DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}

I’m a little behind in the blogger world when it comes to fall decor. In my defense, we live in Charlotte, North Carolina where we just had our first fall weather day this past weekend.
And it was magical! You know the kind of day I’m talking about? That first day when it’s just cool enough to get away with wearing your boots and not feeling like a lunatic? We had our annual pumpkin carving party at my in-laws’ house and the air was so crisp and clean and ahhhhh refreshing.
So when we came home with our freshly carved pumpkins from the party, my giddy-like-a-little-kid hubby didn’t waste a second in planning our porch decor. (He’s the most fall/holiday spirited person I know.)  But while he was at work today, I added a little decor of my own. Ha!
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}

You see all of those funny looking pumpkins? That would be the hubby’s handiwork since my main goal was to keep our toddler away from all the shiny, pretty, sharp knives. They’re quirky and silly like our family. 😉  
And even though they’re super cute, they seemed a little lonely. The porch needed…something. I’ve always wished we had a grand front door with beautiful sidelights, but alas, builder grade strikes again. So a pair of sidelight signs was my answer!
I lugged Olivia into Lowe’s and asked the super nice associate (who chuckled and seemed like he’d seen his fair share of Pinterest-crazed mommies) to cut a piece of plywood for my project.
Here are the supplies I used:
  • 2 plywood cuts of 12″x70″
  • 1 sample pot Valspar Blackstrap
  • 10 sheets of cardstock
  • Xacto knife
  • Masking or packing tape
  • White craft paint
  • Paint brush
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
Technically, the plywood piece cost $17, but considering I only used about a third of it for this project, I only counted the two signs cuts as costing $6. I have big plans for the other cuts from the plywood sheet though. 😉
The sample paint pot cost less than $3.
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}

I painted the Blackstrap paint directly onto the plywood pieces. Since it was raw wood, it took hardly any time to dry and soaked the paint right up. I still had plenty of paint leftover too, at least half the pot.

Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
For the wording, I used PicMonkey to format my stencils. I used good ol’ Times New Roman. (I think the former English teacher in me is showing.)
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
Then, I printed each individual letter on the cardstock. 
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
And I cut out the letters to create my stencils using an Xacto knife. (You think Santa will bring me a vinyl cutter this year? It’s times like these when I mentally put it on my Christmas list.)
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
The cardstock sheets were perfect for lining up and spacing out the stencils, so there was no guess work at all. I taped down the sides of the stencils to keep them from sliding around. (Ignore my ridiculous garage clutter back there. I think our junk reproduces all on its own.)
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
Using white craft paint from my stash, I pounced my brush on the stencils to prevent any smudging under the stencils.
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
And that was it! I knocked out this project in less than an hour!
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
They added so much personality to our front porch! And while I was getting the plywood, I picked up a bundle of cornstalks for $5. Amazing what wood, paint, and dead plants can do, right?
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
I revamped my door wreath too since it was still sporting the spring/summer look until last week. I used two fall garlands from Walmart for about $4 each to wrap around it and secured with floral wire. You can get the gist of how to make it from the DIY Initial Wreath I posted back in January.
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
I love that I went with traditional fall colors this year. Our front yard doesn’t have big trees with pretty falling leaves, so I was dying to put red, orange, and yellow everywhere.
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
And these are some of the pumpkins from our weekend party. I snapped a bunch of pictures from Saturday, so of course, I have to share them with y’all. 😉
My in-laws have a gorgeous hiking trail behind their house, so we took advantage of the first fall weather. My idea of roughing it is staying in a motel without a hair dryer, but even snake-fearing, bug-swatting, girlified me LOVED our hike.
Does this not melt your heart? There’s nothing sweeter than a little girl and her daddy.
Bless'er House | DIY Halloween Sidelight Signs {and Fall Porch Reveal}
My in-laws have this cool old barn behind their house that I would trudge into and start picking if I wasn’t terrified of what other critters might be lurking in there. So I just admire the barnwood instead.
Their trail is covered in this lush green moss and it’s like walking on carpet! Nature and I don’t always get along, but there aren’t words to describe how close I feel to God in these woods.

Little miss Olivia loved every second of trudging through the leaves.

I love this child more every day, and every day I’m amazed that’s even possible.
So it’s official. I’m completely ready for fall! Bring on the trick or treaters! …if I don’t eat all of the Halloween candy first. The big bowl of it in our foyer needs to stop calling me.
Do you have any fall weather in your area yet? What cute Halloween crafts have you seen lately? Is your porch already decorated? I’d love to see!
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  1. Hi Lauren! Your signs turned out great! One question…did you put any kind of sealer on the boards once you were done with them? Would these be ok to be exposed to the elements without getting ruined?

    1. Thanks! I would definitely seal with with an oil based polyurethane to protect from the elements. They should hold up well outside if they’re sealed though.

  2. My son and I just found this great idea while looking online. He is going to make these with his grandpa. Any advice for size or spacing of the letters? You did Times Roman, but how tall and wide is each letter? This is such a great idea -even out here in California! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Ingrid! So sorry for my delay! For the letters, I just used the largest font I possibly could that would fit one letter on one page. Then, I just taped the pages the same width apart each on the board to stencil.

      1. Thanks, Lauren. My husband helped my son do the stencils in Photo Shop and Times Roman really looks great. The problem we had is that the stencils (on card stock) stuck to the board. When we went to pull them up, parts of the card stock stuck onto the board. We used regular paint on the letters (leftover from a reno). Should we switch to craft paint for the letters? Any other tips? Should we have let the boards dry longer before painting the letters on? It mostly stuck in the places where the paint may have pooled against the edge of the stencil. Thanks for any advice from the DIY challenged here in CA! Happy to send a photo, if helpful.

        1. Hmm… did you pull the stencils up right after painting? If not, the paint might have dried onto the paper. Or if you had humidity in the air, that could have caused tacky paint to make it stick. I wish I could be more help. You could try putting laminating sheets on both sides of the stencils too so that it peels off more easily. Anyways, I’d love to see a photo! You can send it to

  3. Your porch looks so perfect and inviting for Halloween, without being scary or gory. I was reading through your other comments and see that you are going to repurpose them for Christmas which is a great idea! The signs are so large and can really catch your eye. Good luck making 50 more! 🙂

    And that photo of your daughter and husband is something to treasure. I have one of my dad and I when I was about the same age. He is leaning on the porch railing looking out over our backyard and I am in the same pose. It is one of my most treasured photos. Anytime you can catch a moment like you did of the two of them in an ordinary setting creates a beautiful picture.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us!

    1. Thanks so much, Jamie! They’re been pretty tough to make in mass quantities. I was able to recruit a couple of crafty moms who wanted a side project, and they’ve taken over for me…thank goodness! I did 8 sets and I was DONE! But I did the reversible on them too so it was more like 16 sets. They turned out great though. I’ll have to post about the Christmas ones later when we get past Halloween.

      Such a sweet story about your dad. I love candid shots of the two of them just being all lovey and cute. 🙂 Thanks again for hosting the link party!

  4. Hey, Charlotte neighbor! Loving this idea, and thank you for sharing the instructions for it. I’m not a big Halloween person, but I love the idea of using autumn colors and the words “Give” and “Thanks”.

    Out of curiosity, what size font did you use for the letters? It looks like standard 8.5×11″ paper, so I’d like to make sure I’m being as uniform as possible. 😉

    And FYI–your daughter is just impossibly precious. <3

    1. Howdy ho, neighbor! 😉 I’ve had a few people request “Give Thanks” for theirs. I thought about doing “Happy Fall” too so you can leave it up October through November. In Picmonkey, when I formatted the font, I used 3600 sized font in Times New Roman. It is standard printer sized paper, but I used cardstock. If you’re doing multiple signs, you can cover the cardstock with a laminating sheet first and then cut it out with the Xacto knife so it will last longer. Hope that helps!