How To Stencil A Wood Sign

Around the time we were about to close on our new house I came up with the idea of employing my dad and fiance to build outdoor furniture using pallets. We drove around town collecting free pallets from businesses. Surprisingly, they are not that hard to find. Most construction businesses will have piles of pallets stacked up out back and they usually don’t mind you taking them off of their hands. Just make sure to ask first just to be sure.

Anyway, our priorities started to change and there were more important things that needed to be done around the house and my brilliant plan never ended up happening. I was left with a ton of pallets just lying around the garage and knew I had to put them to good use. Every time I would go shopping for new things for the house I kept seeing wooden signs with cute sayings and I loved the idea. Money was tight and I thought why don’t I just make my own? If I wasn’t getting an outdoor patio set, I was going to put those pallets to use.

I searched all over Pinterest to find tutorials on how to paint perfect lettering. Through a lot of experimentation and trial and error I finally figured out the perfect method and I am going to let you in on my little secret.

These are the materials you need:
• Printer (Laser or ink-jet will work)
• Paper
• Pen
• Paint brush
• Paint (I use 99 cent acrylic bottles you can find at any craft store or Walmart)

To start off you’ll want to use Microsoft Word and type whatever you want to put on your sign. For the first time you may want to start off with something easy such as one or two words. There are many site where you can download fonts for free. I like to use It so simple! Just download the font and it automatically shows up on your list of fonts in Word. You will want to resize the font to fit on your sign. I usually set the page orientation to landscape to make it a little easier. If the word doesn’t fit on one line that is okay because you can still cut it up and tape it together later. Once you go to print you will need to change the setting under layout to flip horizontally.

Once it is printed you will need to cut around the lettering. I try to keep my cut as straight as possible and close to the letters. This way it will be easier to see where you are placing it on the sign to make sure its centered and not crooked.

Once it is cut out you will place it face down on the sign where you want it. I usually put a piece of tape around the outside to keep it in place. Using a pen you’re going to trace along the outside of the letters. You will need to press hard and sometimes I go over it a couple times depending on the wood. If you have a white background it will show up a lot better but with a darker background it can be hard to see. After you’re done and before completely peeling off the paper, you may want to check by pulling up one corner. You will see an outline of the lettering to use as a perfect stencil. If your stencil is to light try going over it again using more pressure.

The last step is to grab some paint and start painting on your letters. This part can be pretty tedious but at least you will have the perfect outline to follow. You may want to do two coats of paint to really make the lettering pop!

I tied some rope around the edges to dress it up a bit. Here is the finished product!

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