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Foam ‘Wood’ Sign- Tutorial

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This is a brief tutorial on how to make a realistic looking ‘wood’ sign out of foam!

This one was used for Hansel and Gretel’s Sweet Shop. A home haunt we did for the neighborhood in 2016.

STEP 1: Draw out your sign with pen or pencil onto your foam piece. Cut out your letters with either a (very sharp) utility knife or a hot knife if you have it. (If working with a utility knife, change the blade as needed to prevent beading).

STEP 2: Add Texture. We wanted this to look like a wood carving so i chose to add horizontal lines like the carver was going along with the grain. For this we used a pen that no longer had ink for the lines and the utility knife for the details in the candy. Recommend using a metal ruler or straight edge if adding a border around the sign or letters.

STEP:3 Paint! Here we started with a darker brown and focused it into the cracks.

Over that layer (while the paint is still at least sort of wet is ok/ preferred) We added a tan paint, pulling out and blending with some of the darker browns. Then over that (definitely while the tan paint is still wet) blend in some small lines (grains) of yellow. On the main back board we created some grain look (both with some pen lines and the paint).

This is not necessary for the letters or the candy. For those we are going to go back over the edges with an accent color. We chose red for the band shop, then dry brushed small amounts of color mostly on the boarders with little swipes on the inside to give it an aged look.

Likewise we wanted an accent color on the outside border and forest green popped nice with the red and looked old fashioned.

STEP 4: Hot Glue letters into place (If you choose to use a spray foam be aware there will be some touch ups after).

STEP 5: We are in Michigan and had 40 mile an hour winds the day of the event, so we added a support a couple of 3/4″ X 3″X 8′ support beams across the back. We also sprayed it with a can of polyurethane aerosol to weather proof it. Shown here we then hung it from the support beam we temporarily built on the roof (masked by the cardboard and joint compound cookies that the kids decorated!).

Hope you enjoyed! Happy set making from Joyful Terror!

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