DIY Vintage Lake Sign

Hi, Uncommon Designs friends! Kristi here, from I’m just thrilled to be hanging out over here today…sharing my specialty, a homemade vintage sign. This one has a summer flair {or perhaps an attitude, if you will}…but we just think it’s fun!

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I have a thang for vintage signs, y’all. And I love to create my own! This one started out as a $2 Goodwill canvas {the 1970s called and wanted their decor back} and turned into a little punny summer sign.

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

Purchasing old canvases {canvii??} at Goodwill is such a money saver. I can get a good thick canvas and just cover it up with some paint for a clean palette to work with.

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I used my go-to paint for the base coat: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Country Grey {it’s such a nice neutral}. I like to use chalk paint when I cover up an old canvas. It has a great sticking factor {I believe that is the technical term}. Since I always sand and do other things to the top few layers of the canvas, I want to make sure that bottom layer doesn’t get scratched off in the process.

 Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I used vinyl lettering cut with my Silhouette, but you can also use pre-made vinyl stickers from a craft store for this type of project. For reference, the first three lines of my sign are the font “Impact”, and the “Lake” word is in “Ballpark”.

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I just used a simple acrylic craft paint to go over the vinyl letters and entire canvas. Before it’s completely dry, I pull the letters off. Pulling them off while it’s still tacky prevents them from pulling off any of the top coat, too. Note: the above vinyl colors have no significance here…they were scrap pieces!

 Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I used a 150 grit sandpaper to rough up the canvas once it was dry. 

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I mixed one part stain and one part water together. You can play with the ratios on this mixture depending on what level of aging you want on your piece. I went lighter this time.
Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I simply use a cloth and wipe the stain mixture onto the canvas, working it to where it has a natural look to it. After the stain dries, I spray the piece with a clear sealer.

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

I also have a free printable of the above saying over at my place, if you’d prefer the less messy version of obtaining this sign.

Go Jump in a Lake Vintage Lake Sign #onecraftysummer

Click here to go and download your favorite color in an 8×10 print.


Thanks so much to Trish & Bonnie for inviting me over for the summery fun! 

Hoping you all have one crafty summer, indeed!


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Trish Flake

Author/Co-Owner at Uncommon Designs
Hey y'all! I am Trish and one half of the creative team at Uncommon Designs. I adore party planning, holiday celebrations, and all things crafty! I am so excited to share my creative adventures with you!

Latest posts by Trish Flake (see all)


  1. says

    This is one of the coolest projects I’ve seen in a long time! I love vintage signs but never wanted to shell out the bucks some retailers are asking for. The one you’ve created here looks expensive and very nice. I think I might be able to handle this one. Thanks for the tutorial and the inspiration!

  2. Ami Jo says

    Wow it looks wonderful! I love old chicken and farm signs, I could save myself some money making my own. Thanks for the tutorial!

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