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How to make a home decor wood sign for you or your pet

Five steps to a finished wooden home decor sign for you or your pet

Here is how to make a nice home decor sign which you can use to enhance your home or your pet's area. In this case, I made one for my friend Bill, who is a big supporter of all animals and pets. You can make a sign for your pet or for yourself, too.

1. Create a 2D design

I created mine in Photoshop, adding the little design element on top of the letter I- which is a chess piece- a chess king. My friend is a chess master and teacher. Once done,  then I imported the 2D design into Corel Draw, which is a vector program. Here you can specify which parts you want engraved, and which parts you want to cut. 

2. Transform your 2D into a 3D design

It is now time to create a 3D design. There are many 3D softwares out there. I used Vectric and Aspire. You can import your design from 2D into the 3D software and set up the cutting and engraving requirements.  At this point, it is important to know the type of material you are using- for my first try, I used a simple piece of plywood. You also need to know the thickness of the material, and the drill bits you will be using for cutting and engraving. I also designed the outer outline and the two holes on the side This will prepare the design for the CNC router. DIY Home Decor Sign- 3D design

3D design before cutting and engraving

3. Time to cut and engrave 

I used the CNC router. Learning it takes some time and preparation. 
Everything went relatively smoothly.

4. Sanding and filling empty areas

First, I filled in some holes with wood filler, then I used an orbital sander and sandpaper to sand it smoothly. Smaller areas were sanded using a file. The better the wood, the less work is necessary. Plywood is not as great as other materials, but in this case, the plywood is used for the demo instead of a finished product.

Sanding the home decor sign with an orbital sander

 Sanding with tools is much easier than sanding manually

 Filling wood holes and sanding

5. Wood Finishing

In this case, I used the Dark Walnut Danish oil. You need to wear a mask and apply this in an open area, away from kids and pets- since there are some toxic fumes. 
Then you put aside in a ventilated area and let it dry  And that is it, you are done. 
In my case, I later decided to add a few splashes of loose gold paint for a more artistic look. I really like seeing the wood grain through the finish. 

And the sign is now ready to hang on Bill's wall!

Finishing a wooden sign

 Finishing touches