DIY Rustic Wood Sign With Salvaged Drawers

It all started with a cute tin sign found at a gift shop during a trip to the Canadian Rockies. While I love the sentiment, I knew I needed to dress it up with a wood frame to make it more livingroom worthy.

That's when I remembered we saved the unused drawers from my parent's 1950s dresser that we turned into a faux apothecary cabinet. One of the drawers had the furniture makers stamp and I incorporated it into the sign because it serves as a sentimental reminder of where the salvaged wood came from.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign With Salvaged Cabinet Pull

DIY Rustic Wood Sign With Salvaged Drawers

I had three goals when designing the wood frame. It had to cost nothing to make, be unique, and have some rustic charm. When playing with the salvaged drawer configuration I decided...

Why can't those dovetail joints be exposed as a design element? 

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Salvaged Drawers With Exposed Dovetails

Same with the grooves from the drawer bottoms and backs, they also add some interesting detail to the sign.

I found a vintage cabinet pull in my stash, salvaged from an old wall unit. But it was shiny brass, not the look I was going for. So I set out to change the patina with the same iron rust kit used on the leaves of my French Script Dollar Store Pumpkins.

Salvaged Rustic Sign DIY With Tin Art

So what do you think? Are the exposed dovetail joints too quirky? I think they make sense when you see the furniture makers stamp on the upper left corner and realize the sign is made from furniture drawers.

Salvaged Dresser Drawer Wall Sign

The Grandma tin sign definitely looks much better with a wood frame around it and I think the vintage salvaged wood is fitting.

What you'll need to make it

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Supply List

Tin Sign
Wood Drawers (salvaged)
Vintage Pull (salvaged)
Rust Metal Effects Kit
Wood Construction Glue
Wood Construction Adhesive
Mouse Sander
Quick-Grip Woodworking Clamps
D-Ring Picture Hangers
Small Brown Nails
Dark Antique Wax

Pictured below are the salvaged drawer pieces used to make the sign. The holes and gouges add to the rustic charm.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Salvaged Drawers
Salvaged Dresser Drawers With Furniture Makers Stamp

Here's how I made the DIY Rustic Wood Sign

First, the salvaged drawer wood was sanded smooth with a mouse sander. Then the boards were laid out on a work surface and configured so the dovetail joints were exposed on the outside edge. The boards were glued together with wood glue and clamped.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Salvaged Drawer Assembly

Once the glue cured I used painter's tape to map out where the tin sign would be glued onto the salvaged wood. Instead of stain, I brushed the areas outside the tin with dark wax and removed the excess with a lint-free rag. I did it this way because the glue won't bond over a wax surface.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Salvaged Drawer Dark Waxed

The tin sign was attached with construction adhesive and nailed to the wood on each corner with small brown nails.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Tin Art Adhesive

As I mentioned earlier the vintage pull I planned on adding to the sign as a decorative element had a bright brass finish. Wanting a more rustic patina I played with the Metal Effects Rust Kit and watched the magic happen. You can see in the photos below how in just three easy steps it went from shiny brass to an aged rusted iron patina.

DIY Rustic Wood Sign Faux Iron Rust Hardware Patina

Once the pull was completely dry (overnight) the hardware was screwed onto the sign. Last but not least, two D-ring picture hanging hooks were attached to the back and now Granda can hang her new but rustic handmade tin and wood sign in the living room.

Grandma Tin Art DIY Rustic Sign

If you have any questions about my rustic wood sign 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!

DIY Rustic Wood Sign With Salvaged Drawers

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



  1. Marie! You know I love this to bits! My kinda fun.

    1. Thank you so much "L" *wink* I'm glad you can appreciate it's quirkiness!

  2. Hi Marie. The dovetail end looks great because of the offset of the picture. I can really appreciate the care it took to find the perfect spot for the furniture stamp. That attention to detail is what make you my go to resource for how tos on all thing furniture.

    1. You just made my day, Leanna! Hearing that my tutorials are a resource is the wind beneath my wings on those challenging days when I want to hit the pause button. Thank you 🤗

  3. Love this sign and I'm such a fan of your work! Thanks for sharing with To Grandma's House We Go, I'll be featuring you at the next party.

    1. Thank you so much, Chas for your sweet comment and the upcoming feature! Have a great weekend xo

  4. I, for one, LOVE the exposed dovetails... and I gotta get me one of those grandma signs!

    1. Yay, glad I'm not the only one! I think they add an interesting element to the sign and the more I look at them, the more I like it. They sell the sign on Amazon (I've included a link in the post).

  5. This is such a fabulous repurpose Marie! I love the dove tail detail and the sweet Grandma Sign that you have used to bring these great old drawer pieces back to life!

    1. Thank you so much, Sam! I was so happy to find a purpose for the drawer pieces salvaged from my parent's old dresser. I love that the sentimentality of their dresser lives on in a generational sign!

  6. Very clever repurpose Marie. I love the rustic look.

    1. Thanks Anita, I cherish this sign not only for the sentiment but because the drawers used to make it are from my parent's original dresser. I have it hanging proudly in our living room.

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Joanne, I'm glad you like it. Being a grandmother is just the best! ~Marie


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