DIY SWEETHEART SIGNAGE WEDDING DECOR
Tutorial by Tre Bella
As a wedding venue owner, I love to see our couples bring a dash of their own personal style and character into our spaces. One of the most charming ways they do this is through sweetheart signage; whether it’s hanging from the back of their reception chairs, hanging on a wall or displayed on their escort card table.
So my team thought we’d put together a tutorial for how you can do the same and create your own rustic sweetheart signage.
In any combination, the words you engrave on these wooden plaques could be:
- Mr. or Mrs. (ex. Mr. & Mr.)
- Bride or Groom (ex. Bride & Bride)
- His or Hers (ex. His & Hers)
- Your first names
What I love most about this item is that it can be used on the wedding day and then repurposed into home decor afterward.
For the wedding day, you could:
- Display them on the wall behind the head table
- Hang them from your sweetheart chairs
- Stand them on the escort card, dessert, refreshment, guest book or gift table
In your home, you could:
- Hang them as art on the wall behind your bed’s headboard
- Hang them in the bathroom above your robe hooks
- Display them from an arched garden trellis outside
- Hang them above each of your work desks in your home office
In this project, we went with rustic wood, decorated with colorful artificial flowers. If that’s not your taste, you could paint the wood and swap the flowers for greenery, fringe fabrics, paper flowers or whatever suits your style.
Here are the supplies we used:
- White paint
- Artificial flowers
- Paint brush, medium sized
- Wooden piece
- Hot glue gun
- Soldering iron or your preferred wood engraving tool
First, sand down the wood to the smoothness you’d prefer.
The second step is painting, which is optional. If you love the raw, rustic look of the wood without a finish, then leave it as is or only apply a layer of wood stain. If you envision an antique look, a thin coat of white or ivory paint will work well, possibly with a little distressing to age it. If you want a more colorful piece, brush on multiple coats of the paint color of your choice.
Leave the surface to dry from the paint or stain. You want to leave the surface to dry completely so as to not complicate things after engraving. If you find that you are not happy with the look of thee paint, you can add more layers as needed; making sure to fully dry the surface before moving onto the next step.
Sketch your text directly onto the wood using the pencil. Lightly write your letters onto the wood so you can lightly erase if you need to adjust. When you are happy with the look. you can move on to engraving.
For engraving you can use a soldering iron or engraving tool. Turn on your soldering iron about 10 minutes or more before you start engraving to ensure it is really hot before you start. Starting with the first letter, go slowly over the penciled letter. You want to go really slow and adjust your speed according to your soldering iron or engraving tool to create even, yet highly visible burnt wood text.
Next, create a hanging mechanism for the wooden piece. For this project, braided together a natural thread, such as jute. For your project, any strong, sturdy cord, rope, thread, ribbon or yarn will work. Choose the material that best creates the style you’re going for, but is strong enough for the wood to hang from. Use one length of your thread, sizing it based on how long you want the piece to hang down. Wrap each end of the thread around the wooden plank so that it meets back up with itself. Attach the frayed ends to the solid length of thread it meets up with by wrapping the loose ends around the other piece of thread and hot gluing it as you loop it around. This will create a more finished look. (See the photos for a demonstration.) Then, if you want to pretty it up a bit more, you can cut a couple more lengths of thread and tie the two sides of the hanging thread together with a bows or knot. (Again, see photos for an illustration.)
For the final step, attach the decoration of your choice. We went with playful and colorful artificial flowers, but you may want something more neutral, elegant or bold, depending on your taste. If you go with artificial flowers, first cut the stems using scissors to you can glue the main flower easier. Use a hot glue gun to glue each flower (or other material) to the edges and corners of the wood, in the pattern you most like.
And there you have it – charming sweetheart signage that can be showcased both at your wedding reception and in your home afterwards.
Kim is the founder of Tre Bella, an Arizona wedding venue that delivers platinum-style weddings affordably. With a true love for design and a stress-free coordination process, Kim keeps gorgeous urban weddings within reach for busy couples.
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here.