Learn how to use vinyl stencils to make wooden signs with this detailed tutorial. These signs are perfect for all seasons and occasions!
Using vinyl stencils to make your own wooden signs can save you lots of money when decorating for the holidays or any other big event. In fact, I recently utilized this skill to make personalized signs for my daughter’s wedding. I’ll give you a peak at those toward the end of the post. For now, let’s get started by going over the supplies you’ll need to recreate this project.
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The supplies you’ll need for this project include:
- Vinyl Stencils – I used a full size plotter to create mine with 813 stencil vinyl, but you can do the same with a Cricket or Silhouette. The font shown here is called Medina Clean.
- Silhouette Cameo – This is a great option for those who want to cut vinyl, paper, fabric and other materials!
- Wooden Sign Cutouts – I used 1/4 birch.
- 813 Stencil Film
- Tobacco Road Voodoo Gel Stain by Dixie Belle Chalk Paint
- Dixie Belle Chalk Paint
- Foam Rollers
- Miniature Paint Trays
- Clear Coat Satin by Dixie Belle Chalk Paint
- Crop-A-Dile Punch
Before I began cutting my stencils, I measured the boards I was going to be using in order to create the right sized stencils. I used 1/4 inch birch boards and cut them to measure 15 x 7 inches.
Then I made my vinyl stencils using my full size plotter and 813 stencil vinyl.
Vinyl stencils can only be used once, but they create a nice finished product. Below you can see the reverse weeding compared to above.
The next step was preparing my boards. I used Dixie Belle Voodoo Gel in the color Tobacco Road to stain them. I simply used a rag to apply the stain.
Tobacco Road is my favorite Dixie Bell Gel Stain color. I use it almost every time I need stain for a project.
Make sure to stain the sides of your wooden boards. This will give them a professionally finished look.
Once your boards are stained, let them dry so they are ready for the next steps.
Now you are ready to apply your vinyl stencils!!
To apply my stencils to the boards, I used clear transfer tape. To begin this process, I placed the tape over the stencil.
Then once the tape was applied, I lifted then stencil off of the white backing.
Now it was time to apply the stencil to my board.
Be sure to smooth the stencil down onto the surface, then peel back the transfer tape while making sure the stencil material is staying on the surface.
Finally, peel back the clear tape to reveal the stencil. NOTE: You can see that the full stencil ran over the sides once I lined it up. For this design, that was not a big deal. I simply trimmed off the excess before I removed the clear tape.
This is what it will look like before you add your clear coat. Keep in mind anywhere you see wood now will be white in the end. It just depends on the way you weed your vinyl in the beginning.
Time to prep so you can avoid bleedthrough!
To prep my boards I used Dixie Belle’s Clear Coat in the finish Satin.
I painted a thin, even layer of the clear coat over the entire board.
Let dry or speed up the drying process like I did with a fan!
Now it’s time to paint!
Since I had multiple signs to paint, I opted to use a foam roller to paint my signs. I was only able to do this because I prepped each sign with the clear coat first. This process makes the work take a lot less time when creating a large “batch” of sign. If I was doing just one or two signs, I would do the same steps using a makeup applicator sponge.
I like to apply two even coats with plenty of dry time in between. This will give you the best finish.
Once both coats are applied and completely dry, peel back your vinyl.
I use an X-Acto knife to get the small pieces. Just be careful not to gouge the surface!
Once the vinyl has been removed, it’s time to clear coat the final product. This will protect your work from chipping and other damage. I used the Dixie Belle Clear Coat Satin for this step.
Once everything is dry, you can use a Crop-A-Dile to punch holes in your signs if you are going to be hanging them. SInce we used the 1/4 inch birch this is an easy task for the Crop-A-Dile.
Here are a few of the wooden signs I created for my daughter’s wedding using the vinyl stencils!
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