Pap’s Fishing Buddies – DIY Wooden Photo Collage Sign

Today is my dad’s birthday! For his gift this year, I wanted to make him a wooden sign to showcase pictures of his three grandchildren. My dad absolutely loves fishing (specifically catfishing), so I wanted to go with a fishing theme for his sign.

My mom had hooked (haha, get it?) me up with this awesome fishing rod that she found, which was the main inspiration for the sign. With some stain, paint, and hard work, I think the sign turned out great and my dad really seemed to like it!

To make the sign, I started with a piece of plywood that my husband cut to size. I stained it with a dark brown walnut stain that matches the hardwood in my parents’ house.

I then used my Cricut Explore Air to cut out the words “Pap’s Fishing Buddies” on a piece of removable vinyl. I trimed the vinyl around each word and removed the letters to create stencils.

I then used transfer tape to prevent the letter shapes from distorting when I removed the backing off the vinyl. I laid the pieces out on the sign with the fishing rod until it was the way I wanted.

When I removed the backing from the vinyl and stuck the vinyl to the board, I used a large quilting ruler to make sure my letters were all straight.

I then very carefully removed the transfer tape. This was a bit more challenging than expected. I would recommend maybe applying the transfer tape to a soft towel to remove some stickiness before using it.

I used Mod Podge to make a base for the painting of my letters. A sponge brush works great for this because it helps you to dab a lot of Mod Podge at once within the stencil.

When the Mod Podge is applied, it looks bright white. It dries clear, so I waited until it was clear to paint.

I then used a new sponge brush to heavily dab white acrylic paint over the stencil.

When the paint dried, I carefully removed the stencil. There were some imperfections, but I wanted to put the hanging device on the back before fixing it in case flipping it to put the hanger on caused any damage.

I purchased this picture hanging set at Walmart for very little cost. I used two of the eye hooks and some of the wire to create a hanger on the back.

I measured 3 inches in from the top and the side to place each eye hook. I then put a piece of wire through each hook and tightly wrapped the extra wire back around and over itself to secure it.

The stencil worked very well, but there were a few tiny places where paint seeped through. I used a small utility knife to scrape away the extra paint around the letters.

Scraping away the paint left some bare wood, so I used a small paint brush to apply some additional stain at the points where I scraped. After about 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess which made it blend in with the rest of the board.

To attach the fishing rod, I applied a good amount of hot glue to the handle and the reel of the fishing rod and pushed it down into place. I also put a small bit of glue at the top of the rod to prevent the string from sagging when pictures were hung. The string was a bit too long, so I trimmed it down with scissors and re-tied the hook.

Here’s the finished project! I was very happy with how it turned out!

To hang the pictures, I included some mini clothespins so that pictures could be attached to the line and at the hook.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

If you make a sign like this, I would love to see it! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram using @onecraftatatime so I can see your finished project!

Happy crafting!

~ Candace 🙂