Sawdust Savvy DIY Workshop in Stillwater, Minnesota


My visit to Sawdust Savvy was complimentary, however all opinions are my own. 

I recently took a little trip to Stillwater, Minnesota for a DIY wood sign class. I’m not inherently the DIY type so I was a little nervous and skeptical about the idea of building a sign. And to even add an extra level of pressure to my project I intended to gift my creations to my boss as a new baby gift. I’ll cut to the chase and save you the time wondering if my venture was successful, it was. Through detailed instruction from the Sawdust Savvy staff and some careful work on my part, I was able to take what was in this bucket…

and turn it into this….

But let me back up. 

With my neighbor/friend in tow we trekked to the peaceful and quant town of Stillwater for a rainy Saturday outing. Stillwater is full of cute stores and picturesque moments, if you have never visited this town turn a DIY trip at Sawdust Savvy into an all day adventure. 

Sawdust Savvy caters to the new trend of custom created DIY wood signs. My friend had previously attend a DIY wood sign party at another friend’s home only to end up having her creation end up in the back of her closet. {It didn’t quite work out.} In spite of that fairly negative experience she was game to take a chance with me at Sawdust Savvy. 

DIY and crafts are not my thing. Let me just be honest. And I had some apprehension about power tools and the thought of DIY. I did, however, put my faith in the friendly and capable hands of the instructors at Sawdust Savvy and I’m pleased to say they led me on a path of success. While I am not inclined to create crafty thing inherently on my own, the thought of creating a specially made gift was forefront in my objective. Certainly anything I could make would be better than something I purchase. I believe in that old-fashioned, traditional method of gift giving whenever I can take the time to do so. 

So with that mind frame in focus I set out to create my own personal masterpiece at Sawdust Savvy

Donning my apron I grabbed a Staple Gun named Brad, by Sawdust Savvy, and started to pull together my signs. 

First step was pulling together our wood pieces. The crew was very open about the fact that if I found a wood piece to me not up to my preferences they would be happy to supplement with a different piece. I had one board that had a knot in the piece I didn’t care for so they quickly provided me with a piece that was knot free. 

One thing to note, they do have you sign a liability waver before starting your work. The only power tool we did work with was, Brad the Power Stapler, and he had distinct safety features which made the chance for trouble unlikely. I’m accident prone, but I felt secure using Brad. 

Ultimately I decided to add three pieces of supporting wood to my frame so that I could hang the hook from the middle. An impromptu request that they were happy to accommodate. 

Once we had everything pulled together it was time to stain, my favorite part. Staining is forgiving and fun. There is no pressure or real precision with this part. It’s easy! 

While undoubtedly I was focused on creating my two mini signs, it was fun to watch all those around me create their signs as well. On this particular Saturday there was a bachelorette party on the table over and a multiple generational group at my very own table. It was fun to see the unique combinations of women bonding over a project. 

Once the wood was stained, to the shade my of my choosing, it was time for stenciling and painting. Each class is three hours long, which initially seemed like a really long time. However the time whipped away quickly as we delinquently worked through each step.  I guess time truly does fly when you are having fun. 

All around us, within this beautiful historical structure, were signs of other potential kits to be created. 

It’s easy to be inspired by all the potential within the room. 

But back to the next part, stenciling and painting. Undoubtedly this part is the most precision based. The workshop allows participants to bring their own wine for use after the power tools. But honestly, I don’t advise this unless you can really handle your wine. I know myself and after one glass of wine my potential for error {and not even caring about it in the moment} increases by about 50%. Our instructor told us not to get stressed by stenciling, for sure I was stressed. That all being said, I did it. 

I initially had my deer a little off kilter, but a second attempt proved successful. My apprehension about placing the stencil and regarding painting was ultimately unfounded. In reality both steps went off without incident. 

Perhaps the teacher’s reassurance was valid. I guess it’s only once you’ve actually tried it, does it seem much more manageable. 

There are a bunch of season signs available for creation at this time. I loved the fall display they had outside their doors. 

Of course it’s at this point that participants actually begin completing their signs. It’s so fun to see all the different creations come together. 

If you are confident in your DIY abilities {unlike myself} there are kits available for purchase to complete at home. Use code blogger5 for $5 off an order of $40 or more.

But if you are more craft challenge {like myself} I highly recommend taking the class. Any mishap, any problems the instructors are there to help you through it. That support is worth it in my opinion. 

Almost without realizing it my signs were both completed. 

{some of this sign is fuzzed out to protect personal information}

As a finishing touch this stamp can be applied to the back of your sign. I added my name for another layer of personalization. 

Get the full scoop on Sawdust Savvy by checking them out online and by connecting via FB, IG or Twitter





  1. I so badly want to do one of these classes!!! It looks like so much fun

  2. Wow, I would love to learn how to make these! It would save me a lot of money lol.

  3. Oh my god, I love this! I have done a few paint nites, but I would LOVE to make my own wooden “farmhouse” sign!

  4. DeMae Axel says

    It was fun meeting you and your project turned out great!

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