Upcycled Wooden Signs

Upcycled wooden sign

It quickly became apparent on Day 1 of Covid-Lockdown that we needed some house rules about personal space, quiet space and family fun space!!

Our kids couldn't quite get their heads round the idea that Daddy was at home but not to be disturbed. Or that Mummy also needed quiet work time and would be switching with Daddy during the day. Or that it was okay for them to have time apart from each other.  (Seriously kids, please stop bickering for just one frickin' minute!). Our boundaries were blurring and nerves were already starting to fray.

So, armed with an old pallet, some paint and an afternoon of 'fun school' time we decided to upcycle ourselves some 'Do Not Disturb' signs. 

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The idea was that we can hang these signs on the door of our grown-up workspace and the kids bedrooms, and switch between the 'Do Not Disturb' side or the 'Come On In' side as needed. 

I thought I'd share this idea here in case you're suffering a similar case of blurred boundaries in your house and would find a sign like this helpful. If nothing else, it makes for a fun, upcycling activity to occupy the kids for an hour or so. 

The chances are that you don't have an old pallet kicking about (we only had one because it had been languishing at the back of the garage from 2 years ago!). However, you could easily make these signs from cardboard from your recycling bin.

What you need to make this:

  • Slats of old wood or big-ish bits of cardboard
  • Paint (any kind will do - old house paint, tester pots, poster paint, chalk paint)
  • Marker pens (Sharpies are great if you have them)
  • String or ribbon

Easy how-to-make instructions:

1) Cut your sign shapes out.

We used slats from the pallet so needed a saw to cut them out. If you're using cardboard, scissors will do the job! Cut whatever shape sign you like. We did rectangles because it was easiest with the pallet slats.

2) Paint both sides of the sign

We used different colours on each side of the sign, but you can colour your sign however you like. 

3) Create two holes in the top edge of the sign.

We had to use a drill for this because our signs were wood. If you're using cardboard, you just poke a hole through using scissors. Please supervise kids with any sharp tools.

4) Write your 'Do Not Disturb' messages using pen or paint

We used variations on the theme of 'Do Not Disturb' (e.g Quiet Time, Keep Out) for one side, and 'Come On In' or other welcome messages on the reverse. 

5) Thread some string or ribbon through the holes and tie the ends ready for hanging

That's it! A quick and easy craft activity (call it a Design Technology lesson if you like) to fill a moment of time.

How to make it a fun learning activity:

  • Use a ruler to measure out their signs - can your children see the difference between millimetres and centimetres? Can they measure out a specific length? Can they use the ruler to make sure their holes are equally spaced?
  • Spell out your Do Not Disturb messages - can your kids spell these words themselves? Could they think of alternative messages for each side and write out a choice of three? 

Have fun.

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