This project is one I made about a year ago 😳, but never posted about because I still had about 15% of the project left. I’ve decided to just share the bulk of the sign and then I’ll follow up with another post when I finish it and it’s hung! Real life, eh?

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Lyric Stenciled Wooden Sign

What you’ll need:

First things first, stain the wood using a rag. We keep a stash of these in the garage for various things and they’re perfect when you’re working on a project like this. Dip the rag into the stain and wipe the stain onto the wood. A little bit goes a long way! Let it dry completely.

Also, unless you also want to stain your hands or nails, wear some plastic gloves πŸ˜‰

While the wood was drying in the garage, I pulled out my laptop to work on my design. I wanted to use a quote from our first dance, “Thinking Out Loud” so wrote that out in Illustrator using the font from our wedding invitations.

I used Illustrator instead of doing this in Design Space so I could access the different flourishes and glyphs included in the font.

When my quote was how I wanted it, I worked on splitting it between 3 art boards. This project is one of those “bigger than the mat” projects since the largest mat is 12″x24″ and you can do this in Design Space using slicing, but since I was already in Illustrator, I just split it into 3 and saved these as 3 separate pngs with transparent backgrounds.

Then I opened Design Space and uploaded my 3 images, arranging and resizing as needed to make sure they would fill out my 1′ x 4′ piece of wood well. When cutting, each piece will fit on your 12″x24″ mat, so you’ll cut 3 canvases worth on your stencil vinyl.

Like other stencils, you’ll weed out the actual design, not the excess vinyl, to create the stencil you’ll paint in. Then put transfer paper (or painter’s tape) on top, apply pressure with your scraper, remove the paper backing and place the stencil on your sign.Β  Use the scraper tool again to make sure it’s on well and slowly remove the transfer paper.

Remove the transfer paper / painter’s tape carefully to just leave the stencil vinyl on the sign. Make sure to do this slowly so you don’t take the inside of any letters with it and the stencil is set.

I’ve learned to use a sponge brush and dab some mod podge around the stencil edges first to help create clean, sharp lines when applying the paint.

Let the mod podge dry, then dab the paint on. Dab, don’t brush, so you don’t get under the stencil. Apply as many coats, letting each coat dry in between.

When the last coat is dry, slowly remove your stencil to leave your stenciled sign! Use a Q-tip with water to fix any imperfections where any paint bled under the stencil. Lightly sand the sign if you want it to look a little more worn & rustic look.

Then step back and enjoy your “larger than the mat” stenciled sign!

The stain looks a little lighter outside in the sunlight, but it really is a darker, espresso color. I’m still planning on finishing the sign off by using my nail gun to add a white frame around it and then attach some hanging wire on the back, but I have to get through this renovation first.

I’ve always thought the quote would look good in our laundry room, over a piece of furniture, but we’ll see where it ends up! Hopefully when we move back upstairs and put those rooms back together, I’ll be able to finish it off and give it a home in our house!

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