The Barn in Northville Custom Sign Classes

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The Barn in Northville Custom Sign Classes

Disclosure: I worked with The Barn in Northville to provide my honest opinion about the signing making process. 

The Barn in Northville Custom Sign Classes

Today I joined three other bloggers to create a seasonal sign at The Barn in Northville. The Barn in Northville is a very unique place to visit for art, antiques, salvage and repurposed pieces, photography sessions, and custom sign classes. I’ve been to the barn before to shop and admire the art and antiques, but this was my first time visiting to create a sign.

Classes at the Barn

The Barn in Northville offers both private and public classes. You can view their website calendar to find both options and discover how to book a class. I think the most difficult part of the sign making process is actually designing the sign. I say this because they offer 153 background choices, 75 color options, and over 600 designs that can be customized. After you’ve made all your choices, the process is fairly simple! 

Designing a Sign 

Some of the design process happens online before your scheduled class. The day of your class, the first two steps will be completed and you will be ready for step three which involves weeding out the design! This means to take out the “unnecessary” parts from your vinyl sticker. This is done gently with a razor knife and your fingers. 

Below is a photo of my vinyl sticker with just a small portion of “weeding” completed. Small delicate pieces such as the ornaments on this design are more difficult to “weed”. Large areas, such as the lettering in my design, are much easier to “weed”. Keep this in mind when choosing a design. 


After weeding out the unnecessary parts, the process involves transferring the vinyl stencil to the wood board as you can see above in steps four and five. Then the painting begins! The painting is done by dabbing a very small amount of paint onto the open areas on the vinyl stencil. When it comes to dabbing, the less paint the better! This helps the paint dry faster and it prevents paint bleed. Eventually the stencil will be removed and only the painted areas will be left on the board. 


The painting process may take 2-3 coats of paint to cover completely. Drying the paint between each coat is necessary. The barn has a fan to speed up the drying of each coat. Once dry, the stencil can be gently removed and any necessary fixes can be made. This is where I ran into an issue. As you can see below, some of my paint was pulled off with the stencil. Both ornaments were damaged along with the “W” in wonderful. The classroom teachers gave me the option to start over, so I did but I choose a more simple design (as you will see below). 

My new design, “Autumn in Michigan”, was easier to weed and paint because it didn’t have the small delicate areas. 

In just a matter of minutes, I completed my two coats of paint and I was ready to remove the stencil. 


Although I was quite pleased with the way the second sign turned out, I was determined to take another look at my first sign. With assistance from one of the instructors, we were able to make some fixes to the first sign and I was able to walk away with two signs – one for Fall and the other for Winter! 

If you are looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening, I highly recommend signing up for a class at The Barn. All levels are welcomed and the instructors are there to help you with each and every step! For more information on the classes, antiques, and photography sessions available at the barn, visit their website. It’s easy to navigate and full of information! 


The Barn in Northville

48120 8 Mile Road

Northville, MI 48167 



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