LIVE BAITS Sign – Fixer Upper Style

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

I love watching HGTV and all the other DIY shows out there. As a self-professed scavenger I find they are a great source for ideas for DIY projects for my own house. I’m actually surprised I get anything done ever, especially when they are showing back to back episodes of Flea Market Flips…first the thrill of the hunt, second what and how are they going to make their projects, and lastly, who’s going to win?

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

One of my other favorite shows is Fixer Upper and that is where I first saw this cute vintage sign. My first thought when seeing this sign is, I can make that.  And secondly, is there a picture online so I can save the idea before I forget all about it?

This is the actual photo from the Fixer Upper Website, you can find it here. I love  Joanna’s style and I’m slightly obsessed with all the objects she puts into her houses. But since I live a little too far away from Waco, Texas to just pop in and do some shopping, I’ll just have to make them myself.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

You can use a new piece of wood for this project, and beat it up to age it, but if you have an old piece of weathered wood, all the better. Mine was rescued from a dump pile. A 2×10, originally 8ft long.  Once I cut off the weathered ends it ended up being 6 ft long.

I thought I would have to spray this piece of wood for bugs, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were none. Why there were none, I do not know, but it may have had something to do with the fact that it was supposed to snow the next day.

Not having to worry about any critters, I quickly moved on to the task at hand, the lettering.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

The letters were all printed from the computer. This is the font Aharoni, size 850. For the most part, I could only get one letter per page.

Aharoni, was the closest I could find to my Fixer Upper font, it was close, but I still thought the letters were kind of thick. No problem, when I was cutting the letters out, I just trimmed them a bit until I got a letter thickness I liked.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Since my wood was split, I had to glue and clamp it back together.  The letters were cut out and placed for size.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Once cut out the letters were laid out on 1/4 inch plywood, traced around, then cut out with a jigsaw.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

For the circle in between the fish and baits, I used a piece of a dowel.  It was much easier than trying to cut a perfect circle.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Each of the letters were painted red, the edges were sanded off  and then an aging stain was applied to the edges as well as the top.

Keep reading though, this is not the look I ended up with.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper StyleThe backing board was painted with leftover flat white paint.  Can you tell it has a slightly pink tint to it? It’s actually leftover ceiling paint that starts out pink then turns white when it dries so you can see where you’ve painted.

If you have an old crusty piece of wood like mine, don’t get into every nook and cranny…let it’s age shine through.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

A little bit of tinted wax used sparingly muddies up the white a bit to add to that aged vintage look.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Lay out the letters…

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

…and use builders adhesive to attach.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Once I got the letters on, I was not happy with the aged look of my letters.  They still looked a little too new compared to the decaying piece of wood they were sitting on.

Phase 2 of Operation Make My Letters Look Old.  Since my letters didn’t look old and peely enough, I googled diy peeling paint and came up with a great home solution, Elmers Glue.  What made it so great? I didn’t have to make a trip to the store. I have glue.

First you need a base coat, a color that will show through once the top coat shrinks and cracks, mine is dark gray.

Once dry, follow that with a coat of glue.  Apparently the direction you paint does make a difference for which way your cracks will go.

When the glue starts to set (not dry) paint over the glue with your top coat and let dry. It actually works and starts to crack almost immediately.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style


I actually wasn’t that happy with my faux peeling paint, it looked a little forced.

Phase 3 was now in effect. Most of the cracks were given another coat of the top red color. A little bit of the gray was allowed to show through. Once the red was dry, the letters were once again sanded. Last step was to splatter a bit of watered down black paint over the sign.

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

Now I’m happy, the letters finally have a little aged texture. There will be no Phase 4 (at least for now).

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style


LIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper StyleLIVE BAITS Sign - Fixer Upper Style

LIVE BAITS Sign, Fixer Upper Style diy

Pretty close, I may need a bit more mud on mine.

Stay inspired and I’ll see you next week. Have a great weekend.

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