I love browsing the internet for new projects. Lately I have seen lots of painted wood signs that signal the beginning of the Fall season. I thought about what fall meant to me and my family and then created a sign that reflected why we love this time of year. I did my best to take pictures of the various steps in the process so that you can see how I got from the plain sign to the finished design.
- Cricut Explore (plus regular blade and regular mat)
- Wood sign (unfinished)
- Paint in your choice of colors (I used acrylic, but many people like chalk paint too)
- Contact Paper (white and clear)
- Scraper (or old credit card)
- Pick for weeding vinyl (weeding, just means picking out the parts of the design you don’t need)
- Matte Modge Podge (only needed if you are going to allow the wood to show through)
1. Paint the wood in the base color of your choice and let dry according to the directions on your paint bottle (if you want the wood to show through leave it unpainted).
*Special note: If you don’t have a Cricut Explore electronic cutter you can do this by hand by printing out the design on your computer, cutting it out with scissors, tracing your design onto the contact paper and cutting it out with an exacto knife. It won’t be as fast, but is totally doable! If you do use an exacto knife be careful to just cut through the contact paper, but not the paper backing. You will need the backing when you transfer the design onto the wood. After cutting out either by Cricut or by hand the rest of the instructions are exactly the same.
3. Cut out a strip of clear contact paper, place it on top of the design and use your scraper to rub across the clear contact paper. Lift up a small corner of the clear contact paper to see if the white contact paper lifts with it. If it does, great job! If it doesn’t, try turning it over and rubbing from the back side. You will be using the clear contact paper to transfer the design to the wood.
4. Lift the clear contact paper (the white contact paper should be attached to it) and carefully, starting from left to right, place the design on the wood. Use the scraper to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles and then lift the clear contact paper (the white contact paper should be left on the wood). If some of the white contact paper is still stuck to the clear contact paper lay the clear contact paper back down and rub again. Repeat this process until the clear contact paper is lifted completely off and the white contact paper design is left on the wood.
5. Paint over the wood and the white contact paper design with your base color. If you didn’t use a base color, paint over the wood and contact paper design with the matte modge podge. Allow to dry according to the directions on the paint/modge podge bottle.
6. Apply two coats of your top paint colors, allowing the paint to dry after the first coat (according to the directions on your paint bottle). Allow the second coat to dry until it is tacky to the touch, but not all the way dry. Use your pick to carefully remove the white contact paper design (you will be able to see the outline underneath the paint). Let the second coat dry completely. Go back and touch up any areas. Seal (or not) according to the directions on the paint bottle. Since my paint was exterior paint I chose not to seal it. *Side note: If you are a messy painter like me you might want to slide strips of cardstock between the boards so that you don’t get paint on the other boards.
Here is the finished sign!
If you try this project drop me a note to let me know how yours turned out!