How to Make A Wood Sign with Your Cricut
Wood signs are for sure one of my favorite projects to make. It's crazy to think about, but I've been making them for almost three years now -- ever since I got my Cricut. I've been wanting to try out this chalkboard green chalk paint that I got from Lowes a few months ago, so I thought I would make a new sign for my home and show you how to do it too!
- Removable vinyl
- Transfer Tape
- Weeder Tool
- XL Scraper
- For the base color, I am using a chalkboard green from Lowes. It has to get tinted to the green color.
- For the letters, I am using a white latex paint -- but any paint will do.
- Paint brush or rollers
- 120 grit sandpaper (optional)
- A wood sign -- you can either make one like I did or you can use a premade blank. If you want to make one like I did, you'll need:
- 3/4" plywood ripped and cut to size
- Pine lath (for the frame)
- Wood glue
- Brad nailer
I also made a YouTube video that walks you the process if you want to see it in action:
To get started, we are going to paint the base of our sign. Like I mentioned, I wanted mine to be a chalkboard green color so that's what I chose -- however you can definitely use whatever kind of paint or color you want! You will need to apply 2-3 coats of your paint to the base depending on what you want it to look like. Chalk paint is pretty thick stuff, so you usually don't need much which is why I like working with it -- I wanted mine to fully cover the base so I did two coats. I also chose to roll the paint on with a roller, but you can definitely use a foam brush or paint brush. I just don't like to see the streaks, so I always use a roller for the signs. Plus, I feel like it's faster!
While the paint is drying, I am going to cut my stencil. I am using removable vinyl for this project. I can't say that I would recommend permanent vinyl - I would just stick to the removable stuff. Sometimes I feel like the permanent is so thick that it starts to peel off the base color of the sign. So if you're going to try out making a sign and using the vinyl as a stencil, I would recommend removable vinyl.
Once that's finished cutting, then we are going to weed the stencil. I like to use the weeder tool for this - it makes removing the vinyl a breeze!
Then when you're finished weeding, apply transfer tape to the vinyl. You'll need to do this carefully so it applies evenly. I like to start applying the transfer tape on one end and then carefully working my way down. Then use a scraper tool to burnish the vinyl on the transfer tape well.
Then once you know your base is completely dry, apply the stencil with the XL scraper tool and carefully peel off the tape. Please take my word for it -- your paint will peel up with the vinyl if it's not completely dry :)
Then once the stencil is on, we are going to start painting! The first coat of paint is going to be the base color, so for me it's green! Don't miss this friends -- this is how you will essentially "seal" your stencil so that you don't get any bleed through. If you immediately paint the white, you'll have bleed through. So always paint the base coat first!! You just need one coat. It doesn't need to be super heavy, just an even coat.
And then when that coat is completely dry, then comes the color paint that you want the design/words to be. So for me, I am going to paint my letters white. Depending on the base color and how thick your paint is, the amount of coats you'll need will vary so just keep an eye on it. I had to do three coats of white paint.
And then when it's completely dry, peel off the vinyl. I like to start in one of the top corners and pull down from there. Again..make sure it's completely dry before peeling off. Are you catching a trend here? :)
Then I'm going to use the weeder tool again to weed the inside of the letters. And you guys, this is my favorite part because you'll see just how crisp and clean your lines are! If you do have any bleed through, just use a small paint brush and touch it up. I like to do several light coats instead of heavy ones so that it can blend in.
This next step is totally optional, but is one that I love -- sanding! I love the distressed look, so I am going to use 120 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the edges and corners. I'm not going to sand over any of the letters for this project, just the corners/edges.
Here's a close up of what it looks like:
Then when you're done sanding, I am going to cut the wood for the frame with a chop saw and then frame it with a brad nailer, nails and glue.
And then wa-lah - framing done, which means the sign is done! I know I'm cheesing hard, but I told you they're my favorite projects to make!
If you make any wood signs, I'd LOVE to see them! I hope you all enjoy reading this tutorial. Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions - I'd love to help you out! And if you haven't joined our Cricut Facebook group yet, you'll definitely want to hop on that.