Knock-Off “Darling, I Love You” Sign

Today’s contributor is Sara from The Aqua House. All posts written by Sara for Make It and Love It can be found HERE.

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Hey Everyone! It’s Sara from The Aqua House. Are any of you feeling the winter “blah” yet? January always seems like such a long, cold month and I usually try to liven it up a little bit by putting out my Valentine’s decor early. I’ve been eyeing one of those “Darling, I Love You” signs but they retail anywhere from $250-$400 and I just knew that I could make a knock-off for a lot less than that!

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


The great thing about this sign is that you can leave it up year round too! In fact, I first saw one of these signs in a Master Bedroom at a Parade of Homes and thought that it was a perfect place to display it.

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


You could also put it in a baby’s nursery or in your living room, the possibilities are endless. And how awesome is it that it will be in your own handwriting? It’s like a giant love letter from you to everyone who sees it! Even if you don’t like your handwriting, the charm of this sign is that it is a piece of you, imperfect and all. Could you imagine having something like this that was hand lettered in your Grandmother’s or Mother’s handwriting.  I know it would mean so much to me to have a treasure like that!

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


It would even be the perfect centerpiece to a Valentines Day vignette.

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


Are you ready to make your own sign? For this project you will need:

  • a board, canvas, or poster for your background.  I used a 29 inch by 27 inch scrap of MDF.
  • White paint
  • large paint brush
  • yard stick
  • pencil
  • small paint brush
  • gray or black paint
  • Magic Eraser
  • sander and sanding discs


knock off darling I love you sign (2)


The first step is to paint your background white (if it isn’t already that color).  I lightly brushed my board in white paint.  The original “Darling, I Love You” print that we are copying has an old love letter, tattered look to it so we are going to try to recreate that.

knock off darling I love you sign (3)


I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping my writing perfectly straight without lines! So instead of eyeballing this project, we are going to add some faint lines of our own as guides.  Take a yard stick and lay it against the edge of your board. Every 4 inches make a small tick mark.  Repeat on the other side of the board.

knock off darling I love you sign (4)


Then take the yard stick and line up the tick marks on each side and draw a faint line across the board. These are the guide lines and boy are they going to make your life so much easier! It would be horrible to get this project done and realize that your lettering was crooked…and knowing me, that’s exactly what would happen if I didn’t do guide lines.

knock off darling I love you sign (5)


Repeat until your board has lines all the way down it.  These lines should be very faint because we are going to erase them later.  Unless, of course, you like the lines then you can keep them there, ha!

knock off darling I love you sign (6)


Now we are going to write on the board. Doing this in pencil will help you to get everything just how you like it and if you make a mistake you can easily erase it and adjust your writing as necessary. On the top line write “Darling,” and then on the subsequent lines keep repeating “I love you, I love you, I love you, ” as many times as will fit on your board. Try to keep your handwriting consistent and the same size. Sometimes this is easier said than done and that is why we are doing it in pencil first.

knock off darling I love you sign (7)


Once the writing is how you like it, take the small paint brush and paint over your penciled in handwriting in black or gray paint.  This is by far the most time consuming part of this project.  Make sure you have a nice, sturdy brush to work with.

knock off darling I love you sign (8)


Now let your board sit and dry. Once it is dry, it is time to remove those pencil guide lines we made.  I found the best way to do this was to get a damp Magic Eraser and lightly rub over the pencil mark.  If you rub too hard the painted words could start to fade…and since we are going for a “worn” look, that might not be too bad!knock off darling I love you sign (9)


To finish getting that worn old love letter feel, we will take a sander and lightly go over the whole board distressing it. I used 220 grit sandpaper.

knock off darling I love you sign (10)


Now you are done and it’s time to go find a spot to display your sign!

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


It will be the perfect way to spread a little bit of love in your home!

Knock-Off "Darling, I Love You" Sign | via Make It and Love It


You can check out my other projects here:

Blog: The Aqua House, Instagram: @_theaquahouse, Facebook: TheAquaHouse



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Filed under Crafts, Sewing, & Home Decor, Guest Contributor Sara, Home Decor


One Response to “Knock-Off “Darling, I Love You” Sign”
  1. 1
    Sandy Ross in WA says:

    I think I know what I’ m making for Valentine’s day, thanks! I did a quick search and found some similar art on Etsy for more ideas, but love the fact that it’ s much more personal if I do it myself Michaels has their canvases half off right now too

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