015 at 10:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Exactly. Thank you for understanding why I created it. 🙂

      October 27, 2015 at 5:49 am Reply
  • Mary-In the boondocks

    And let’s not forget Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. When we moved here we capt up the tradition for years buying yams and making turkey. I will always love that holiday. Can’t wait to go back and start reliving it.

    October 24, 2015 at 10:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh yes…a classic treat. That’s wonderful you have kept the celebration alive. Blessings to you, Mary!

      October 27, 2015 at 5:49 am Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    The sign can be displayed all year to remind us all that we have so much to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays. Heading over to Best Laminate.

    October 24, 2015 at 9:42 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Absolutely. 🙂 There’s so many things I know I take for granted. It’s nice to stop and remember.

      October 27, 2015 at 5:50 am Reply
  • Mary-In the boondocks

    And now it is my turn to give thanks to you for all your support and help. I am nominating you for the Blogger Recognition Award. because you more than anyone has been there for me and encouraged me to continue in this wonderful journey. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You do not have to accept this award (I know that you are so, so busy) but I am still putting your name in because I appreciate all that you have done. My list would not be complete without you. Posting on Monday .

    October 25, 2015 at 3:47 am Reply
    • Larissa

      You are too sweet, Mary! It is my absolute pleasure to get to meet people like you and share in our journey. Thank you!

      October 27, 2015 at 5:53 am Reply

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