A few years ago I made stencils of sayings, words, etc. for each holiday and I find myself turning to these each year for a few blocks and signs . Here's what I do: 1. go to the garage. 2. look for wood in wood pile.* 3. grab a few. 4. paint them. 5. leave them for a few days. 6. find my stencils (made from over head projector screen that I have printed directly on and used an exacto knife to cut out the letters). 7. stipple (proper term, I'm told) the paint on the board using the stencil. 8. check and see if I remember how to use the drill press. 9. drill holes in the corners. 9. sand the edges crazily using my husband's (now mine, I think) electric hand sander. 10. stain. 11. add wire, ribbon etc.
I know these are a bit country, but the fact of the matter is, it's a lot of bang for your buck. The wood is usually free (from friends or left over from my husband's job sites) and I have all the stuff laying around.