Stenciling Wooden Signs

I figured to mark the first milestone of my blog (by that, I mean finally writing a post!), I should start strong by marking another milestone- my mom’s 60th birthday! I was at a complete loss as to what to get her. I knew it had to be special, personalized, and from the heart. A few years ago,  we lost my Grandma to cancer. She will always hold a special place in our hearts and I knew that something honoring her memory would be perfect for my mom… Enter a wedding card! No, that’s not the gift I gave to my mom! However, I saved all of the cards from when my husband and I got married, one of which was from my Grandma. She had signed it with the words “Love Always”. I decided to take this signature and transfer it to a wooden board for my mom’s present. And guess what? It turned out perfect- the lines are crisp, no bleeding through of the paint, none of the dreaded things that can happen when painting a rough wooden board. So below, I’ll share some tips and step by step directions of how to recreate your own wooden sign!

* Piece of wood (barn wood, rough cut, anything “rustic” looking!)
* Stain (if desired)
* Stencil (Vinyl and transfer paper such as Contact Paper)
* Modge Podge (or watered down glue)
* Foam brushes

Preparing the Wood
Cut the wood to the size desired, if needed. Depending on the style of wood you chose, you may or may not wish to stain it. I used a dark walnut color for this sign, however I recently made another one with an unfinished piece of scrap wood. They both look equally good- it will just depend on the style you are going for.

You will need to have a stencil to paint your writing/saying on to the board. I currently have a Cricut Explore machine and was able to cut out my stencil by uploading my Grandma’s signature from a card. I chose to cut the stencil out using Oracle 651 vinyl. This is a permanent/outdoor vinyl. I used this for one reason over the Oracle 621 vinyl (semi-permanent)… It was what I had on hand! It was still easy to remove from the board, despite being permanent, and allowed for a good seal around the edges.

img_6442Once you have cut your stencil, weed out the letters, leaving you with the actual stencil you will use. You will then need to use a transfer paper. I use a clear piece of contact paper. Apply this over the top of your stencil and remove the backing.


Applying Paint
Place your stencil (now attached to the transfer paper) where you would like on the board. Then carefully peel off the transfer paper, leaving only your vinyl on the board. Once your stencil is placed, you will apply a small amount of Modge Podge using the foam brush. If you don’t have Modge Podge, you can also use a watered down glue. This process will help to seal the edges of the stencil, preventing paint from leaking through. Let dry.
img_6445Once the Modge Podge/glue mix has dried, apply your paint. You will want to use just a very small amount on your foam brush. It is best to “dab” the paint on directly from the top, not at an angle. This will also help to keep your paint from seeping through. img_6446Remove your stencil while the paint is still wet and marvel at the creation you just made!

*If you plan to hang your sign outside, I recommend using a sealer to help prevent any damage from the weather.



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