Vintage Hardware Co. Sign

I’ve been seeing a lot of cool “how I made it” videos lately of all kinds of projects. The accessibility of quality cameras, editing software, and the platforms to broadcast them has made it so easy. The only trick is to just get started and make things. So I did.

Recently on the Carvaholics Facebook group, some people were asking about just doing letter cutouts. No carving involved, just cutouts. I decided to make a video showing how to do this with a fun vintage sign project that I think you all will enjoy.

I started by designing the piece in my preferred vector design software, Adobe Illustrator. With my design ready, I exported as a DXF.

Adobe Illustrator
My design in Adobe Illustrator
There are many “vintage” style logos and artwork available online to download. I found some options for free on Additionally, there is free vector design software options as well. Inkscape is popular and very capable. If you don’t have the DXF Importer and you want to do projects like this, simply separate the pieces in your design software and export them as PNG files. Even the BASIC CarveWright software can import PNG’s with the image import. Learn about importing images.
free vintage logos
There are so many free resources on the internet!

I used the DXF Importer to bring my design in, size it, and separate the pieces into individual boards.

You can watch a sped-up software run-through here.

There were 4 boards each 48″ x 12″ x.5″ .  Since I plan to paint these, I got some 1/2″ MDF boards at HomeDepot for the cutouts. The grain of wood tends to show through paint unless you do a lot of priming and sanding. I applied masking tape to the bottom edges because MDF can be very smooth and I wanted to ensure good tracking measurements. Once the boards were prepared, I ran the projects and cut them out.

I removed the tabs and dry fit the pieces over some reclaimed cedar to get my positioning worked out. Then, I marked the angels on the cedar boards so I could cut them to size on my miter saw. Next step was to spray paint the pieces. I chose matte black and copper for my colors.

Last step was to assemble the whole thing. I screwed some ties on the back of the cedar planks to hold them together and then used some Loctite Power Grab Express to apply the letters.

Once finished, it was time to hang it up.

Download the files to make your own! You change the design around, or personalize it with your own company name!


  • Fantastic job on sign and the explanation of how you did the work. I had not thought to do the letters of MDF.

  • Looks great. Like your choice of colors. Made a few signs but not as classy.
    Good shop set up. Two machines running at the same time, WOW. I have
    four and have been able to get but one on line at a time.


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