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DIY name sign: Typographic baby name wall-art for nursery

Make a super cute typographic DIY name sign with this tutorial, super simple and made out of cardboard, so you don't have to mess with wood and a scroll saw in order to make a cute oversize name sign.

diy name sign

I've had a lot of emails and comments asking to show how I made the name sign for the nursery, so today I'll share how I did it and maybe others will want to experiment with their own baby's names or just words, I think I'm going to make one for the kitchen next ;)

make a custom name sign

I have also made letter wall signs out of single sheet cardboard, and styrofoam with decoupage in case you are looking for a different material. I will post the option to make them with wood pretty soon!

This project took me a long time because I made it the first month after Peanut was born, at that point, I could only try to do something while he was sleeping, but crafting was not a priority when you are sleep-deprived and with a messy house =] The good part, I got to REALLY enjoy having a few minutes here and there to relax and play with cardboard!

So here is the list of all the materials I used to make it, in my case I already had all of it so the cost of this cute little project was $0 YAY! (this was the price for me because I already had the tape and other materials, but if you buy everything it's still super budget-friendly!)

The materials

The process

The first thing I did was to measure the box I was going to use to make the sign, I was lucky to receive the giraffe in Peanut's nursery that week, so I had the perfect large size box to use. If you plan to purchase one, you should check the Home Depot or any shipping supply store. The font I used is Impact with some width edits, but for the most part, you can do it without altering it much.

Illustrator name alternatives

After I knew the exact size of the usable area of the box, I drew a rectangle on Illustrator with that measurements, then I started playing with the words. I knew I wanted to try to merge the “E” from his first and middle name, so I made 3 different options.

Ken was on a fire assignment that week, so I texted him the options I made and he agreed that the first option was the best.

After that, I merged the shapes of the letters (pathfinder tool) so I could have one solid area and make it “print friendly” I set up my file so I could print the super big shape on 12 different pages, after printing I taped them together (I was feeling kind of lazy so I didn't use my normal way to enlarge graphics)

Below you can see the box I used and the printed version of my sign, next I cut the front and back of the box (I used two layer of cardboard to make the sign thicker) and taped my template on top.

trace the name in the box

Since I was all about saving time that day, I didn't mark the pieces of cardboard and cut them separately (like I would recommend if you can't handle the X-acto well) I just re-taped the template each time it was a little loose, I started by cutting all of the edges, just a rectangular shape, and tape again in all the areas my sign touched the external lines. After that I started with the inside details very carefully.

cut the shapes of the letters
cutting the name for the nursery

Once I had my sign all cut out, I measured 3 inches down and made the marks to add wire (only to the back piece) so the sign could hang easily. I poked the wire through the cardboard and twisted it on the other side, to reinforce I added some hot glue in between the wire and cardboard (on the inside side, not the side facing out)

the back of the name sign

Once I made the hanging pieces I hot glue both cardboard pieces together, I used a lot of glue, but since I recommend to use paper tape for the edges, the hot glue is mostly just to keep them together on the center.

layers of cardboard for the sign

I cut my paper tape in half lengthwise to have thiner stripes and glue them to the edge of my sign, this part was kind of a pain, because I wasn't planning on covering the letters after this, so the tape had to have a clean finish. After I did all of the edges I punched some circles and glue them randomly to add a little bit of texture, the edges were so noticeable! So the texture helped making the sign more like one piece.

name sign taped up

Once I had my sign all ready I used the same paint from the wall I was going to hang it, so it would match, I though about using the contrasting color, but I love how it's still contrasting just with the shape and thickness.

make a custom name sign
the details of the name sign
nursery name sign oversized

The final sign is actually super light, but just in case our crib is not flushed with the wall now (it was for the pictures) and I know that its placed high enough so that our little Conner will not try to hand from it once he's older and starts doing that kind of things!

Check out the nursery

I hope you experiment with cardboard now! I know I've mentioned a lot of times, but it's one of my favorites materials ever, so many possibilities =]

I hope you have a lovely day!


Wednesday 24th of September 2014

Would you be interested in printing off my girls' names and sending then to me? Hadley Grace & Kinsley Rose. Id pay! Email me your response??

Ashley Gregory

Wednesday 25th of June 2014

I absolutely love this! I have been looking for a cut out of my little one's name for the nursery and this is absolutely PERFECT! I unfortunately do not have a lot of experience in Illustrator. Could you provide some instructions on what to do in Illustrator? THANK YOU!


Sunday 23rd of March 2014

Hello, I absolutely LOVE this idea. Would you consider making one for me? I will pay of

Patricia _ Italy

Saturday 30th of November 2013

Bellisimo todo tu trabajo, despues de mirar casi todo tu blog, vi donde en el dormitorio de tu hijo tienes en la puerta el continente americano... me llamo la atención el corazon en Chile ahi veo que eres chilena. Lindo tu blog me encanto... Un abrazo a la distancia, Paty Dios bendiga tu familia!


Tuesday 10th of December 2013

Muchas gracias por tu comentario Patricia! me da tanta alegria cuando alguien encuentra mi blog desde Chile! te mando un beso grande y ojala regreses por estos lados!

xo, Joy


Tuesday 16th of April 2013

What A lovely idea.... and look how beautiful it turned :) so impressed

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