Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How to "Paint" Fancy Letters On Wood

I want to show you how to make your own sign with any font you choose.  If you think people paint those fancy signs completely by hand don't be fooled.... there is a trick and I am going to show you it.  I am sure some people are gifted and can do it solely by hand, but I am not one.  

The supplies you need are a paint brush and a wood board or plaque.  I picked up this one at the Hob Lob for less than a dollar!  Paint it with acrylic craft paint or rattle-can it in the color of your choice {I have used all different kinds of paint for this, but I am using acrylic craft paint for this particular project}.  You will also need a computer and printer for your design/font, a #2 pencil, some painters tape, a sharpie or different color paint for the initial or words, and ribbon for embellishing.

Allow the paint to dry completely.  I admit I have used a hair dryer to speed up this process.  I don't have patience...ha!

For this project I wanted to keep it pretty simple for demonstration purposes.  I chose to go with the initial R for my niece Rachel.   First you need to print your letter or saying on plain printer paper to an appropriate size to fit your wood plaque.  Use whatever software program you have like Word or Photoshop.  Prior to printing you need to flip your words so that when you transfer them they will be correct.  Note that my R is backwards here.

Next, I cut down the paper size leaving a good inch or so around my letter.  I placed the letter in the center of the wood plaque and secured with some painters tape.  Next use a pencil and outline the letter.  You will probably want to push a little harder than you would normally write.  You will see a faint tracing on your wood.  

Here you can see the faint outline of the letter.

If you prefer to see more of the letter you can outline it first and then color over the entire letter.  No need to stay in the lines because it will only transfer where the ink is on the paper.

It is much easier to see this way and I don't feel near as blind when I do it like this.

Now the image is ready to paint.  However, I like to find shortcuts and today I chose a Sharpie permanent marker rather than a small paint brush and acrylic craft paint.  Paint or color in your design.  Allow it some time to dry if you paint it.

Gotta love Sharpies!!!!!!!

Last, I hot glued some ribbon on for the hanger.

There you have it, FANCY letters!!!  



  1. Oh, gosh, I did not know this! I always thought it was stenciling or hand lettering... I can DO this :-)

  2. Yes, you can do it Mary Ann!!! Good luck!!!!

  3. Love this! Will make a set for our twins
    Carolyn and fellow farmer's wife

  4. Do you need to use an ink jet or laser jet printer?

    1. I have an inkjet. I have never tried it with a laser jet.

  5. what font did you use for the "R"

  6. Can u do sentances the same way for bigger projects or slimmer fancy font?

  7. What if we don't have computer or printer? Will stencils work for something like this?

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  9. This is a wonderful idea
    Do you have to do the transfer as soon as you print the letters or will the ink still transfer from something that was already printed for a time

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