leaf sign

Note from Heather: Welcome to Amy from Mod Podge Rocks, who is working up a series of amazing tutorials for us! Mod Podge rocks, and so does Amy! Now let the great tutorial begin!

This is Amy from Mod Podge Rocks, and let me start by saying that I am now obsessed with the dollar store.  It began simply as an appreciation, grew into a love and is now a full-blown obsession.  Why the change?  I’ve been shopping there for a little under a year and had not been through the fall merchandise season.  Let me tell you – it’s amazing.  There is a lot of home decor, and to celebrate fall (and Mod Podge) I chose to re-do the outdoor sign that you see above.  I pulled items out of my stash and went to town making an autumn statement that I felt was more “me” than the sign I purchased.

This sign will only take you a few hours at most, and I encourage you to use what you have on hand.  It’s a small project, and great for those paper scraps and embellishments you are wondering what to do with.  Also consider the possibility of a great fall housewarming gift!

Project Estimate:

  • Leaf Sign, $1
  • Acrylic paint colors – 2 coordinating, $2 or on hand
  • Scrapbook paper – 1 sheet, on hand
  • Autumn stickers and embellishments, on hand
  • Outdoor Mod Podge, on hand
  • Craft glue, on hand
  • Paint brush, on hand
  • Pencil or pen, on hand
  • Tool set or small pliers, on hand
  • Sandpaper, on hand

Total cost: $3 and up

Time Needed: 2 hours

To Make:

Before Sign

  • Start out with an unfinished sign.  I wanted you to see the entire sign before transformation.

Remove Wires

  • Remove the wires with pliers or whatever tool works best for you.

Sand in Motion

  • Sand the pieces with a medium grit sandpaper.  You don’t have to sand too hard or too long – just enough to rough up the surface and remove a little bit of the coating.  This will help your decoupage stick better.  Wipe the sanding dust off when you are done.

Trace the Leaf

  • Flip the leaf over face down and trace on the BACK of the paper you are going to use.  Trust me – if you do this the shape will come out right (do you think I’ve learned from trial and error?).  I decided to simply paint the top of the sign, but if you would like the decoupage the top, repeat the process.  Cut the leaf shape out and set aside.

Paint the Leaf

  • And the painting begins!  I covered both sides of the leaf with several coats of paint – don’t forget to paint the sides thoroughly.  You don’t really have to paint the side that you are gluing the paper to, but I did it because the leaf isn’t that big.  Trust me – if it were a larger project – it wouldn’t have happened.  Oh, one more thing.  At this same time I was painting the top of the sign orange.  I let the leaf dry, painted the sign top, and kept going back and forth until both were fully covered with paint.  Allow both pieces to dry completely.


  • Time to Mod Podge!  This is my favorite part.  Simply coat the leaf shape with a medium layer of Mod Podge.  Make sure to get all of the edges completely.  Lay the paper down and smooth it with your fingers.  Smooth, smooth, smooth!  Wipe any excess Podge that spills out from under the paper away with a paint brush.  Set aside for 15 – 20 minutes to dry.  Then coat the top of your sign with Mod Podge (or glue down paper if you choose).  Let the top of the sign dry too.


  • Now it’s time to paint the entire project with Mod Podge.  Start with the leaf shape, and coat thoroughly.  Give both the leaf shape and the top of the sign several coats of Mod Podge.  Allow both pieces to dry for 15 – 20 minutes.

Glue Letters

  • At this time you’ll start assembly.  Put the wires back in, attaching the leaf shape and then loop to hang the sign.  You’ll obviously want to add embellishments!  My letters were adhesive, but sometimes stickers peel off of Mod Podge, so I always glue them down just to be sure.  Glue your letter embellishments and place like I did above.  I also added a big one in the center of the leaf – to “get a little nutty.”

Polka Dots

  • My sign still needed something, so I added polka dots.  They always work!  I used the turquoise paint I had painted the leaf with and the end of my paint brush.  Just keep dipping and putting down dots.  Let them dry.


  • To finish, I added rhinestones to the leaf where some of the polka dots were.  It gave me the extra special bling I was looking for.  When you are done assembling, let the project dry for at least 24 hours before hanging.

Your sign is complete-o.  This is perfect for a housewarming gift or for your own funky front door.  Bring on the signs and start Podging.  If you need any tips, swing by and visit me.  Decoupage doesn’t take long to master.  I promise!