Vintage Sheet Music “Joy” Sign

holiday sheet music joy sign

Sometimes when you’re looking through the crowded shelves of a thrift store, something comes to your attention and you can see right away what it could become. When I found a wood item that I’m assuming was a small cupboard door, I knew right away that it would make a great base for a decorative sign.

I originally thought I would try painting an antique-looking sign with it, but when I was putting together the vintage sheet music decoupaged coasters, the idea of a holiday sign that I could use for our mantel or sideboard hit me when I set some of the leftover music sheets on it.

joy sign before

Again, I forgot the actual before picture – sigh. Here’s the door after the first coat of creamy white acrylic paint. I only painted the outside frame since I planned to add the music pages to the center.

Whatever it was meant to be, it was brand new when I found it and hadn’t been used. How could I tell? There was a remnant of an order tag on the back – the kind you get with cabinets, which is why I think it’s a door. It’s a pretty small size, though – maybe they decided to go without a door on that cupboard?

After another coat of white I sanded the whole piece and rubbed it all down with a glaze made from tan acrylic and water (yeah, I’m pretty fancy with my materials…). And then I sanded again for good measure.

Vintage sheet music joy sign

After gluing the cut-to-fit pieces of vintage sheet music down with Mod-Podge (thinned with water), I applied the letters to spell joy in the same way. These letters were simply printed with our laser printer (it’s a font called Rosewood) onto regular paper and cut out with scissors.

I know, more of that fancy-schmancy high-tech stuff.

Oh, and I did use a tea stain (tea bag steeped in 1/4 c. water and brushed on) on the music sheets and the letters so they both had similar colored backgrounds.

Isn’t this going to be a fun Christmas addition? I just think it turned out so darn cute! It’s definitely going to be a major part of our holiday mantel, I can tell.

So…here we are with just a few days left of our thrift store transformation series – have you found anything to transform yet? {Click to comment}

31-days of Thrift Store TransformationsThis is day 28 in our series (you can click on the button to see all the posts in the category). If you’re wondering what’s up, you can read the introduction to 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations here.


  1. Kathi D says

    I love this! I have a frame that I can use, but would leftover latex off white paint work in place of the acrylic? Thanks so much for putting this series together. I have enjoyed each and every post:) Kathi

    • Jami says

      Yes, Kathi – it was in fact what I used (the paint we use for our house trim and cabinets). I thought more folks would have acrylic paint available, so that’s what I mentioned. Any paint works, though. The only thing with the stronger latex is that it doesn’t sand off as easily (great for cabinets, though, lol!), so I had to use an electric sander to get the best distressed look.

  2. Nikki Hammack says

    Love this post…found a couple of black frames in the garage and did this project yesterday. Love the way they turned out and will be taking them down to my space “Fragments” at The Fussy Duck in Salem, Oregon. Thanks so much for the great idea!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>