It's A Wonderful Life: Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Sign

December 23, 2018

DIY Christmas sign farmhouse dining room decor

I know it sounds cliche but my absolute favorite Christmas movie of all time is It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. I've loved it for as long as I can remember. That's why I'm so excited to share with you my DIY Bailey Bros. Building & Loan window sign that was inspired by the movie. I've wanted to make it for the past few years and this year I finally found just the right "window" frame for it. 

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black double glass frame can of snow

I picked up this double glass frame for $2.99 at Goodwill a few months ago, full well knowing what I was going to do with it. I knew it would be perfect for my DIY Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Christmas sign. After checking the internet to see what was out there, I decided to go for it and attempt my own recreation of that iconic sign. (Note: In the movie, the words are actually on the side of the building, not on a window per se, but I love the depiction of it on a window even better.)  

can of santa snow

I thought it would look more realistic on a window with some "snow" on it, since snow is a big part of this Christmas movie classic. Hence my can of spray snow. I'd actually been holding onto the can for a few years, waiting for just the right project. It could also come in handy for flocking Christmas trees.


double glass frame

chalk marker* 

roll of painter's tape

can of spray snow (optional)


*Note: It was difficult to find a black chalk marker in the right size for all my text. I already had one with a larger tip, and that worked well for the "Bailey Bros." script. However, it was too thick for the words on the rest of the sign. I had to resort to using a Sharpie marker (which you can erase later, just google it) which I thought gave inferior coverage compared to the chalk marker. I later went back to Hobby Lobby and tried to get a fine point black chalk marker but they didn't carry one. The link I give in the supply list above is for a fine point black chalk marker which I plan to purchase myself for future projects.    

How To Make Your Own Bailey Bros. Building & Loan Sign

Step 1: Clean your glass well on both front and back.

Step 2: Pick your text font and size. I used Word to create the text. Size the text according to the size of your frame. The glass inside my frame was 15" by 13".  The Bailey Building & Loan font is Halohandletter, size 300 and the address at the top and text at the bottom is Baskerville Old Face, size 100 and 125, respectively.

Step 3: Print out the text, making sure it fits well within the parameters of the frame. If not, adjust the font size(s). I had to do this numerous times before I got the size just right.

double glass frame bailey bros. painted script

Step 4: Place your paper under the glass and tape in place with painter's tape. (You can see in the above picture that I already traced the Bailey Bros. script and had moved on to taping the non-script text portion in place.) 

hand lettered christmas sign

Step 5. Trace the words onto the glass with your chalk marker, beginning at the top of the frame and working your way down to the bottom. The above photo shows my initial go-around. I later went back and increased the size of the non-script text on both the top and the bottom and re-traced the letters. 

Step 6. Remove the tape and paper from the back of the frame.

Step 7. Spray the back of the glass with your can of "snow," sparingly at first, until you figure out how much you really need. You can always just wipe it off and start again if necessary. 

shelves Christmas decor Santa trees signs

I like how the lighted bottle brush trees look on either side of the sign.

Bailey Bros. sign shelf Santa bottle brush tree Plaid thermos

DIY shelves Christmas decor snowman reindeer santa bottle brush

Here's a shot of the whole wall with our DIY farmhouse shelves.

Bedford Falls Building & Loan sign fake snow

I know the lettering looks pretty elementary and undeveloped but I think for my first attempt at glass art I did an OK job. Once I get the right chalk markers I think I can make it look much more professional. 

Bailey Bros. 1946 glass window sign

The whole point of making this is to pay tribute in some way to my favorite Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life. And I think I managed to do that so I'm happy with it. What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Well, that's it until next time, friends! 
I hope I've inspired you in some way 
and that you enjoyed reading about my 

It's A Wonderful Life: Bailey Bros. 
Building & Loan Sign.

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DIY Christmas sign farmhouse dining room decor

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Leave a Comment!

Kathy said...

Loved your sign. I leave a "It's a Wonderful Life" sign up all year in my front hall as a reminder! I haven't braved writing on glass--yet! Merry Christas!

Decor To Adore said...

What a cute craft. This is one of my favorite movies! Happy New Year!

Amber Lyon Ferguson said...

I love this idea! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019 ahead!

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