Pirate Sign as Nautical Wall Decor

Pirate Sign as Nautical Wall Decor

I always have to check out the selection of cabinet doors whenever I’m in a Habitat ReStore. I can typically resist grabbing anything from the pile of usually-plain doors. But on this particular day, there was a bevy of intriguing blue and white doors for the taking. They had a very nautical look and I decided to transform one into a pirate sign to use as nautical wall decor.

Cabinet doors with a nautical theme at Habitat ReStore

In the end, I selected two of the cabinet doors for future projects.

Cabinet doors to make the pirate decor or nautical wall decor

For now, though, I’m focusing on the wider/larger door for the pirate sign that I had in my mind.

Cabinet door for upcycling as a pub sign and pirate decor

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Making a Pirate Sign with a Cabinet Door

To transform the cabinet door into a pub sign, I just needed the right stencil. I found a pirate stencil that I really liked but the size wasn’t exactly right.

Pirate stencil on a cabinet door to become a pub sign

This was my fault, though – when I measured the cabinet door, I measured the ENTIRE door and not the interior white surface. Oh, well…

So, that just meant I had to be a little creative with my  stencil placement.

Thankfully, the “pub name” fit (just barely) along one of the slats. So, I taped down the pirate stencil and gathered some paint and my stencil brushes.

Nautical wall decor with a pirate stencil

I *did* have to trim some of the pirate stencil to make it fit flat against the cabinet door.

Pirate decor on a cabinet door as a tavern sign

Next, I shifted the stencil over to use a portion of the remaining words/images.

I wasn’t going to be able to include the entire stencil for the pirate decor. Clearly I didn’t “measure twice”…

Using a pirate stencil to make the nautical decor

Finally, I was done with the stenciling portion of my pirate decor!

Creating a pirate sign with a cabinet door and vinyl stencil

Finishing the Tavern Sign with Nautical Rope

When the paint dried and I put the pirate stencil away, this is how the pirate sign looked.

tavern sign or pirate sign

I really liked it, but I felt compelled to fill in the gaping white spot over the name.

I debated numerous options to fill in that last spot on the cabinet door. Ultimately, I decided that a touch of craft rope that looked like sailing rope would have the right nautical feel.

Plus, I thought it would add some nice texture to the pirate sign, as well.

First, I cut off a length of the sailing rope, tied a simple knot in the middle, and used a whip knot on the ends to keep them from unraveling.

I used jute twine for the whip knots, so that it matched the craft rope.

Tying a nautical knot in marine rope for pirate decor

Next, I glued the rope and knot to the pirate sign with my hot glue gun. And that was it!

nautical rope on a pirate sign

Pirate Sign as Nautical Wall Decor

It’s funny; the pirate sign didn’t turn out QUITE as I had imagined. But I absolutely love it, so maybe I can say it turned out even BETTER than I had imagined, right?

pirate sign


And guess what? It’s Thrift Store Decor Team day, so make sure you check out what my blogging pals have been up to.

Upcycling ideas from the Thrift Store Decor Team for makeovers and repurposed projects - July 2019

1. Cabinet Door Chalkboard ProjectMy Repurposed Life

2. Fabric Art MakeoverOur Southern Home

3. Adirondack Chair Makeover TutorialMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

4. Trophy MakeoverRefresh Restyle

5. Nautical Pub Sign on a Cabinet DoorSadie Seasongoods

6. Thrift Store Basket MakeoverHouse of Hawthornes

7. Bathroom Counter OrganizerPetticoat Junktion


Maybe I’ll add some bits of chain to the hinges that I left on the cabinet door – what do you think? If you listen closely, you can almost hear my pirate decor creaking on chains from the sea breeze, can’t you?

pirate sign as nautical wall decor

And if you enjoyed my upcycling idea for nautical wall decor, then you’ll love how I made these nautical bottles for some beach cottage decor, too!

coastal collection of bottles

And for even more ideas for upcycling cabinet doors, check out this collection which is FULL of inspiration!

repurpose cabinet doors 

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. While I can’t quite imagine those cupboard doors in a kitchen, they sure do make a charming sign.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      It blows my mind that there was once a kitchen with these cabinets – they’re SO MUCH BETTER suited for projects, LOL.

  2. This turned out so great, Sarah! Fun project!

  3. Sarah,

    I love this! It reminds me of something I would see in one of the St. Augustine, Florida pubs!

  4. Sadie, the sign is really cute and it was good to see how to deal with a stencil that isn’t a perfect fit. I really like watching the video for the whip knot, it’s a really good thing to know if you use/like working with sisal!
    Did have an issue with some of the other projects though….that first plain cabinet project I couldn’t get to it because the “talz” commercial kept looping and I could not get out of it!. Also, I have NEVER had so many ads pop up in most all the other projects. I know they are good for you guys but never forget they can be really really super annoying.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I’m sorry that happened to you, Mary, it was fine on my end. I know they are annoying sometimes, but it’s the only way I’m able to keep a roof over our head. Unless, of course, I quit the blog and delete everything!

  5. FUN! You do come up with the best ideas, and yes, cabinet doors are amazing. I have 4-5 beckoning me, I don’t sell anymore and shipping on those would be nasty.

  6. Sharon Girvin-Davison says

    adding the rope knot made it! great inspiration piece.

  7. Sarah,

    Adding the rope really stepped this project up to a new level! I wouldn’t have thought of that. You’re so smart!
    I haven’t been to the restore in soooo long!


  8. This turned out so cute, love it!

  9. Wendy Oyler says

    What a super cute project! I really like the pirate stencil quote.

  10. What a great sign, I love the stencil and that knotted rope is the perfect embellishment for this sign!!!

  11. What a fabulous sign! You really lucked up on the fabulous colors already on the cabinet doors!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      They’re so much better for projects than an actual kitchen, right?? I mean, can you imagine??

  12. arr matey, cute sign

  13. That is super cute! I think the rope really make it!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      The silver lining of not measuring my cabinet door correctly! Making lemonade from lemons, right??

  14. I love this!! You’re so creative!!

  15. OMG!!! These are so stinkin” cute!!! You’re creative process never ceases to amaze me.


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