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How to Make a Harvest Sign with Faux Calligraphy + a Sharpie

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In this post: Learn how to make a stunning fall harvest sign with faux calligraphy and a Sharpie!  Super easy, minimal supplies and little time required.

When we showed you our Fall Home Tour a couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that we whipped up a quick little Harvest Sign for the dining room. The funny thing about this new sign (that I love!) is that it was made out of sheer desperation

how to make a harvest sign with a sharpie pin

We previously had this Bakery sign in its place on the hutch.


But when I was fluffing with all the fall decor, the bakery sign was WAY too white. I needed something with some color or texture. (Here’s where I should insert a photo with the fall decorations and the bakery sign to show you the hutch in all it’s pale glory. You’ll have to use your imagination though because I didn’t remember to snap a photo. In the words of Homer Simpson, “D’oh!”)

What I needed was a new sign.

What I didn’t have was a lot of time. 

So I did what any self-respecting desperate DIY blogger would do…I flipped the Bakery sign over, removed the hanger and made a new sign on the Bakery sign’s backside!


harvest sign van gogh wax

How to Make a Harvest Sign with Faux Calligraphy + a Sharpie

The backside of the original Bakery sign was unfinished raw wood, so it was easy to work with. Normally when making a sign I would stain it first to darken the wood, but like I said I had zero time for that. So I “cheated”…



1. Hand script the word Harvest onto your raw wood using a pencil. I’m really sorry it’s not a font to be copied. That would be easier. But not as pretty. I first saw this fake calligraphy on Jones Designs. It’s pretty easy too. Basically you use your own handwriting but fancy it up by thickening the downstrokes, like the photo shows in the next step.

2. Go over your penciled-on handwriting with the black marker (a Sharpie works perfectly for this). Fatten up your down-strokes only to mimic the look of calligraphy (see photo below). Let dry.

harvest sign close

3. Using a wax brush (or other stiff bristled brush), work some natural wax into the entire surface of the sign.

4. Using the same brush, work in some dark wax to give the sign some depth and a little more character.

harvest sign and wax

5. Buff the waxed surface with a clean rag until it’s smooth and no longer sticky or tacky to the touch.

6. Place a saw-tooth hanger on the back and hang.

harvest sign in hutch

And there you have it – a total cheater sign in about 20 minutes and much more depth and neutral color for your fall display. 

You could even use the back of another sign you already have to make it. But I wouldn’t know anything about that. 😉

Do you have any signs you could makeover? Have you hand-scripted anything with faux calligraphy and a Sharpie?

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