Monday, July 14, 2014

How To Letter A Sign WithOUT a "Machine"

What's your sign?  Here's your sign?  Do you know the signs?  Follow the sign.

Signs are definitely (and have been) all the rage in home decor.  With a sign you can express yourself, your values, your humor.  Words inspire us and we love to see those and share them with others.  
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html

I am guessing the sign craze will start to die down soon.  Many crafters and creators make them and their tool of choice is a silhouette or other type of vinyl cutting machine.  These produce beautiful, perfect, factory made looking signs.  


And while I love them, for whatever reason (too cheap, want to do it differently, quicker?) I prefer to "hand letter" my signs like this one I recently made of one of my favorite verses.
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
I start by working with the lettering on Word--enlarging the letters and playing with the fonts.  I usually print these off in outline style or in greyscale to save ink.  After printing, I tape pieces together that need to be and cut off excess blank paper.  
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
If I am transferring the lettering onto dark wood or paint, I rub chalk all over the back. 
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
If transferring onto a white or light background I rub pencil all over the back.
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
Next tape your transfer onto your board and then trace around the letters with a ball point pen.  
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
If you push hard and your wood is soft, it will leave marks.  Sometimes these are desireable because they help keep the paint in the lines, but most often I try not to leave the marks.
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
Grab paint and paintbrushes of choice and paint!  It may not be perfect, but I love that.  Any big mistakes can be sanded off. Finish with a quick coar of a clear spray to seal your lettering.

This lovely chunk of rustic, reclaimed barnwood makes this sign shine.  Boy howdy, did it ever smell like cow when I did some light sanding on it, but you can't beat the wonderful, aged wood.
How to letter a sign http://bec4-beyondthepicketfence.blogspot.com/2014/07/how-to-letter-sign-without-machine.html
Are you a sign maker?  What is your method of choice?

12 comments:

  1. Hi Becky,
    Your sign turned out wonderful and I love your chosen words.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Suzanne
    Pieced Pastimes

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  2. I didnt know that with the chalk...thanks!!!
    Your sign looks great!!xxx

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  3. After all the fancy stuff... that is how I do mine most of the time too :)

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  4. This is genius. Thanks so much for sharing it. And I love the way your sign turned out!

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  5. Beautiful sign, love the rustic look and the fonts you used! I've made and sold hundreds of signs without any machine, I do it the same way you do except I use carbon paper instead of pencil on the back.

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  6. Usually I do the Mod Podge transfer method with a laser printer and vintage graphcs on reclaimed wood, but I've used both methods at https://www.facebook.com/TheHouseattheEndoftheRoad

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  7. I pretty much do it the same way you do on rough wood. Sometimes I'll do a Modpodge transfer on smooth wood or use a stencil. It's never perfect but that's not what I'm going for anyway. Love your sign!

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  8. Do you use regular paper? or do you use transfer paper?

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  9. Love it and love the verse! It pretty much sums it all up, right?
    Phyllis@grandparentsplus.com

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  10. My method of choice is using a projector.

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  12. Love this! Could you share the font you used? Looking forward to trying out this method, I love the non-perfect look to it.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words!