How to make a DIY garden signpost with leftover outdoor paint and upcycled wood battens

Make a statement vintage sign for your garden

Whether you have a celebration coming up or you just want to prettify your outside space, an old-fashioned DIY garden signpost is a fun addition.

Related: 29 easy garden ideas – simple, low-maintenance updates to transform your outdoor space

You don’t need to be a DIY whizz, either! All you need is a hammer and nails, plus a saw if you plan to create your arrows from scratch. It’s a great way to use reclaimed wood from old pallets or any discarded posts or battens. Garden paint will ensure your signs stay crisp and clear whatever the weather.

diy garden

(Image credit: Pelargonium for Europe)

How to create a DIY garden signpost

You will need

garden signpost

(Image credit: Pelargonium for Europe)
  • Wooden post
  • Wooden battens
  • Jigsaw or hand saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Weatherproof paint
  • Paintbrush

1 Make the arrows

Lay out several wooden battens on a flat surface. Use a pencil and ruler to draw a point at one end of each piece. Cut with a jigsaw or hand saw. Lightly sand to get rid of any splinters.

Buy now: Rough sawn whitewood spruce timber, £12.47 for 2.4m, B&Q

Buy now: Norton aluminium oxide assorted hand sanding sheets, £5.80 for 5 sheets, B&Q

2 Choose your words

Decide which words you’d like on each garden signpost. For a special occasion, think of where you’d like to direct guests, i.e. ‘cocktails’, ‘buffet’ or ‘bathroom’. For a year-round garden sign, go for more generic terms like ‘herbs’, ‘flowers’ and ‘singing birds’.

Related: Brilliant budget garden ideas that will boost your outdoor space without breaking the bank!

3 Create a chalk outline

Once you’re happy with the words you’ve chosen, use a piece of chalk to write them onto your wooden battens. Try to make sure the letters are equally spaced and in the centre of each piece. Don’t forget to think about which way you’ll want your arrows to face when the garden signpost is in situ. 

4 Fill in with paint

Go over your letters with weatherproof garden paint and a narrow paintbrush. Make sure the letters are in a colour that stands out against the wood and are nice and bold. Go over a second time if needed. Allow to dry completely.

Buy now: Cuprinol Garden Shades in White Daisy matt wood paint, £4 for 125ml, B&Q

Buy now: Gold flat and round Taklon brushes, £3 for six, Hobbycraft

5 Attach the arrows 


(Image credit: Pelargonium for Europe)

Lay the wooden post flat on the ground and arrange your arrows so they are in the order and direction you want them. Use a hammer and nails to attach the battens to the post. Try placing them at different angles for a jaunty look. 

Buy now: Diall lost head nails L40mm, £2.12 for 125g, B&Q

Buy now: Magnusson claw hammer 20oz, £11.97, B&Q

6 Display your signpost

Firmly push your DIY garden signpost into the ground so it’s standing securely. Alternatively, place in a large, sturdy pot. Plant scented flowers like geraniums, lavender or jasmine around the signpost for a beautiful display. 

Looking for more garden makes? 11 garden projects to tackle this weekend – from planting to painting

Protect your signpost from the damage and wear by placing it in a shed or garage during winter or spouts of bad weather.

Stephanie Durrant
Deputy Editor Style at Home

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.