All You Need Is Love & the Beach (Thrifty Sign Tutorial)

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Here is the sign I promised you all last week! ;)

All You Need Is Love & the Beach….I’d say that’s pretty much true. How about you?

I’d had this old (cheapy print) picture hanging on my back screened porch for a few years.  (it was very faded and did I mention, cheap?)

All you need is love sign #allyouneedislove #beachsign #coastaldecor

This was so easy…I promise.
You can do this…and I’m going to show you how.

Time for the old to go!

All you need is love sign #allyouneedislove #beachsign #coastaldecor

Perfectly good board so why throw it out?
I didn’t, I decided to paint right over it and re-use it.

The first coat was Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - First Coat of Chalk Paint #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Then I took a dry brush and did a very heavy dry brushing with Pure White (also Chalk Paint) over the top of the whole thing.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Dry Brushed second coat - #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

I really only wanted to see bits of blue and have a kind of washed effect.

Want to see a video/post I created on “dry brushing”, check it out here.

Next, I created my graphic….

All you need is love and the beach printable - #beach #coastal #sayings #quotes

I printed it out in reverse, mirror image, taped to the board and transferred the image.
(I just rubbed on this side of the lettering with a spoon)

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Transferring Lettering - #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Don’t like this transfer method?? I’ve got a bunch more other ways to do it, here!

The ink is all transferred and ready to paint…

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - EASY transfer method #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Looking at my design I realized I had a lot of space left over. I hadn’t planned for anything else on the board but decided to add something to the area at the top right and bottom left.

I hand-painted the lettering in with a little watered down Graphite Chalk Paint.
(tip: it’s easier to handle and work with if it’s watered down just a little..especially on small thin letters)

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Lettering Hand Painted #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

I use an artist’s script liner brush to do the lettering.

After that was dry I lightly sanded the lettering.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Up Close Lettering #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy
I gave it a quick spray of Minwax Polycrylic to seal it.

Then I attached the sand dollar and starfish with a hot glue gun. (I painted the sand dollar and starfish with “Oyster” colored metallic paint)

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Finished Lettering Sign #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Aren’t they pretty painted with that shimmery metallic paint? I am just loving the seashells painted with it.

See the rope in the photo below? That was an afterthought too.
I was thinking I’d wrap it around the whole thing but then decided I only needed it on the sides.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Shells #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Here it is all finished and displayed where it’s going to “live” in my home.

For now, anyway. 

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - bookshelf #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Right up on my new shelf along with my collection of vintage blue bottles.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - New Shelf - Old Bottles - #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Love these bottles…

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - Vintage Bottles #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

…and my new shelf.

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - New DIY Shelf & Sign #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

This sits right over the top of my Chalk Painted French Arm Chair.
But I can’t show you the full photo yet because I have a little French graphic/grain sack cabinet (right beside the chair) to share with you all first.

Soon. :)

But for now…this DIY, super easy, anyone can do it, re-purposed thrifty beach sign.

All you need is love sign #allyouneedislove #beachsign #coastaldecor

Love & the Beach - DIY Sign Tutorial - with books #thrifty #homedecor #beach #sign #coastal #diy

Do you have any old things laying around that you can turn into something else and re-use?
I love taking what I have and creating something entirely different. It’s fun and good on the budget!

PIN this to save for later! :)

All you need is love sign #allyouneedislove #beachsign #coastaldecor

If you missed my “How to Decorate on a Budget” post last week you can see it –> here.
I share similar things like this, furniture, thrifted items, etc, that I have decorated with very inexpensively.
It’s a new series I’ve started and will be sharing all the thrifty decor in each of my rooms as I complete them.

If you love to decorate thrifty or re-invent things, I’d love to hear about it…or see it!
Send me a message or let me know in the comments below.

Want to see what I’m working on next?? Nope, I did not paint that, I found it that way at the thrift store.
You won’t believe how it looks now!

Update!! See it now, here!



  1. That is so cute! The shells are a lovely feature. Sorry if this is a silly question, but how did you get the lettering to come off the paper and onto the board? Did you use a special ink or paper? I’d love to try something similar at home! Thank you x

    1. Thanks Helen! :)
      Sometimes if the print is thick enough, you can just rub the back and the ink (from a regular inkjet printer, regular paper) will transfer. Other times, if it’s small, intricate print I will rub pencil lead or chalk over it and trace it.
      Hope you have a great weekend!!

      1. Wow, OK, thanks Nancy! That’s so helpful! I’m going to give that a try! Looking forward to your next makeover already :) x

  2. i love anything beach…grew up in fl…in tn now so i do miss the beach…. this looks like something i could do with your free printable thanks for sharing this is so “beachy” xx

  3. Nancy what a great sign. Going to go searching for a picture to re-do so I can have this in my home too!

    1. Thanks Sheila! :) It’s so easy, you can definitely do it! And so much the better with something you already have.
      Have a great weekend! xo

  4. Nancy, love the sign! The font you used for the words “Love” and “Beach” is perfect for the sign! What font is that?

    Also, what Oyster paint did you use? It is a spray paint or in a can? And the brand? It’s really great!

    Nice job! xo

    1. Thanks Karen!! :)
      That font is called Great Vibes. The Oyster is Modern Masters. It’s perfect for seashells!

  5. Your sign is perfect for coastal decor. I love the colors you used and the addition of the starfish and sand dollar. Even though I’m not on the coast, I have beachy decorations in several places in my home for the summer.

    1. Thank you Paula :) Oh yep, I think it doesn’t matter if you are or not! It’s all about what you love, right?!

  6. I am so loving this, have to make this, will be perfect in our redone living room that is beachy/cottage. Still love the light gray, two shades darker gray and the aquas in room. In fall I’ll figure out something else besides the beachy but for now it’s working. Shades of 21 yrs. in San Diego.
    Your sign is perfect and will be a wonderful addition come next summer after I put it away for the year. Like to rotate art from year to year, maybe put this on gallery wall. Glad you shared this post, love this project.
    Happy summer days (what’s left of them) and good week.

    1. Oh yes, will be great for that! It’s fun to pull things out the next year…almost like something new that way! :)

  7. I love this sign and want to make it for my house – but……
    I can’t figure out how to print the graphic in reverse mirror? Do I need a different program to do that?

    Also could you please explain your dry brush technique? Or link the post where you already went thru it? Sorry to be a pain….Thanks a ton!

    1. Hi Michelle!

      There are programs that will allow you to edit and make the image reverse. I can edit the post and include it that way! :) (Picasa is free and it can reverse too)
      Not a pain at all!
      The dry brush is just that….taking a completely dry brush and just putting a bit of paint on the edges of the bristles, wiping it well on a paper plate (or anything handy) and lightly going over your piece just enough to lay a bit of paint down.
      Here’s another post with a large piece of furniture that I used dry brushing on…

      Hope that helps!

  8. Love this! What grit sandpaper do you use after dry brushing and to sand the lettering? What kind of brush do you use for the lettering; it looks wonderful!

    1. Thanks Sara! I typically use a very fine sandpaper for this and script liners are perfect for doing the lettering! :)

  9. This is the easiest way to transfer lettering. No need to use pencil to trace then transfer. I’m not sure why people do that extra step, once you print with letters reversed, run the letters onto wood, paper, most anything. easy peasy.

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