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DIY Recycled Junk Decor Heart Sign Says Love

How to make a recycled junk decor heart that says I love you in the sweetest way.

In honor of Valentine’s Day I put together a junk project featuring a heart….. and “I Love You” sign. I’m not big on decorating with hearts but for Valentine’s Day I can handle it. This DIY heart love sign is perfect for the vintage junk lover.


heart template
heart template cut from paper

The first thing I did was cut a heart template out of plain old notebook paper. I made this close-up photo so you can see it’s not a perfect heart. I just willy-nilly cut it and I thought it was perfect.

cutter quilt
old handmade quilt used for DIY projects

I found this pretty quilt on the shelf and it has some red in it so it should work for the heart. Having a big collection of rusty junky stuff and vintage quilts comes in handy when making recycled junk decor. Now to look for some rusty stuff.

Horsehoe Hearts DIY Project

Well, how about that rusty horseshoe! It’s just right for the letter U. The letter I is not junky and not my usual thing when making a junk sign but I’ll give it a try.


prep for project

Next I painted the reclaimed unfinished wood piece white. After a little thought and looking at the items I had gathered for the sign I decided to paint over the white with turquoise.

Howards Wax to age paint Petticoat Junktion

Once the paint was dry I distressed it just a bit with sandpaper then “ aged “ the paint with Howard’s Wax in Golden Oak. See how the dark wax gets into all the rough places? Very nice.

large assortment of old hardware
large assortment of old hardware

Time to put the sign together but I kept looking at the letter and I just didn’t like the real “I” letter. I tried the white side of the I and the blue side, then added toner to age it….still didn’t work. I told the JTS it looked like a dog bone.

vintage drawer pull upcycled on a sign as the letter

It took me another hour or so to find the perfect “I”. I went on a search going through hundreds of pieces of hardware, drawer pulls, and rusty tools. I finally found a vintage drawer pull made chrome and something red. Not sure what material the red stuff is but it works for a Valentine’s day sign.

Hot Glue and Screws craft project Pettiocoat Junktion

To make the drawer pull a bit larger or longer I found two metal plates to use at each end of the pull. I hot glued the horseshoe and metal keyhole thingies in place while I hunted for screws. Screwing the items to the board makes them much more secure.

I used the paper heart template to cut the multi-color heart from my cutter quilt then glued the heart to the board. I also hot glued the red/silver handle to the key hole thingies. I would have preferred to screw the handle to the board but I didn’t have a good way to do that.

wire hanger for wall art Petticoat Junktion

A simple wire hanger for the back. Two screws with thick wire strung between them.

Horseshoe For Good Luck and Red Hearts For Love Petticoat Junktion craft project

I think I’m in Love. The red hearts pop against the turquoise……..one of my favorite color combinations. And for an added plus……horseshoes symbolize good luck and an upturned horseshoe is supposed to capture good luck.

how to make a valentine love sign

You can’t beat a good recycle project. Every part of this project is reclaimed. The little red quilt heart on the horseshoe was a late addition. Seems like I needed it to balance the other red stuff in the sign.

Reclaimed Hardware Assemblage Art Heart Horseshoe Sign Petticoat Junktion

The vintage red and chrome handle has been hanging out in my junk stash forever. It came off of a cabinet door. It’s just like the one on the Hardware Christmas Tree cabinet door. You notice the base of the handle has white paint on it. It looks like glue….but it’s paint.

Good Luck Horseshoe and Red Hearts For Love Petticoat Junktion project

I used Howard’s Wax on the rusty horseshoe. They no longer make the Howard’s Wax and I recommend using Liberon Wax. Isn’t that little red heart the cutest.

make an I love you sign from recycled items

Recycled projects are one of my specialties. Check out some of my favorite upcycled  “Love” projects…Love Letters Assemblage Art…..Red Upcycled Love!…..Junk Love. (click any pink link to view the projects.

diy heart love sign made from recycled items

Thanks for being here. I love you guys, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Kathy….Really miss seeing you in Nashville but enjoy reading your posts. We lost a good thing didn’t we? Maybe we’ll cross paths again❤️

  2. Great job, Kathy! That little red heart on the lower right absolutely “makes” the design! Thanks for sharing this cute, “junkie” project!

  3. You did it again, Kathy! I’m so glad when I see you showing us a project using all the reclaimed items you keep on hand, and they’re so simple but you coordinate them so well. I love hearts and I love red, so this project makes me smile! Love that rusty old horseshoe with the little heart on top. You’re right – that upturned shoe will catch you lots of good luck in 2023. Stay on top of these rusty old pieces and old quilts!

  4. It’s quite Adorable, even if it is a heart! LOL. I admire your search for the perfect “I”; It was worth your time. It is exactly what your lovely little sign needed.

  5. Hi Kathy!
    I love, love love this project! No, I am not a big fan of hearts, not even on Valentine’s Day, but this little project is happy and adorable! The color combination, the lovely print that you used on your little hearts, the rusty horseshoe, all of it combined is so creative and happy!

  6. What a fantastic sign you made Kathy! Love the horseshoe. Perfect for Valentine’s day! Pinning and sharing:). Have a great rest of your week and take care, Tara

  7. I’ve been looking for a project to do this week. Thank you for the inspiration 🙂
    I’m a lover of equine related designs! Have a great day

  8. Love this as much as your junk Christmas Tree and Angels, Kathy! The handle makes a perfect “I”.

  9. Love that! How clever you are. I want you to come live with me! We’ll craft all things together!

  10. I love hearts, I love turquoise and red, and I adore this sign! I think I have an old horseshoe somewhere. Hm….

  11. That is too cute, Kathy! Love the pull you used better than the real”I” too! Love it!