After finishing the cemetery columns, I wanted to make a new entrance sign. The one we used last year was a quick “slap some paint on a board” sign, and there was no depth or real character to it.
To give the sign some depth, I used thin plywood letters. While it probably would have been easier to stencil and paint the letters, using the plywood adds depth to the sign. Since we use lots of coloured lighting in our yard haunt, the added depth adds to the overall effect.
The board used for the back of the sign was a plain 8′ x 1/2″ x 8″ piece of pine. Adding some details to the ends of the board was easily done using a jig saw. After adding the details to the ends, I used a rasp to roughen up the edges, helping the sign look old and weathered.
If you plan well enough in advance (unlike me) you could now just leave the sign outside to weather naturally. However, if you don’t plan well (like me), painting the sign to give it some extra creepy character is pretty easy.
Give the whole sign a coat of dark grey paint. I use the same colours (dark grey and light grey) on all the props to they all have the same aged look. Paint the letters a light grey. This will help the lettering stand out, especially if the sign is going to be in a dark area.
After the first coat has dried, dry brush the sign with the same light grey you used on the letters. Give the edges a little more attention with the dry brushing; this will help bring out the detail. I also added a foam skull to each end, as well as some old plant hanger brackets I had laying around.
A couple of lag bolts quickly attaches this sign to the columns, making it easy to take apart and store.