DIY Vintage Railroad Sign

Do you recall my ordeal last year getting our yearly family photos taken – the ones that required my family and I to jump on and off of railroad tracks, fake smile and give me grief?

Black and White Family Photo via Knick of Time

Well, as much as I would have loved to replay that scenario again this year – I totally forgot!  I usually shoot our family photos right before one of my college kids returns to school, but I didn’t even think about it until we were on our way to take him to college.  I’m sure my family was very disappointed that I forgot, but lest they think I won’t get my photos, they are wrong.  I WILL get family photos during Thanksgiving, if it means starving them until they cooperate! 🙂

Meanwhile, I spotted this awesome railroad sign at Dot & Bo, and it reminded me of our fun family photo shoot, but the price tag was pretty steep, so I decided I’d try to make my own version, since it looked like a pretty simple project.

railroad sign

I cut  2 pallet wood boards 21″ long and stained them both with dark stain.


Once the stain dried, I added a quick coat of white paint.

RR 1

Notice that I didn’t attempt to cover all the wood – I left some of it exposed so I wouldn’t need to do as much distressing later.


Next, I created a new stencil design for the wording.

{Railroad Crossing Stencil available in my shop HERE}

railroad sign stencil from Knick of Time

Start with the RAIL side of the stencil and paint just that word onto the left side of one of the pallet boards.


Leave a gap after the word “rail” that is the width of the other pallet board, then paint he word “road”.


Here’s what it looks like with the gap between the words.

DIY railroad crossing sign

On the other pallet board, center the word “crossing” on the board and paint it.

Connect the two boards together on the back side with screws (I still need to finish staining the back of my boards.)


For a little bling, and too make it look like the Dot & Bo inspiration sign, I added a rusty old bolt.

rusty bolt

Instant old railroad sign!

DIY Railroad Sign is so easy to make using Knick of Time's Vintage Sign Stencils |


It’s right at home on my old barn…

DIY old sign

beneath my window-framed “Old Glory“!

old barn decor

Their version and mine, side by side.  Saving more than $100, I’m pretty happy with my version! 🙂

railroad crossing signs

Find more Vintage Sign Stencils from Knick of Time HERE.

Vintage Sign Stencils by Knick of Time 300

railroad sign stencil



Please know that Knick of Time uses affiliate links, including but not limited to Amazon to help keep this blog up and running.


  1. Love it and you did such a great job.

  2. That turned out great, Angie! I just pinned that Dot & Bo sign this morning, thinking I needed to make one! Love how yours looks hanging on the barn…

  3. Oh, this is just TOO fantastic…who wouldn’t want one of these in their home?! Love this sooooooooo much!!!

  4. Oh I love that stencil and that project! Pinned 🙂

  5. Love the RR sign 🙂 My family is exactly the same when it comes to photos. They make the whole experience miserable and I dread doing it.

  6. It looks great and the rusty bolt is the perfect, completing touch. Awesome job!

  7. finally got a chance to use the milk and cream co. stencil I purchased from you and I love it. Thanks so much for offering them.

  8. Don’t you just love finding inspiration and then coming home and recreating them for a fraction of the cost. Smartphone cameras are our best friend…and doing it discretely, a fun challenge (at least for me). Love your railroad sign Angie. Good luck with that family photo in November…starvation should do the trick with strapping boys!

  9. Marlene Stephenson says

    Love your sign.It’s on my bucket list.Thanks Angie have a great weekend.

  10. I love how your sign turned out Angie. It looks perfect on the barn.

  11. My Dad is retired from Illinois Central RR this would be a great gift , LOVE IT!

  12. So clever, Angie. I love it!

  13. Lindsay Neuenschwander says

    Hi! I would love to try to make this sign for my little boys room! Do you still have the stencil available for purchase?? I would love to purhase it since I’m not too crafty:( thank you!

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