Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder March 31, 2016

The 5 Best Techniques For Making Wedding Signs

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Having signs at your wedding is important. Whether they are sharing the menu with your guests, telling your guests where to go or what to expect or maybe even sharing a special sentiment for decor. Wedding signage and hand-lettered signage is also a huge trend. But what if you don’t like your handwriting? What if you don’t want a printed sign? What if you don’t feel confident with a paint brush? What if you don’t want to buy a sign and pay a ridiculous amount for shipping? Well, no need to fret because today – all in one post – I’m sharing the 5 Best Techniques For Making Wedding Signs! I was inspired to share this post with you when my cousin texted me a few weeks back asking how to make a certain sign. I searched through Pinterest and through my own site – sending her multiple links to different ideas. But no where did I find all the techniques that one could use to create a sign, so I made it for you. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing how to turn these signs into free standing easels in 20 seconds, so you don’t want to miss that feature. Have you ever used any of these techniques to make a sign? What is your favorite? Mine is #1…

The 5 Ultimate Techniques For Making Wedding Signs!

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#1 – Printed Design Transfer

My all time favorite. You might have learned this technique in elementary school, it’s that easy. To perform the actual transfer you will need one of the following: a pencil, a piece of chalk or a piece of transfer paper.

  1. Design and print a cute sign onto regular paper.
  2. Flip it over and color the backside with pencil or chalk.
  3. Turn your design back over and center on your sign. If using the transfer paper, simply put the transfer paper matte side down underneath your printed design.
  4. Using a pencil, firmly trace your printed design. This step transfers the chalk or graphite onto the wood!
  5. Trace your design with a Chalk Ink Marker, paint, paint pen, gold leaf pen or Sharpie!

This technique has helped me “hand-letter” so many signs I can’t even tell you! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, this isn’t the first time you’ve seen me do this. Looking for another awesome tracing technique, try this one or this one.

Crafters Tip: This technique can be used on any surface, however dark surfaces do better with chalk because it’s light and light surfaces do better with the pencil or transfer paper.

How to transfer a printed design onto a sign to easily trace!

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#2 – Paint Over Stickers

Whoever did this first was a genius. It’s like the backwards stencil, I love it. All you will need for this project is paint and cute letter + number stickers.

  1. First, paint your sign the color you want your letters – I did white.
  2. Using fun shaped stickers, arrange your saying, firmly pressing them into the wood.
  3. Paint over them! Using spray paint or regular paint, paint over your letters.
  4. Remove the letters to reveal an awesome design!

There are SO many ways you could do this technique, you could even leave the letters the wood color or make them an ombré. You could use lots of different stickers including shapes. You could cut your own stickers with your Cricut. It’s endless.

How to paint over stickers to make a super awesome and easy sign!

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#3 – Decoupage It

Make your stickers stay put or glue all kinds of pretty things to your sign with decoupage glue! My favorite is from Martha Stewart Crafts, but good old Mod Podge will do the trick too! When I was little the old ladies just loved to decoupage, lol.

  1. Paint the surface of your sign. (or don’t!)
  2. Arrange your stickers, paper, paper ribbon, decoupage items, glitter and etc.
  3. Apply 1-3 coats of decoupage glue, with at least an hour of dry time in between.

How to decoupage a wedding sign, the easy way!

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#4 – Use A Stencil or Make One

The good ol’ fashion way to make a sign or pretty design on anything. The only problem is that you are incredibly limited design wise to whatever you can find online or at your local craft retailer. You can always make your own stencils using stencil paper and a craft knife or your Cricut.

  1. Paint the surface of your sign. (or don’t!)
  2. Arrange your stencils and firmly adhere them to the wood. I prefer the adhesive kind. Here I’m using adhesive silkscreens.
  3. With gentle pressure and a small amount of paint, gently dab paint through the stencil.
  4. As soon as all stenciled areas have been painted, quickly remove the stencils – revealing your design! Wash them with warm soap and water immediately, that is unless you are going to throw them away.

Crafters Tip: If you use too much pressure and/or too much paint, it will bleed under the design area and ruin your sign. That will also happen if your stencil isn’t completely adhered to the surface.

How to easily stencil the perfect sign for your wedding!

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#5 – Paint Your Own Chalkboard

I’m sure you’ve seen (or purchased) those cheap chalkboards in the craft store. Yucky. Or maybe you haven’t and you just want to turn some awesome surface into a chalkboard. Well here’s how!

  1. Use legit chalkboard paint. I like Martha’s but there are lots of great ones out there.
  2. If painting on wood, give it a good sanding with medium and then fine grit sandpaper. If using glass, metal or plastic this isn’t necessary.
  3. Using a roller (this will give you the perfect texture), roll the chalkboard paint onto your surface. You’ll need to do 2-5 coats depending on the surface. I did 4 for my chalkboard. The more the better!
  4. Store your roller in a plastic bag in between coats.
  5. Gently sand each coat after coat number two. This removes burs and impurities and gives you the most lovely and smooth chalkboard surface.
  6. When your final coat has dried for 72 hours, “prime” your chalkboard by rubbing chalk all over. Then wipe away with a rag. This step will ensure a long writing life for your board. You can also do this in between new sign designs.
  7. Use a chalk pencil, Chalk Ink Markers or chalk to make your sign! That way when you mess up, you can erase it!

Crafters Tip: Using a paint roller is my biggest tip for making your chalkboard look and work fabulously. Painting with a brush just leaves too many fine lines that will show up when you write!

How to make anything a chalkboard surface the RIGHT way!

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As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture – We Love Seeing Your Creativity! If you use Instagram or Twitter please use the hashtag #SomethingTurquoiseDIY and it will show up on our Get Social page. Happy Crafting!

DIY Tutorial Credits

Photography + DIY Tutorial: Jen Carreiro of Something Turquoise // All wood: Michaels // Chalk Pencils: Etsy // Chalk Markers: Chalk Ink // Paint, Decoupage and all brushes: Martha Stewart Crafts // Nail Polish: OPI – Withstands the Test of Thyme

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