Directional Arrows Sign DIY Directional Arrows Sign

Don’t you just have an affinity for those colorful directional arrows signs you see around cabins and cottages?

You know the ones pointing the way and how far to get to an inn, or the ice cream store (the “dairy” as they call them in Maine) or marina or some fun little store, in the colors and fonts known for that particular place? Taking inspiration from the ones in Kennebunkport, ME, (KPT) I came up with a little bit different message on one for the Maine cottage. Here’s what I did and what it looks like…

First, here’s a couple of pictures of only a few of the many inspiring directional arrows signs found around KPT. KPT directional arrow

Depending on what kind of corner, some of them have directional arrows pointing all four ways on every side, so fun! directional arrows

As I made my DIY directional arrows sign while I was staying in Maine, at the cottage, with very limited tools, I had limitations… like, no saw. If I really needed to, I’m sure I could have found a local carpenter to help me out with some cuts, but there was no need once I spied these simple arrows.

This is just a fun little decor for the cottage, so doing it ‘on the cheap’ is the ruling thought. 🙂 painting Michael's arrows

(The ones I found are now discontinued… But here is a shopping link for some very similar.)

Mine are two connecting pieces of some sort of thin hardboard. The black faux chalkboard smaller center part is glued to the back and there was a twine hanger across the top, (you can still see the two holes in each arrow)

When I first bought them, the back boards you see in the blues and green and colors I painted them, started off in a brownish tan color, which for a different treatment could look fine, but for this project, I wanted to emphasize the different colors like in the KPT town signs.

I have actually been wanting to do this project for a while… but instead of listing local places, I wanted to write towns and the distance to them, that bare a special significance to our family. computer screen with chosen font and lines

I’ve read from so many of you different techniques to transfer script from the computer, however, I don’t have a printer handy, and I actually prefer to do it by hand. I find it so much more satisfying and enjoyable to do. It’s actually like drawing, not writing.

So here’s my technique to print these scripts by hand. (I’ve shared similar techniques with you when doing the chalkboard too)

First, working on Microsoft Power Point, I wrote out the town and mileage, then played around with the font selection until I liked the chosen font for the specific place. I then added 2 reference lines through the center of the script, both vertically and horizontally. These reference lines are super important, they tell you what part of the letter is above or below, and if you refer to that, instead of allowing your own handwriting to take over, you will approach it like drawing a picture, instead of writing a word. It really works!

Though it’s not visible in the computer screen shot I showed you above, I winded up moving the horizontal reference line up to go across the top of the lower case letters. You can see this change in the lettering below: lines on chalkboard arrow

This picture doesn’t look like much, but it’s actually showing you the light pencil lines I drew on the arrow. I’ve added a bottom line besides the two center vertical and horizontal lines. penciled in script

Now you can see the arrow with the penciled in script. I started in the center of the arrow, with the MN and then worked out to the right and left from the center. paint markers

For this sign, I wanted a more permanent treatment than chalk, so once the penciled letters were done, I used a white paint marker. (here is a shopping link for this marker) Here is a black one on top and a white one on the bottom. They work really great, although a little practice is helpful. You need to shake them well and often, (with the lids on! I have the paint splatters around the kitchen to show what happens if you don’t have the lid on!!) And then you lightly press the tip on some paper towel to get the paint to flow into the felt tip. painted chalk arrow

Then it’s just a matter of simply painting the penciled letters. arrows done

After I got the 6 arrows done, I needed to find a piece of wood to use for the ‘post’ to hold them. I really wanted an old weathered looking piece of wood, exactly 36″ long, (remember, no saw here, and I’m cheap… er… this is an ‘on the cheap’ project) so I started to visually search around construction dumpsters as I drove around the countryside and towns, all I could find was new wood scraps though… But then I lucked out, I drove by a cute little house in Arundel that had some miscellaneous ‘free’ items at the end of the road, a window blind, a part of a bay window roof, a chair cushion and this 36″ piece of weathered wooden board.

Even though the board had a slight crack in the middle of it, for my use, it didn’t matter. (So funny they put it at the end of the road for free… I really don’t think anyone in their right mind would want this junky piece of wood… besides the rare chance of me looking for this exact piece!) I hot glued the arrows on the old board, pointing in the appropriate direction to where the places are from where the sign will hang in the cottage. And then just screwed the ‘post’ to the wall. directional arrows sign

And there you have it! Fun, colorful decor with a meaning.  The directional arrows sign all finished. Everything is west from the cottage, except the beach. 😉

I hope this was encouraging to you to feel confident to do some script even if you, like I, don’t have all the new-fangled  equipment, printers and vinyl cut outs. You can do it by hand, with a few reference lines and just draw what you see.

Shopping links:

Here are more tips and tutorials:

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Yay!! This post was featured at: My Repurposed Life

This post can also be found at: Skip to My LouI Should be Mopping the FloorBetween Naps on the PorchCoastal CharmMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaStoneGableYesterday on TuesdayHome Stories A to ZA Stroll Thru LifeTip Junkie,  Just a Girl and Her BlogSavvy Southern StyleThe DIY DreamerDIY by DesignFrom My Front Porch to YoursCommon GroundJoy in Our HomePosed PerfectionThe Charm of HomeMy Repurposed LifeDesign, Dining & DiapersMust Love HomeToo Much Time on My HandsFrench Country CottageMy Romantic HomeThe Shabby Nest

Reader Interactions


  1. Nina Lewis says

    I’m dropping by from the French Country Cottage link party. What a fabulous idea! That would be a hoot to have on my patio. I’m already planning which places I want my arrows to point to.

    I have a link party that I’m trying to grow. I invite you to share this wonderful idea (and a couple of other ones) at my Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. I’m sure my readers would love this project as much as I do! It’s at

    The link up goes from Wednesday through Friday at midnight Mountain Daylight Time. I know that there isn’t much time left for this link party. If you can’t make it, please drop by for the one next week. I look forward to seeing you there.

    All the best,

  2. Jenny says

    Oh, I love this sign so much! I had to click on your link from the Inspire Me Monday link party because I’m starting to think about making a similar sign for our little cottage in Wisconsin. You did an amazing job with the lettering!!

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