Faux Wood and Metal Sign with Cricut Includes Free Template
Have you seen the popular wooden signs that have a galvanized steel frame? I love the look of those and wanted to use my Cricut Maker to create a sign like that. However, I would hang it on a bulletin board, and I knew real wood and metal would be too heavy for that.
This gave me the idea of creating a lightweight sign that looked like wood and metal. I already had some cardstock that looked like wooden slats, so that would be the background, which I taped onto a piece of foam board for more support. For the frame, I would look for cardstock that looked like galvanized steel.
First, I created my design in Design Space. The quote I chose seemed fitting because that thought comes to me so often now. I included an image of an opened Maker machine to make it more interesting. Here it is all completed in Design Space.
My sign would be 9 x 9 inches square, so I cut the cardstock and the foam board accordingly.
The cardstock I chose looked more white than brown, but I thought it would look good with the galvanized steel frame. I chose black permanent vinyl for the design, so it would stand out.
The foam board didn't look perfect after cutting, but the cardstock would cover it, so I was not concerned about that.
Next, I simply used two-sided tape to attach the cardstock to the foam board.
Then I proceeded to cut and weed my design.
I used transfer tape to apply the design to the sign backing. I had no trouble pulling the transfer tape off of the cardstock. I was concerned that it might mar it in some way, but it did not.
Now I was ready to make my frame. This was the challenging part since I had never done this before, but I didn't let that stop me. I actually roped my husband into helping me with part of it later on. I call him my own personal genius for good reason.
Since I could not find cardstock that looked like galvanized steel in a small amount, I purchased a few sheets of scrapbook paper instead and planned to adhere it to a piece of plain cardstock.
For the frame, I used a plain piece of cardstock to try out the idea I had in mind. I cut out a rectangle the length of the sign and made it wide enough to fold it into a square tube. I marked half-inch lines across it and scored them for easier folding, leaving the end section wider to secure to the back of the sign.
I folded the cardstock to make the square tube and placed it against the frame to see how it would look. It seemed okay, so I went with that pattern for all sides of the frame, knowing I could make adjustments for the two sides that would overlap the others.
Now I had to recreate the frame pattern in Design Space. I wanted to have a template I could share, so others could make frames like this, too, without having to figure out how to do it like I did. You can access the frame template in Design Space here.
If you are using a different size frame than 9 x 9 inches, just change the dimensions to the width you need. For the second template with the tabs, I would extend the wider portion at the bottom (not the end of the tabs) to match the width of your frame. You could do this for square frames or rectangular ones. You would just have two different lengths to cut.
Please note that you will need to cut two of each template for the entire frame. I duplicated, grouped and attached each pair to cut together, as two would fit on each piece of cardstock or scrapbook paper. You will have to cut them out again if you are attaching paper to cardstock like I did.
Once both the cardstock and the scrapbook paper were cut, I folded them along the score lines, and they were ready to be stuck together. I used a scraper to make the creases extra sharp. I found that it worked better to fold the cardstock and the scrapbook paper on the score lines separately and then stick them together.
I used a GlueGlider Pro+ to attach them together, which worked great. Now I was ready to attach the two frame sides to the backing of my sign.
Now to assemble the frame. I started by using two-sided tape to attach the half-inch portion at the end to the front of the cardstock along the top edge, placing it so it would fold around and to the back of the frame.
Then I folded the cardstock to make it into a square tube, attaching the longer section at the other end to the back of the foam board.
Here is how it looked from the front with the one frame piece attached.
I repeated this process with the other straight cardstock frame piece, attaching it to the opposite end of the foam board.
For the other sides of the frame, I stuck the narrower edge of the frame piece to the backing with two-sided tape, patterned side down. The narrow edge fit right between the edges of the top and bottom frame pieces. Notice the direction in which the frame piece was attached, so it would fold around and to the back.
Before attaching the wider edge piece to the back of the foam board, fold in the little tab and tape it to the inside of the tube to hold it in place.
The tab is not shown here. I decided to add that after seeing a little gap at the end of the tube when I made my frame.
Here is the back of the frame with all sides attached.
See below - how the cardstock folds over the top of the other frame sides in the corner, leaving a diagonal overlap? I wanted it to look like a real wooden frame, which is usually pieced together in this way.
That's it!. Now we have a completed cardstock frame with the design already in place inside.
I attached my frame to a bulletin board, using strong tape to attach tacks on the back corners with the points sticking out.
If you want to hang your faux frame on a wall, you could glue a little piece of ribbon or string to the back in a loop.
Now I am thinking of all the other types of designs or patterns I could use to make other frames. Have I sparked any ideas for you? I hope so.
You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Zig Ziglar