You know what one of my favorite things about New England is? SNOW DAYS! Even when you’re a grown up snow days are the absolute best. It’s an excuse to stay inside, cozy up by the fire, eat way too much, and do a project you have been meaning to do.
Today we got close to 14 inches of snow and I not dare venture out. So, Evelina and I decided to do what we do best. Bake? No. Make a sign!
We moved into this house in June and I JUST started to decorate. I have so much wall space the task of filling it is tedious. I am also one of those people that HATES too many things on the counter. Toasters, Microwaves, Kitchen aid, Utensils, Coffee maker. Ugh! it makes me cringe. So, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. 1. Remove my coffee situation off the counter. 2. Fill wall space by making a coffee station.
I put together a little industrial farm house inspired coffee station against the wall and needed something to add above it. I toyed with the idea of two floating shelves for various mugs etc. But then I came across a wood sign on Pinterest and fell in love!
I knew this was a job for my Silhouette Cameo machine. If you love DIY projects then you really should get one. The things that this baby can do will amaze you! Plus, you spend the money once and save so much in the future by making decorations instead of buying them. Once you get the hang of it sign making is a breeze.
Since you’re here and maybe slightly interested in making your own custom sign I will walk you through exactly how I made this one.
1 Piece of Plywood (whatever size you would like your sign to be. I used scrap plywood I had in my basement)
1 inch strapping (to make the frame)
Stain color of your choice
Two paint colors (one for the lettering, one for the background. I used a gray and a white)
Tools and hardware you may need include: screws, paintbrushes, screw gun, saw (to cut strapping), painters tape, hardware to hang the sign
Silhouette machine and accompanying items. (cut mat, Vinyl, transfer paper etc).
1. Stain strapping the color of your choice
2. Paint one side of the plywood the color that you want your letters to end up being. Yes, paint the ENTIRE side of the board. (Here I painted gray)
Note: I ended up staining the SIDES of my plywood the same as the strapping. That way when it was all screwed together the edges of the sign all looked like one. If you paint the sides of the plywood the same as the rest of the plywood when you look at the sign from the side you would see about 1/2 inch of stain and 1/2 inch of whatever color you used for your plywood.
I had my Hubby cut the strapping to size and cut 45° ends so that the strapping fits around the plywood like a picture frame. You can nail it together, screw it together or whatever is easiest for you. It doesn’t have to be perfect! I put painters tape around the frame of the sign so that when I paint the middle over and over it didn’t get on the strapping. Here is what I ended up with.
(The plywood looks white but it is actually all gray)
Then I went to my silhouette and used the software to create my design. You can use whatever fonts, words, or sizes that you want! Have fun with it. I wanted my sign to be very simple and bold so I went with a more “Times New Roman-ish” font. Make sure you size it appropriately for your sign. The program is so easy to use because the cut mat is 12 in x 12 in. This makes sizing your design simple.
I cut the words “With her, this morning, having coffee” first then I started over and created a new design for the rest of the words. It was easier that way since they weren’t all being stuck in the same place.
I used vinyl to make this sign because it is definitely the easiest. One side is sticky so it adheres to your sign. You paint over the letters, remove them, and then AH HA! Your sign is born. So anyways, use the recommended cut settings, load your cut mat with the vinyl on it, and then cut!
After your design is cut its time to “Weed” away the excess vinyl you want the letters to STAY and the Background to GO! This can be tricky. Take your time, make sure you don’t lose any of the dots for your “I’s.” You also will have to weed away the vinyl in the middle of your “o’s” or any other letter like that. I usually use a knife or small small small screw driver to weed. You can buy special tools as well but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Next, you’re going to use a transfer paper to pick up the letters and stick them onto the wood. I used the cricut transfer tape here because it’s what I happened to have but I really don’t like it. It’s just too sticky and doesn’t let the letters go. I typically use the Silhouette one. So, peel the backing off the transfer paper, stick it down flat on top of your letters, use a card or scrapper to make sure all your letters stick to the transfer tape. Then, slowly pull up the transfer tape and your letters should be stuck to the back.
Then you want to position the letters and transfer tape over your board. I have found it to be easier if two people place it down. One person on each side of the transfer tape holding tension. Four eyes are better than two in this case to make sure the words are straight. Lay the letters down and use your card or scrapper again to make sure the letters now stay on the board. Depending on which type of transfer paper you use it may not want to let go of your letters. Pull it up VERY SLOWLY. Use the tip of the knife to scrape any stubborns letters back onto the board before continuing. THIS WILL BE FRUSTRATING. But I promise if you do it slowly it will work. It took me about 45 minutes to transfer all the letters onto the board.
After you have done this with all of your words its time to paint again. Now, paint over the ENTIRE face of the board with the SAME color as before. Again, this will be the color that your letters end up being (in my case the gray). This helps to make sure there is no bleeding of colors under your letters and your lines are crisp.
After that dries you are going to paint over the entire thing with the second color. (In my case this was white). I used two coats of white for my sign. After the white dries you will peel up the letters. Once again I used the tip of a knife and carefully lifted one edge of each letter and slowly peeled it up. At this point you will start to see your master piece come to life! Continue pulling up all the letters. This will be tedious, it took me about 25 minutes. I removed the painters tape and touched up any white that needed to be touched up.
Then it was time to hang! I just used picture hangers screwed to the back (Which I stole off an old picture frame).
Above is the final product! Not to shabby, and it cost me practically nothing after I found all the scrap wood!
Note: If you are new to silhouette it can take some time to get used to. There are TONS of tutorials on youtube to get you started. If you have any questions feel free to reach out!
I am still thinking of adding one skinny floating wood shelf under my sign. What do you think?
Hope you find this useful! Come back soon!