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Friday, June 14, 2024

Vintage Bar Sign - DIY

DIY Vintage Bar Sign: Upcycle a Dollar Store Tile for a Chic Look

Turn a $1 Dollar Tile into a Stunning Vintage Bar Sign! This easy DIY project is perfect for renters and anyone who loves a touch of aged charm. Follow our step-by-step guide with budget-friendly materials to create a unique conversation piece for your home bar.

Ceiling tile and vintage advertising paper cut out

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Have you ever noticed the more budget friendly a project is, the more steps it takes to get the look you want? 

This little vintage bar sign was a fun and easy project I began quite some time ago, and decided to finally pick it back up this week and finish it off.

If you are drawn to antique ceiling tiles and vintage advertising like myself, then you will love this project. As you know, I tend to experiment with ideas since you never know unless you try, and I had vintage bar advertising images in my mind.

If you have ever priced them out to purchase, they can be quite expensive, but not here. Dollar Tree and Family Dollar can be wonderful places to pick up thrifty items just waiting for a makeover. 

Let's get at it and see how we can take a $1.00 ceiling tile (they are still $1 at Family Dollar), and make it a DIY distressed vintage bar sign, stat! 

I love a good ceiling tile makeover, don't you?

DIY Vintage Bar Sign


  1. 1 vintage inspired ceiling tile from Family Dollar or Dollar Tree
  2. 1 vintage print out, I chose mine from The Graphics Fairy   
  3. Waverly Chalk Paint, Ivory
  4. Black Chalk Paint, Dollar General
  5. Rust Paint
  6. Sponge Brush
  7. Mod Podge
  8. Water in a spray bottle
  9. Scissors


  • Locate the vintage advertising print of your choice, there are so many to be found online, you can even make this with grocers names, pharmacies, the possibilities are endless 
  • Cut out vintage print
  • Apply Mod Podge to vintage inspired ceiling tile
  • Turn the vintage pub sign over, and mist the back with water to dampen the paper 
  • Apply paper to ceiling tile, press the paper bar sign into the design of the ceiling tile (and Mod Podge), you will need to press firmly in order to get the paper to take the shape of the ceiling tile
  • Allow to fully dry
  • I applied rust paint with a distressed finish in mind, but I did not care for how this turned out  
  • Paint ceiling tile to your liking, I chose white as the background, I did not worry about getting white paint onto the paper sign
  • Follow up with black paint, being sure to brush paint on to highlight the details of the ceiling tile, we want all of that vintage goodness to show
  • I applied a small bit of white, and then more black to the paper part of the sign, I wanted it to appear worn over time, if it really was in a bar, then it would show many signs of age
  • I did not care for the brown ink in my print out so I traced out the letters of the sign in black Sharpie marker 
  • Once the marker and paint had dried, I applied Waverly white wax over the piece to give it an even more aged and worn look
  • I placed the ceiling tile into a wood tray I have previously shown but used my easy method to adhere it to the tray like I did with the calendar page. If you would like to have a permanent vintage sign, you can peel away the backing and apply to the tray, or even use an adhesive such as E6000
  • Display in your home

Apply Mod Podge to ceiling tile

Mist water onto back of vintage advertising

place vintage advertisement onto ceiling tile, press into tile so the paper takes shape of the ceiling tile

Paint ceiling tile with white chalk paint

add black chalk paint to raised details in ceiling tile

Trace letter with black sharpie to change color of vintage wording

Tracing all letters on advertisement to change color

Allow ceiling tile paint and sharpie to dry

I had wanted the sign to appear as if someone had placed this sticker on the ceiling tile long ago and it had been there for decades. I like to think I achieved the aged, vintage feel of the ceiling tile that I was going for. 

Plus I am from Ohio, and I love a good vintage advertising sign from Ohio. It was one of the first things I noticed about this advertisement so I knew I had to use it.   

I had a visitor in the midst of finishing up this project, and they suggested several ceiling tiles crafted this way, and then hung as a backsplash in a bar area. I think this is a wonderful idea, I can already see it in my mind.

If you are like us and do not consume alcohol, then perhaps vintage coffee signs would be an option for a DIY backsplash project

Finished vintage advertising sign placed into wooden tray

Since we are not coffee drinkers either, I am going to bank this idea until I come up with the perfect way to create a backsplash with vintage signs. I am loving the idea of creating a wall of our DIY signs and sprinkling them into a backsplash. 

Looking for a renter-friendly way to add a touch of vintage charm to your home bar? 

This DIY project is perfect for you! By using double-sided tape to secure the ceiling tile sign, you can easily remove it without damaging your walls. Plus, the lightweight material allows for hanging with renter-approved methods like command strips. 

And the best part? 

This project is budget-friendly and versatile. Display it on a shelf, hang it on a door, or even lean it against a wall for a unique touch.

What do you think? Will you give this idea a try? It is kind of hard to pass up when it is so easy on the wallet plus has vintage charm in spades. 

Don't Forget to Pin for Later!

Pin to Pinterest board for later, DIY vintage bar advertising sign



Would you like to comment?

  1. Those dollar store tiles are the best for crafts and you really came up with a good one, Cara. Great job!

    1. I wanted to try something new, and getting the paper to stick to the details was something I wasn't sure would work, but I sure am happy it did. I love those tiles too Ann!

  2. Hey friend, guess what? I have a project on the desk behind me right now and I used the same dollar store tile!! They are so fun to work with! Your bar sign looks fabulous, you did a great job aging it! And it's so neat it says Ohio! Here's to dollar store DIYs!

    1. It always makes me laugh when we come up with similar ideas at the same time! I love those Dollar Tree tiles so much, I bought several when I went to Family Dollar since they are still $1.00 there. I was hoping I hit the nail on the aging, I just kept working with it, so thank you Donna. I cannot wait to see your project, I know it will be fabulous.