A low-tech 3D sign with a faux wood border

By Dayna Reed

Posted on Monday, June 5th, 2023

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This project was done for my friends down at Monterey Signs. The client had provided a drawing of their logo and wanted a 3D sign made from it. I thought a panel of sandblasted HDU foam with a cutout of the tree and prismatic letters would do the job nicely.

I began by sandblasting the lettering and the shape of the tree in a panel of 18-lb HDU board. I tend to like surfaces and textures that are irregular rather than symmetrical, so I decided that a faux wood border would be a nice touch. I carved the bark effect using a die grinder, rasp and a few chisels. I smoothed it off with a sanding block then hand painted the details.

Next, I cut the tree graphic out of HDU board. I laid it on a grill and carefully sandblasted it all the way through the board in some places. I mounted it to the main panel with Gorilla Glue, then used the die grinder to add the bark effect to the trunk and to add texture to the leaves.

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Dayna Reed’s shop, Sign Art Signs, is in Hood River, Oregon. His two DVDs, 3D Signs Made Easy and More Super Cool 3D Signs, are available at SignCraft.com.