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Wood Sign, Tote Bag & Pillow - Craft at Home Instructions

Follow these simple steps in order to make your own handmade wood sign! If you have questions or need assistance in any way, please feel free to reach us at frannysfarmhouse@gmail.com

Step 1: Place your materials out in front of you. For this first step, you’ll need your blank piece of wood, your chip brush, your stain, disposable gloves, a paper towel, and a table covering. While the lid is still on the stain, we recommend shaking it to mix the color as they sometimes settle. Staining is easy. Using the chip brush, apply the stain in the same direction as the graining of the wood and wipe with a paper towel to remove access stain but also spread it at the same time. Keep in mind that stain “dyes” the wood, so as you wipe, it will re-expose the graining. It is important not to apply thick coats of the stain. We recommend coating all surfaces of the board. Once you have coated the entire board, you may use a fan or hair dryer on a cool setting to dry, or simply let it air dry for at least 30 min. Once it is completely dry, you’ll need to get the board prepped for stenciling. We enclosed a piece of sandpaper or rip a piece of the brown paper bag off. If you want more of a distressed look, use the red sandpaper and rub it back and forth in the same direction as the graining. If you want more of a crisp, classic look, rub the brown paper over the board until smooth. YOU MUST DO THIS IN ORDER FOR YOUR STENCIL TO GO ON CORRECTLY.

Step 2: Lay your stencil flat on the table and smooth it out over the top by running the enclosed squeegee across the top of the stencil. Then flip the stencil over and do the same thing on the back side. This just makes sure that the stencil is secured to the transfer paper.

Step 3: Flip the stencil upside down so the grid side is facing up. Start at a corner and lift up the grid side backing from the blue stencil so all of the blue stays on the transfer paper and *nothing* comes up with the white. (Think of it like taking off the back of a big sticker!) Pull straight back, almost flat with the table, instead of pulling up. If any stencil pieces are coming up with the backing, simply lay it back down and re-rub it with your squeegee. Once the back is off, you are ready to place your stencil on your board! Place the backing out of the way for now. Do not throw it out.

Step 4: Place your sticky side of the stencil GENTLY on your board where you want it. Its easiest to line up the corners of the stencil to the corners of your sign. Once you like where it is, smooth it out gently with your hands. You then can grab your squeegee and smooth it out more.

Step 5: Separate the white top layer (transfer paper) from the blue stencil. Once they are separated a little, you can keep one hand on the blue stencil and use the other hand to peel the transfer paper straight back. You don’t want to pull up, but rather straight back, keeping the stencil on the board. Once the transfer paper is off, you can use a finger to press down/smooth any bubbles.

Step 6: Grab your paint colors for your design and your white foam wedges. While holding the skinny end of the wedge, dip the flat, fat side of the wedge into the paint and then dab off the excess onto the grid backing that you peeled off first so there is very little paint on the wedge. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! You are going to do a couple light coats of paint so that the paint isn’t thick enough to seep under the stencil at all. And just dab, or pounce, up and down with the wedge. Do not stroke it back and forth as this will also push paint under the stencil. Dab up and down until your design is covered with a couple coats of paint.

Step 7: You may pull off your blue stencil as soon as you are done painting. The paint should dry fast but it is not necessary for it to be dry in order to pull your stencil off. It’s actually better to pull it sooner, even when wet because the longer it sits on the board, the more the adhesive is getting into the wood and the chances of peeling off the bottom layer of paint gets higher so go ahead and take it off right away! Do not use any type of heat to dry it. Be sure to pull the stencil off in the OPPOSITE direction of the graining of the wood. This helps prevent any type of splintering.

Step 8: Grab the pin that we included and gently pick out the middle of your letters or parts of your design that did not come up with the main stencil. Be careful not to scratch the paint or gouge the wood.


If your stenciled wood sign has 3D attachments, please continue with the following steps…


Step 9: Lay all your raised lettering/design pieces out on a paper plate or paper towel. We do not recommend wearing gloves for this part as they become very restricting. Using the sponges and paint, simply paint the top surface of all lettering/design pieces using a gentle wiping method or a gentle dabbing motion. Try not to glob it on. You will need to do at least two coats of paint. Let air dry.

Step 10: Using the wood glue and plastic paint brush, apply a thin layer of paint to the back side of each letter/design (one at a time) and place it on your project. Continue gluing each piece until they are all on. Let dry for 20-30 min.



Tote Bag/Pillows:

Simply follow Steps 2-8. Before painting the design, you will need to put the stencil backing inside the tote bag/pillow to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back of the project. We also recommend putting some sort of tape border around the stencil before painting to protect the canvas material from accidentally getting paint on it. Masking tape, painters tape, washi tape work great. Once you finish painting, you’ll want to let this project dry for 30 min before attempting to remove the stencil.