DIY Wood State ~ Back Door Entry Update Part 1

Last Updated on August 10, 2021

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state plaque. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Hi friends!  If you are like me, many of you are tackling outdoor projects now that winter has disappeared {YAY}!  We have been focusing our attention on our back door entry.  Why?  Well, honestly, we use it more than our front door!  Most of our guests are good friends and family, so we always say, “Just park in the driveway and come to the back door.”  Plus, Joe parks in the driveway and he uses the door all the time.  I get the privilege of parking in the garage, but I have to look at the back door entry EVERY time I pull in and out of the garage.  It's a total eye sore.

Want to see for yourself?  Let me show you what our sad back currently entry looks like.  Prepare yourselves.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

We have decided to spruce it up by hiding all those ugly utility boxes and adding some interest.  We also need to replace those sad address numbers.  And yes, we need to replace the deck {aiming for spring 2016 for that BEAR of a project}.

Of course, no project of ours would be complete without adding a pretty design touch.  Since we live in the GREAT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, we knew we wanted to create a beautiful plaque in the shape of North Carolina, but we didn't have any tool that would enable us to cut out such a detailed shape.  We knew we needed a band saw or a scroll saw, but we weren't sure which one.  After chatting with the always helpful staff at our local Ace Hardware, we decided on this Craftsman 9 inch blade saw.  We also snapped up a variety of blades for our new saw.

 

We wasted NO time in breaking out the saw and getting to work.  Read on to learn how to make your very own custom state plaque.

Materials Needed:

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

Steps: 

1) Print the shape of the state you want to create on your home printer.  Adjust it to whatever size you like.  Since we wanted ours fairly large, we had to print it so that it spanned over 4 pages.  We then taped them together.

2) Position the paper on your plywood with your carbon/tracing paper underneath.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

 

3) Trace the outline of your state.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

4) Cut your plywood to size.  We used a circular saw and straight edge to cut ours.  This could be your first step, if you know what size it needs to be first.  Since we weren't sure what size our finished state would be when we started the project, we chose to cut our plywood to size AFTER we had already traced the state on the wood.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

5) Then use your band saw to cut your state out!  This is the fun part.  We were amazed by how smooth the cuts are–it's SO MUCH better than cuts you can expect with a jig saw.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

6) Next, do any necessary sanding {ours required very little because the cuts were so smooth}.  Then stain your state.  Since ours will be hanging outside, we also used an exterior grade top coat to protect it.  I applied 1 coat of stain and 2 coats of the top coat.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

7) Once your protective top coat is dry, you can apply vinyl letters, if you want.  I cut mine out using my Silhouette CAMEO, but you can certainly order nearly any vinyl lettering you want from Etsy if you don't have a cutting machine.

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

That's it!  Isn't it lovely?  Remember, this is just the first step to beautifying our back entry.  Next up is the DIY screen we are making to hide those unfortunate utility boxes.  Look for that post in the next week or so!

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

This is FABULOUS! Come learn to make a DIY wood state plaque. It's easy and adds such a wonderful touch to any room or entry! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body!

I have LOADS of exciting projects to share with you in 2015 as an Ace Hardware blogger.  Be sure to subscribe by email so that you never miss a post!

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I am a member of the Ace Bloggers Panel and Ace Hardware has provided with the products used within this project. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.  

 

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6 Comments

  1. I am a big fan of Ace Hardware stores. I used to live a few blocks from one and would go there all the time. The one thing that makes me love them is the fact that the people who work there are there to help (unlike big home centers) and give you the best value. Your back entry looks great and I am going to make the state signs for my self and other family members.

    1. Thank you Beth! Really appreciate it. Ace Hardware staff are really helpful guys. Goodluck with your DIY! :)

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