DIY Rustic Firepit Subway Sign

Do you like decorating your backyard fence with things like metal art and interesting signs? I'm always looking for unique ideas to embellish our fence. Recently we updated our firepit and I wanted something suitable to hang on the adjacent fence. I did what any DIYer would do and made my own firepit subway art with fence boards.

But I took it one step further and aged those brand new fence boards to look like timeworn Barnwood and I'll show you how easy it was using stuff from my kitchen cupboards.

Easy Firepit Subway Sign With Printable

What I also love about this firepit subway sign is that a) it cost me nothing to make because I already had leftover boards from another project,  and b) it is super easy to make and I'll show you how. But if you have access to old weathered wood, use that instead of brand new fence boards.

Rustic DIY Firepit Subway Sign

We love spending cool Summer and Fall evenings snuggled in blankets around our firepit. A few years ago we replaced the dilapidated cinder blocks, left from the previous owner, with roman pavers. Enlarging the circle around the fire pit and adding wood benches makes spending time in this area of our yard much more enjoyable. You can catch that project here in my Backyard Fire Pit Update.

DIY Aged Wood Firepit Sign

These are the supplies for making the rustic aged wood sign.

DIY Firepit Subway Sign Supplies

Supply List

  • 2 cedar fence boards
  • 1/2-inch wood screws
  • Apple cider or white vinegar
  • #00000 steel wool
  • Black tea bags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Chip brush
  • Glass jar or plastic container with lid
  • Graphite paper
  • Craft paint in the colors White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green 
  • Black Sharpie marker or paint pen
  • 2 D-Ring picture hanger hooks
  • Laser or Inkjet Printer
  • Ballpoint pen
  • 120 grit sanding block

Instructions for making a firepit subway sign

Step 1 - Building the wooden sign

The sign is built a simple board and batten style and very easy to make.
  • Cut a cedar fence board into four 19-inch long pieces.
  • Cut two pieces 2" x 29" for the upright battens (pictured below).
  • Line the boards up evenly on a flat surface.
  • Lay the uprights on each side about 3-4 inches from the edge. 
  • Secure the uprights to the boards with wood screws.

Fire Pit Subway Sign With Fenceboards

Step 2 - Aging the new wood

It is so easy to make new wood look aged and I wrote a detailed tutorial on how to do it in my How To Age New Wood With Stuff From Your Kitchen post.

DIY Firepit Sign With Instant Aged Fence Boards

This is what the boards looked like after three coats of the aging solution. Doesn't it look like old barn wood?

Firepit Subway Sign With Faux Barnwood From New Boards

Now the fun part...

Step 3 - Creating subway art on the firepit sign

DIY Firepit Subway Sign Image Transfer

  • In PicMonkey I created a subway graphic. Press the image below to download your free copy. 
  • Resize the graphic to fit the wood sign and you can do this two ways. Either upload it into and resize the image and it will print on multiple pieces of letter-sized paper that you piece together. Or you could save it onto a USB stick and have it printed somewhere like Staples.
  • To transfer the enlarged graphic follow my Image Transfer Technique Using Graphite Paper tutorial.

Step 4 - Painting the subway sign

DIY Firepit Subway Sign Painted Graphic

Using craft paint and artists brushes or paint pens, paint over the traced graphic. Create shadow lines with a black Sharpie marker and/or white paint pen.

Once the paint is completely dry take lightly rub a 120 grit sanding block over the graphic to give it an aged distressed finish.

Step 5 - Installing picture hangers

Mount D-ring on the top center of each upright.

Mounting Tip:

Place the D-hook so the bottom rests against the upright. This stops the hook from flopping down when you're trying to hang the sign.

DIY Firepit Subway Sign Picture Hangers

Now you're ready to hang the sign. If you've hung artwork with double picture hooks before then you know how frustrating it can be to get both nails lined up perfectly on the fence, much less getting it level. See my No Measure Tip For Hanging Art With Double Hooks tutorial for a stress-free way to get it hung perfectly level EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

I think this calls for a bonfire, S'mores and a bottle of wine this weekend. Do you have a spot in your backyard for a firepit subway Sign?

If you don't have a firepit, you could following these same instructions to make any themed subway sign. The possibilities are endless!

For more DIY ideas for Fall see my Fall Ideas page.

I'd be so thankful if you pinned this idea or shared it with a friend. With gratitude! -Marie

DIY Rustic Firepit Subway Art

If you have any questions about this project, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. Love this Marie. How cute is this. You my dear are so creative and have fun ideas. Happy Friday. Have a great weekend.

    1. Happy Friday to you too my friend and enjoy your weekend. I'm glad you like the subway sign! xo


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