DIY Oversized Sheet Music Sign

We all know by now I have a book obsession. Library card catalog coffee tables, card catalog cabinet pulls, and strangely enough…limited books on the living room bookshelf. Mainly because they’re sprinkled everywhere else in our house and packed into our office.

In my defense, I was raised by a librarian. But I have a confession to make. In addition to being a book worm, I was a band nerd. (I know what you’re thinking. “Lauren was hot stuff in high school.”)  So any chance I can sneak in something pertaining to music in our decor, I have flashbacks. Band camp flashbacks. Hardcore stuff.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

When I got the idea to incorporate a favorite song of mine into Olivia’s room, I ran with it! (Me? Run?) Or danced with it. I first heard “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack when I was 12, backstage during a Nutcracker production like I did every year, and my gal pals and I played it on repeat between our numbers in the dressing rooms.

But it wasn’t until Olivia came along 13 years later that I really understood what the lyrics meant. The words of the song say so many things I’d want her to know as she grows up. (*tear*)

I found this beautiful oversized sheet music sign from RH Baby and Child for my inspiration. 1. It was out of my price range. 2. I wanted a vertical print. 3. The song I wanted wasn’t an option.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House
RH Baby and Child

Problem solved. DIY to save the day as usual. I am so thankful I have an incredible husband who takes my ideas and makes them happen.

Here’s what we used:

*affiliates

  • 24×36″ cut 3/4″ thick particle board
  • 1x2x8″ pine furring strips
  • Brad nails and wood nails
  • Nail gun* or hammer
  • Circular saw/jigsaw* (just something to cut a simple straight line…nothing tricky)
  • Black tea (I use Luzianne.)
  • DIY wood stain (My recipe is here.)  Any store-bought stain will work though.
  • 24×36″ engineer print from Staples. (Or any other size of your choosing)
  • A sheet music file  (I used this one if you want my exact print.)
  • Mod Podge* Matte
  • Large craft brush and/or paint brush
  • Paper towels

Robert started out with a piece of particle board that he’d cut down to the size I needed for the engineer print I’d had made for the sheet music (more on that in just a minute). We already had the particle board as scrap wood hanging out in our garage, so we didn’t have to buy any for this project.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

First, he lined up, marked, and cut the lengths he needed of the 1×2 strips to attach to the back of the particle board to support the sign and prevent bowing.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

He measured and cut strips for the sides of the sign too.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

This step would have been much easier with a nail gun, but the one we usually borrow from my parents was all the way across town. Robert just decided to tough it out old school.

He nailed brad nails through the front of the particle board to attach the 1×2 strips on the back around the edges of the sign.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

The back ended up looking like this.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

For the frame, he marked and cut 1×2 strips for the top and bottom of the sign. He nailed them into the sides of the strips on the back of the sign.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

And he added more 1×2 strips to the sides. Now the fun part for me! (Poor Robert is my grunt labor.)

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

Those pretty yellowy white wood pieces needed to be weathered up first.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I busted out the old tried and true DIY stain made from tea, apple cider vinegar, and steel wool for the frame pieces. This stuff is so easy. Easy cleanup and not a pleasant smell but it’s not packed with chemicals either. And you can’t argue with stain you can make with ingredients already hanging out in your pantry. Every dollar counts.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I put some of the stain on the edges of the particle board too just in case some ended up showing later.

I have to backtrack a little bit to explain how I actually “made” the sheet music. I bought the sheet music for the song I wanted online first. Legally. It was about $2 for a digital file. Google will pull up all kinds of sites where you can buy the song you want. Instead of printing that digital file on my home printer, I sent it off to Staples to have it made as an engineer print.

(Side note: In case you’re thinking of making a bunch of these and selling them, I wouldn’t do it. Because I bought one file for the sheet music, I felt like it was fine for me to make this one print for my own house. But when you start getting into selling sheet music that you don’t own the copyright to, you could get in a whole heap of trouble. Just keeping the legal stuff in mind.)

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

If you come across a sheet music file that doesn’t have a high enough resolution to print on such a big scale, you can piece it together on Picmonkey using the steps I did on my DIY Oversized Map to make it the resolution you need.

If you’ve never seen this before, this is an engineer print. Whoever came up with the idea to print wall decor and photos on engineer print is just genius. I don’t know who thought it up first or I would link them here. This huge 24×36″ print cost $3 and some change at Staples.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I could have kept the paper a crisp white if I wanted, but typical me chose to antique it. Antiquing paper is super simple. Brew a cup of black tea and let it steep for about 5 minutes. I laid my print on our kitchen counter and started working on this at night. Sorry for the icky lighting.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

Once my tea was ready, I used a clean paint brush to dip it in the tea cup, wipe off any major drips on the cup rim, and worked in sections brushing the tea on the paper.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I blotted up each section with paper towels so the paper wouldn’t get too dark. You could skip this step if you wanted your paper darker.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

When I was finished tea staining, I let the paper dry overnight.

The next morning, I lined up the dry engineer print on the particle board and worked in sections with Mod Podge.

I started by applying the Mod Podge to the top of the particle board sign and pressed the top of engineer print down where I wanted. Robert held up the end of the paper while I applied and pressed, moving further down the print and smoothing out any air bubbles as I went. (I would have snapped a picture but our 2 year-old wasn’t up to handling my pricey camera…as you can imagine.)

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I gave the print a coat of Mod Podge on top to seal it. Then let it dry and it was ready to hang!

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

We have another sign for the second half of the song too that will hang on the other side of her mirror and DIY ballet barre. It just hasn’t made it up on the wall yet.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I’m so thrilled with how it turned out! I love the antique-y imperfections on the paper. The particle board made a really cool crinkly texture too. If you aren’t a fan of the texture though, you can use smooth plywood instead.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

Is it sad that we’ve been in this house for nearly a year and half, and this is the first piece of wall decor she’s had in her room?

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

If it’s weird to you that we hung it behind her door, it’ll make sense once we get the second sign up there and you see the whole wall.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I can’t believe this cost less than $20 to make. And since we already had the particle board as scraps, it cost us more like $13.

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

I’m already trying to think of places where I can hang more of these ginormous signs. I’m ready to make about 5 more!

DIY Oversized Sheet Music Wooden Sign - RH Baby and Child KnockOff | Bless'er House

Maybe next time, I’ll have to make it a book page to appease my book worm side. My band nerd side is satisfied over here.

And Olivia couldn’t care less, but one day maybe she’ll appreciate the meaning behind it.

Have you guys put any great song lyrics around your houses lately? What book would you print a page from to hang on your wall? Do I dare ask for a band nerd roll call?

I’ll start- Lauren, alto saxophone and colorguard flags and sabres. I miss the people…the uniforms, not so much. 😉

Update:  See the full bedroom makeover reveal here!

signoff

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74 Comments

  1. Love this!
    My only question is how do you get it to look so smooth? Every time I modge podge, you can see where to picture begins and ends but your looks painted on.

    1. It actually doesn’t look quite as smooth in person. But I like that since it has an antique, textured effect that way. If you want it to be smooth, you can just use Elmer’s spray adhesive.

    1. I bought it on musicnotes.com and paid for printing rights for a single print. It’s typically around $1-3 for it.

  2. How did u hang ur framed sheet music? I just followed ur instructions and made my own but now I don’t know how to hang!

  3. Hi Lauren! I absolutely love this! I would purchase one of these from you in a heartbeat! Would you ever consider selling these?

    1. Thank you so much! I haven’t attempted to sell these mainly because I believe it would be a copyright issue with the creator of the sheet music. But you can purchase your own copy for around $3-4 to legally print an enlargement of.

  4. This song was on a CD that I gave to my daughter as a graduation gift. I cannot find sheet music like yours. Could you please tell me where and exactly what you purchased. I want to make this sign and give it to my daughter as a graduation gift from nursing school. Sweet memories!!! Or, if you will email the file to me I will pay you. I have paypal. Thank you in advance.

    Yvonne Poole

  5. Love this idea!! I found the sheet music and purchased it with 1 print. Now… how do I get it over to Staples or how do I make it so I can use PicMonkey? Thanks in advance!! 🙂 🙂

    1. Yay! That’s great, Cindy! You can just upload the sheet music file into Picmonkey, add an overlay by clicking the butterfly icon on the left side of the screen, click “geometric” at the top, and add a white rectangle over the title of the sheet music. Then, you can retype the title in whatever font you want from the “text” tab on the left in Picmonkey. And save. Go to the Staples website here: http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/copyandprint/engineering-prints.html And you can click “design” now to upload the sheet music file to have it printed in the large size you want. Hope that helps!

        1. Oh I’m trying to remember how I did it. Oops! I’m thinking I was able to open the file and then save as a jpg. Then I could open the jpg in Picmonkey. Let me know if that works. 🙂

        2. did you ever figure this out? Its saying I’m unable to save file in anything other than the music notes app?

          1. Oh no! I wonder if they changed that! I was able to save as a JPG file and just upload it into Picmonkey to change the font before sending it off to Staples to use the copyright permission for one print. There’s no way at all to save the file to your computer?

  6. Never thought of doing a song, but Darius Rucker’s True Believers reminds me of our daughter and her husband. might have to do one of these for them.

    Middle son is going to get an engineering print of a Lego for Christmas. My husband is a custom cabinetmaker so I can have him make a nice frame for it (I love your frame, but not sure if he would). There is a series by a scifi author that my son and I like…before he moved out we had to make sure that we both had copies of all the books in the series. John used the Jabberwocky poem for book titles in the series and lines from it for chapter headings…I printed the poem for him on a piece of scrapbook paper that looks like stars, framed it and gave it to him. Now I need to find a book series that older son and I shared to do for him. Or maybe something from the Redwall series…he loved those and I still have them. Or a dinosaur….triceratops is his favorite (he’s 29). Hmmmm….doing them for the youngest is a no brainer….Hello Kitty or anything from Mortal Instruments or Infernal Devices series.

    LOVE the framing and tea staining idea. Will have to use it. And, of course you used Luzianne tea 😉

    Susan
    Native Texan raised in Texas (and Georgia, TN, MO, MD (for 9 VERY long months when I was 8)

    1. Those are some great ideas, Susan! There really are so many possibilities for this project. I can’t wait to make more. And if your husband is a cabinetmaker, I’m positive he won’t be a fan of our method. Haha We’re no experts, that’s for sure. A nail gun would have been much easier, but we didn’t have the one we usually use with us that day. And oh yeah…Luzianne all the way. There’s no other kind. 😉

  7. I love engineer prints! But I never thought of doing it with sheet music or staining the print! Thanks for the great tips! PS I love your tutorial on how to make the frame! Smart!

  8. I’m obsessed with this!!! And I also love the ballet barre!

    PS. Color Guard and Winter Guard all 4 years of high school 🙂 Two years ago my high schools band had their 50 Year Reunion and I performed in the half time show with someone my mom went to high school with! Such a neat experience!

    1. That is so cool, Jamie! I did Winter Guard too, and it was so much fun. I loved it so much that I went on to be a color guard / winter guard instructor and choreographer for 6 more years after high school. There’s nothing like it in the world for sure.

  9. Love your choice of song and the tutorial. I had been wanting to make a sign like that for a bit wasn’t sure how to do the wood round the edge of the particle board. Thanks to your tutorial, i know how to make one. Livi bugs room is looker cuter and more perfect every week.

  10. Hi! I’m fairly new to you blog & all I can say is you seriously need to have your own Etsy shop! I would want so many of your crafts that I know I couldn’t pull off myself like your daughter’s pillow& this one custom made with our favorite lullaby! I did ask my husband to make the mirror & ballet barre smaller in our soon to be new home for our little dancer! Your projects are inspiring & what a great team you& your husband are!!! Thanks!!!

    1. That means so much for you to say that, Eve! Thank you! Opening an Etsy shop has been one option for me in a new blog venture along with writing an ebook and/or offering virtual interior design consultations (for low budgets). I’m still juggling all the possibilities. Once we get some part-time childcare figured out, maybe that could happen. 🙂

      1. Oh and I’d love to see the ballet barre once you get it set up! Send a pic my way if you ever get the chance. 🙂

  11. I’ll join in your roll call!
    Mira- trumpet and color guard flags my senior year!
    I love your sheet music sign – “I Hope You Dance” was our graduation song so it holds a special place in my heart!

  12. Comment & question– Lovely project and the question is– what’s the difference between a regular print and an engineer print? Thanks

    1. An engineer print is only black and white and costs $3-4. An enlarged regular print of the same size can be made into color but regardless of whether you choose color/black&white it will cost $20-30 more than an engineer print. I hope that helps. 🙂

  13. This is a song my son loves because it reminds him of his daughter. I never thought of having it printed on an engineer print and framing it for him. That would be such a special gift! Maybe even make two, one for him and one from my granddaughter! Thank you so much for the idea and inspiration. I am such a big fan of your blog!

    1. Aw that would be so sweet! There really are endless possibilities- songs, poems, children’s book pages, quotes, scriptures, tons of possibilities. 🙂 Thanks so much for the love, Sandy!

  14. Can you do color engineer prints? How about book covers in the play room? “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”, “Wind in the Willows” “Madeline” “Anne of Green Gables” – just off the top of my head. Ooooh that sounds like a good idea for a library as well. 🙂 Beautiful job with the room so far.

    1. Engineer prints only come in black and white. 🙁 But it’s definitely a good solution for some cheap classroom/library decor. (wink wink) I like that idea for playroom decor! Maybe make it like a giant coloring book and then frame the finished products. That’d be cute.

      1. quick update. Staples now does color engineer prints! Yay! I’m working on your Irish Blessing sign now for my own home and just discovered that tidbit.

        1. WHAT?! Shut the front door! Ohhhhh I’m already brainstorming colored engineer print ideas over here now. You might have started something.

  15. I hate/love that song. Ever since I became a mother it always make me cry. 🙂 If I had a daughter I would totally steal the ballet barre idea, I LOVE it!! and kinda secretly want one for myself 😉
    P.S. My husband lives in Irish wool hats exactly like the one your is wearing in the picture.

    1. I know! That song and the Darius Rucker song, “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” gets me EVERY time. My husband practically lives in his Irish wool hats. His parents brought that one he’s wearing back from a trip to Ireland last year. I gotta admit, they’re pretty dapper. 🙂 Your hubby has good taste.

  16. Don’t you just love engineer prints? I have one of my kids in my bedroom and would have them all over my house if I could 🙂 I LOVE how you framed yours and what a perfect song for a little girls room. I can’t wait to see the other sign your planing on making.

    1. Yes! They’re awesome! I can’t believe this was my first time having one printed. I think I’m hooked. Haha Thanks for the love, Katie! I can’t wait to show more progress.

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