DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs (& Free SVGs)

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These DIY Christmas Signs are a Dollar Tree makeover that look like they came from Hobby Lobby. Our free SVGs make these signs stand out from the crowd!

On those occasions when The Kommandant forces me to accompany her to Dollar Tree, I often find myself aimlessly wandering the aisles and wondering just where on earth all that stuff comes from.

(China)

Well, duh, obviously, at least for most of it. But I still marvel at some of the products that sell for a dollar. My mind tries to calculate profit margins throughout the supply chain.

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

Someone makes the thing in some faraway land.

He or she needs to be paid. Or perhaps the thing is manufactured by robots. Still, the robot needs to be paid in electricity and a factory roof over its metallic head.

Next, the company that employs the man who made the thing needs to sell a whole bunch of things to Dollar Tree Corporate. In order to do so, they need to package the things and put them on a truck or a train.

From there, a group of someones must load them onto a boat. Those someones need to be paid.

The captain of the big, slow boat needs money for fuel, time and his crew of burly someones who help him pilot the boat halfway around the world.

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

Those someones then sit in their cabins smoking cigarettes after weeks crossing the Pacific Ocean while some American someones unload the cargo at the Port of Long Beach, California.

The cargo containers are again distributed onto the American rail and highway system, and another group of someones drives them to Dollar Tree Warehouses around the country.

At some point, a call is made, and another truck leaves the warehouse and delivers its load of China’s Finest to your local Dollar Tree where it is sold for the inauspicious sum of One American Dollar.

I’m an economics major, and my mind still reels at how this business model is not only sustainable, but thriving!

Each visit offers a giddy new trip down an economic rabbit hole.

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the sentiment signs they sell.

Who makes them?

More to the point, who comes up with the sentiments?

Is there a Sentiment Think Tank hidden somewhere deep in the mountains of remote western China where scholars convene to conjure bland sentiment and mushy platitudes?

Today’s project started with two such pieces:

supplies for diy christmas signs

“Life Begins with Coffee”

I mean, it’s true and all, but who decorates with that? It’s like hanging a sign that reads, “I Breathe Air”

And the other is more puzzling: “So Fresh, So Clean”

Are you supposed to put it in the bathroom, next to the sink as a testament to brushed teeth?

Or maybe it’s supposed to be a commentary about your bum after a good grunt-and-wipe on the porcelain throne? [No silly – it’s a sentiment for laundry room, but you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? LOL – Handan]

Wherever it may be intended for, two places are automatically off the list: my son’s room and my kitchen.

And then there’s this gem. I snapped a pic of this doozy while The Great Blue Handan was on one of her Dollar Tree hunting trips.

dollar store frame

Best I can tell, it’s motivational wall art for serial killers, encouraging them to never stop slaying. Well, at least until the sun goes down, and then I guess they can stop slaying and start relaxing. As for the pink phone? I don’t know, maybe it’s China’s way of encouraging those wayward criminals to reach out and touch someone. Oh, wait! They’re already doing that. Yeesh, I don’t know – I think DT needs to call China and ask what the hell they were thinking with this one.

Look, my point is this – Dollar Tree is great for a lot of things, but sentiment-writing is not one of them.

Fortunately, we’re here to help with that!

You see, what they are good at is providing cheap stuff just begging for a makeover.

So while I look at “So Fresh, So Clean” and cringe, Handan looks at it and sees an opportunity.

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DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs

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DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com

How to make Christmas Signs from Dollar Tree Sentiment Signs

First things first – I had to clean the sentiment sign.

scraping a sign

I removed the metal strips. They’re just held in place with glorified thumb tacks, so I used a putty knife to pry them up. I put them aside, as I’d be re-installing them later.

scraping a sign
scraping a sign

I peeled off the “Fresh” applique and tossed it directly into the trash. Fresh, indeed!

scraping a sign

The “Fresh” sticker left a not-so-fresh smear of sticky good behind. Nothing a little Goo Gone couldn’t handle!

cleaning a sentiment sign
cleaning a sentiment sign

I thought about hanging this in Baris’s room, had a good laugh about the notion and then carried on with my craft.

dollar tree sentiment sign

I painted two signs white.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

It took three coats to fully cover the old writing.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

And I painted two signs red, again with three coats.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

I showed this one to Handan. Told her I improved upon the original. Oddly, she didn’t agree!

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

Surely, she would agree with this one!

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

Now, the plan was to paint each one again, but this time paint white over red and red over white. I’d then distress them a little to show the color underneath. A really easy way to do this is first to apply petroleum jelly where I wanted the distressing to be. The paint won’t adhere to those areas, and I could just rub it off with a damp rag.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

I just used a little here and there, mainly along the edges and corners.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

I also added some in the middle. If I had to do it over, I might skip the petroleum jelly on the face, or at least make it less, so it wouldn’t interfere with the lettering I’d be applying later.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

Next, I painted the red signs white.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

Three coats covered the red entirely.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

And after applying petroleum jelly to the white signs, I painted them red.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

After the third coats had dried, I wiped away at the corners and edges with a damp rag.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

The paint came off easily and left beautiful distressing.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign
painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

At this point, it would be a good idea to wax the signs, especially if using chalk paint like I did. I didn’t wax, and I ran into some minor issues with the paint peeling off when I removed the transfer sheets. I was able to minimize it after the first try, but waxing the signs before applying the vinyl lettering would likely solve the problem entirely.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

I re-installed the metal pieces.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

And my signs were ready for some non-bland Christmas sentiments worthy of The Navage Patch.

painting a dollar tree sentiment sign

For the first sign, I chose simple white permanent vinyl on a red sign.

making diy christmas signs
making diy christmas signs

The SVG was layered so I could make different parts different colors, so I first grouped the layers in Design Space. [Note: In the early new year, we will be preparing a tutorial on how to work with SVG files and layers in Cricut Design Space, so that your vinyl would always be cut perfectly -Handan]

By the way (no this is not a sponsored post), I’ve really come to love our Cricut Joy – it’s now my go-to for holiday crafting projects. I love the size and portability, but I especially love being able to work directly from my phone. It really makes it so easy!

using cricut design space
using cricut design space

I resized the sentiment to 12 inches – we found that’s a perfect size for these signs – and then I rotated it 90 degrees.

using cricut design space
using cricut design space
using cricut design space

All lined up and ready to cut!

using cricut design space

I used Cricut Smart Vinyl for this one, but you can use any vinyl cut to size with Joy’s mat.

using cricut design space
using cricut design space
using cricut joy to cut vinyl

Here’s the design after weeding and transfer it onto the Strong Grip transfer tape. Here’s the only thing I’m not crazy about with Cricut’s selection of vinyl and transfer tape: The Joy’s permanent Smart Vinyl is so strong that it is impossible to transfer to any other transfer tape than the Strong Grip. But the Strong Grip transfer tape is so strong that it doesn’t want to let go of the vinyl…plus it tends to peel paint. Now this gripe is only for the smart vinyl/strong grip transfer tape combo. Glitter vinyl doesn’t stick as much to the transfer tape, so it’s a bit easier to work with.

But hey, Cricut! How about a transfer tape in between regular and strong? And how about making the Smart Vinyl a little easier to transfer to the transfer tape?

K? Thanks, Bye!

vinyl for diy christmas sign

So here’s the strong grip tape on the sign. I made the mistake of pressing down all over the transfer tape and even running a brayer over it.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

And here you can see how much paint the transfer tape took with it. It’s named well. It transferred the paint from my project to itself!

It’s all good though. Nothing a little paint applied with an even littler brush couldn’t solve.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

For the next Christmas sign, I used glitter red vinyl (awesome stuff) and regular gray permanent vinyl.

Had no issues with the red glitter. As I just mentioned, the strong grip tape sticks just the right amount to it. And to prevent peeling paint, I only pressed down on the letters, nowhere else on the transfer tape.

vinyl for diy christmas sign
vinyl for diy christmas sign

By the third Christmas sign, I was feeling like an old pro at this stuff, so I upped the ante to three colors – glitter red, glitter black and regular gray.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

We grouped the SVG layers to have three groups.

using cricut design space

I clicked the eye icon to hide the other two groups so I could first print the main words in black. Then I attached this groups individual layers so everything would be in the correct place when cutting.

using cricut design space

I cut and loaded a strip of black on a long Joy mat.

vinyl for diy christmas sign
vinyl for diy christmas sign

Here it is with transfer tape on it.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

I placed it gently on the sign and only pressed on the letters.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

Peeling was much easier!

vinyl for diy christmas sign

I kept the transfer tape – I’d be able to use it again.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

Next, I isolated the pole and gingerbread man layers and I attached these two layers. I used glitter red for this group.

vinyl for diy christmas sign
vinyl for diy christmas sign

Weeded and on the transfer tape.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

I peeled the transfer tape and positioned it on the Christmas sign.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

A careful peel and no stripped paint.

For the last layer, I used the gray permanent vinyl.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

It was a little difficult to transfer to the tape, and then again, the transfer tape was a little difficult to peel.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

But my babes suggested I use Cricut’s little scraper tool to run over the letters, and it made a big difference!

vinyl for diy christmas sign

As a final trick, I found that peeling the transfer tape straight back at a 180 degree angle gave the best results.

vinyl for diy christmas sign

Okay, you’ve suffered enough of of my chewed and chubby fingers and boring tutorial. Let’s get to the beauty shots, already!

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com

Remember our Epoxy Wood Shim Trees? Check it out, if you haven’t seen them!

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com

And here’s the Christmas gnome who founded the Gnoman Empire. Good lord, I never would have guessed where this whole gnome thing was headed when I made him last Christmas!

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

And the star up there…I remember making that for Handan when she was all, “My babes, will you make a me some rustic stars? Pleeeeeaaase?” I saw her rustic star and raised her a lighted masterpiece, lol! 😀

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com

We staged our Dollar Tree Christmas signs on our kitchen shelves, but they will look great anywhere in the house – kid’s room, guest bathroom, on a desk, on top of a dresser etc. They are sure to bring some Christmas cheer where ever you put them.

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs - TheNavagePatch.com

We hope you like our DIY Dollar Store Christmas signs! We’ll be back real soon with some more Christmas crafts and even sooner with some fun vintage Christmas printables!

FREE Christmas Sign SVG Files

We created today’s FREE Christmas Sign SVG designs as JPG, PNG and SVG files which are resizable and compatible with Cricut and all other cutting machines.

Now go ahead and click on the button below to download today’s freebies – they are all in the “Christmas” and “SVGs – Stencils” section of The VIP Patch.

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DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com
DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Signs – TheNavagePatch.com

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24 Comments

  1. The sentiment sign writers must be the same people who write the fortune tags for fortune cookies. They all sit in some little office churning these things out.

    It does boggle the mind how the Dollar Store turns profits. Quantity wins out I guess.

  2. Greg, I love, love these signs AND your detailed descriptions! Stubby fingers & all.
    Thank you both for the free SVG’s!!
    Blessings, Jan, in Arizona

  3. Those are awesome!! Thanks for the instructions!! Now I have to get thru Thanksgiving, and will be making these for little gifts for Christmas!!❤️❤️

  4. Love the signs, and the styling on the floating shelves. For the record, “So Fresh, So Clean” is an Outkast song. Not sure how it got co-opted for laundry room/bathroom decor, but every time I see one of those signs I get the song stuck in my head. Here’s a link to the video so you too can enjoy that particular earworm on a regular basis!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JfEJq56IwI

    You’re welcome! =0)

    1. LOL, Handan and I were talking about the song last night, and I told her that I’m sure our demographic would be clueless about Outkast, so I didn’t mention them in the post. Thanks, for proving me wrong, Carly! :D:D:D

  5. They are wonderful. These signs are not in stores here and I can not find them on the DT website.
    Can you point me in the right direction>
    Also please elaborate on the wonderful sleigh you have on the left side of your floating shelf display.

    1. Hi Angelika, I see on DT’s website that they have sentiment signs that are 12 inches long and they have some that are 18 inches long. Neither is ideal, but they can do in a pinch. Your best bet would be to go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and have them cut up a 1 x 3 x 8 board for you. The actual dimensions of that board are 3/4 inch x 2 1/2 inches x 96 inches. Ask them to cut you six 16″ pieces from the board, and you’re good to go! As for the toboggan, we got that last year at Target for $3. Not sure if they have it this year. Good luck! 🙂

  6. I like all the tutorials but I mainly read because of the writing. You are a gifted writer, my friend. I am REEALLLYY looking forward to Cricut tutorials for beginners (also known as the Chronically Busy, or the Cricut Owners Who Don’t Have Enough Interest to Really Learn it Without a Blog Post). Thanks for this one. I’m going to give this one a try.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I’m always so happy to hear that my writing is appreciated! Okay, you’ve given us something to think about re the Cricut tutorials. Look for those in the new year!

  7. Oh, my gosh, Greg! You have me laughing out loud until I am crying! Some things are left better not translated, right! Too funny!

  8. THANK YOU for sharing this! I had ordered a case of 18x2x1 signs from Dollar Tree with a project in mind. When I received the case, 6 or 8 of this style sign was mixed in with them and I didn’t know what to do with them. It’s only February, but I’m going to get busy making some Christmas project next week with these SVGs. Would love to see more Dollar Tree repurposing projects. Thanks!