Being that we've been renovating our home and a cottage on the same property, there was some old wood to be had. Actually, a perfect piece was found. It was long and narrow and painted white (in some of the pictures, it looks like raw wood, but it's not) and was definitely worn and a bit dirty. I didn't even clean it before painting it! I wanted it to look as old and rustic as it could.
I had a bunch of different things I was going to paint on it. First, it was "Turn Left", with an arrow, then it was "Bedroom, Turn Left". I settled on "Upstairs Bedroom Turn Left" because of the way the letters laid out when stacked.
Being a graphic designer, I had the ability to lay out the design in Illustrator. I tried several fonts, but settled on a simple one that was reminiscent of a vintage sign.
Before, laying down the letters, I lightly sponged some watered down black paint over the wood to just give it more "texture". I printed out the letters full size, cut them out, taped them down in place and traced around each one in pencil. I drew in the outline of the larger letters myself. To create the drop shadow, before taping down the letters again, I moved them over a bit to the right and then down and traced around each one.
I used acrylic paints and some leftover Farrow and Ball paint I had. Once everything was painted, I let it dry completely before distressing it. I did that by lightly sanding over the letters. I also added a bit more of the watered-down paint to the sign.