Note: Rockwell Tools sent me the BladeRunner X2 to use for this project. As always, all creations, ideas, opinions, writing, photographs, and results are 100% my own. For real. For my full disclosure policy, please click HERE.
I’m sure that Santa has his own GPS for Christmas Eve. But just in case…
I mean, I would hate for Rudolph to get lost.
I have always loved these travel direction sign posts. I thought it’d be cute to make one for the holidays, using locations near and dear to our hearts. Here’s how to DIY one – it’s easy, inexpensive, and totally customizable to the locations you love (or just want to visit someday!).
1/4-in. plywood – I bought a 48-inch-long piece of plywood from Home Depot. I made 5 arrows (I messed the paint up on one, which is why there are only 4 on the post shown in the picture, above), each one 6 inches wide. I wanted some leftover plywood in case I messed up any of the arrows.
Wooden dowel for post – I bought the widest one they had at Home Depot, 2 inches wide.
Finial for top – I bought a pressure-treated finial that would normally go on top of a fence post. I would recommend against this, because you have to rinse it first so that paint will adhere to it. Next time, I would buy a non-pressure-treated finial, or find an old doorknob and repurpose it.
Straight edge (for measuring, drawing arrows – see more on this below)
Rockwell Tools BladeRunner X2 using the smooth wood cutting blade
Sandpaper – I used 120-grit.
Paint: I used spray paint for the finial and post; chalky-finish paint and sharpies for the signs.
Stapler or nail gun to attach signs to post
First, I decided what size arrows I wanted and measured them out on the plywood.
I wanted arrows 6 inches wide, so I drew a horizontal line every 6 inches. Then, for the first arrow, I drew the triangular cut-out for each side of the arrow by marking the half-way point (3 inches in) 3 inches up, and drawing lines to that point (that way, the sides were of equal length). See the above picture for how I drew it. I did this only for the first one because I knew I could use the first cut-out as a template for the other arrows.
Next, I cut the plywood into strips as measured and marked. I used the Rockwell Tools BladeRunner X2 for this, using the smooth wood cutting blade. It cut like buttah!
The BladeRunner X2 is a cross between a table saw and a jigsaw. It’s a table saw because it sits flat on the table with the blade in the center. But it uses a jigsaw blade to cut. The BladeRunner X2 comes with 5 blades: metal cutting, aluminum cutting, smooth wood cutting, scroll wood cutting, and ceramic cutting.
Yep – this baby can even cut tile!
So, using the BladeRunner X2 is like using a jigsaw, but with both hands free. That enables you to maneuver what you’re cutting so much more easily!
For cutting the arrow shape, I used the smooth wood cutting blade.
I did try using the scrolling wood cutting blade for the arrow cuts, but I found that the smooth cutting blade worked better, since I was cutting in a straight line. I did try the scrolling blade to cut out my first initial, but, well…
Let’s just say I need some practice with those cuts. Hmmm…not ready for prime time yet.
Anyhoo, once I had cut out the first arrow, I used the cut-out as a template to draw the shapes for the other arrows. That way, all the cuts and shapes would be uniform.
I had all five arrows cut in less than 20 minutes!
Next, I sanded the edges of the arrows until smooth. If the surface of the arrows is not already smooth, sand the surface, too. Then I wiped them down to get all the sanding dust off before painting.
Time to paint!
A word of note: make sure you’ve chosen your locations BEFORE you paint. That way, you can paint the arrow so that it’s pointing in the right direction for that location. TRUST ME ON THIS – because I painted the Memphis sign completely and then realized, as I had painted it, it would have to point east on the post, when it needed to point west!
I painted each arrow white, using chalky-finish paint. Then I outlined each arrow and wrote the location and mileage on each arrow, using a black paint pen.
You can find the mileage to each location from your home by Googling it!
I added some embellishments to the North Pole sign arrow using paint pens and Sharpies, just because I knew that Santa would like that.
I chose these locations because they are near and dear to Dear Husband and me: my hometown, his hometown, and where we both went to school.
I painted the dowel for the post and the finial with Rust-Oleum Universal Paint + Primer in Tranquil Blue. It’s an icy blue that I thought looked kind of like snow.
Once the paint was all dry, I attached the finial to the post (it screwed in; to make it easier, predrill a hole), and then attach the arrows to the dowel/post using a nailer or stapler. I used my cordless crown stapler and it worked beautifully.
Make sure you staple the arrows in the right direction for where the location is!
I added a red gingham ribbon and the sign post was ready to guide Santa and the reindeer! I dug a small hole for the post and put it directly in the ground. You could also stand this in a planter or build a base for it to stand on its own.
I love this project because it was easy to make and can be totally customized to your favorite destinations.
And I love the BladeRunner X2! I can’t wait to use it on another project. Hmmm…time to think about that!
Pin it for later, because you know you want to make one!
Thank you to Rockwell Tools for sending me the BladeRunner X2!