Easy Lettering Technique That Doesn’t Take a Vinyl Cutter

Easy lettering technique

I see so many cute and clever wooden signs on Pinterest and when shopping at my favorite craft stores. I wanted to make some for my home and for gifts but didn't want to invest in a vinyl cutter.

If this sounds like you then this easy technique is the perfect answer. It's so easy that your kids can make them too.  My nieces and I had a blast making some together.

Niece Bryana and her sign

Here's what you need to create letting on almost any surface:

Computer with Microsoft office or other text editing software.

  • Printer paper
  • Chalk
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Craft paint
  • Craft paint brushes
  • Any wood project surface

1. Open up Microsoft Office and type in your text
2. Size your text and select your favorite font. (I use this website to find great free fonts. http://www.1001fonts.com/)
3. Print it out.

Tip: On large designs, I print each word or element on a separate piece of paper.

Monogram printed on white paper

4. Rub chalk on the back of the paper that has your lettering printed on it. (You only have to put chalk where the letters are. It's not necessary to cover the entire paper.) Apply a lot of chalk so that it will transfer.

5. Place the paper (Chalk side down, Lettering side up) on your project surface and tape the corners in place.
6. Trace the lettering with a pencil. Press hard enough to transfer the chalk to the project surface.
7. Carefully remove the paper to reveal the chalk lettering. Check to make sure you can see all the lettering clearly.

8. Paint over the chalk outline with craft paint.

This sign was made for a wedding. The guests signed the wood as a keepsake for the bride and groom. It's a great alternative to a guest book.

Graphic design tip: It's fun to mix font types and add design elements...Script with printing, tall letters and short letters, caps and lowercase. Adding arrows, dots, flowers or vines is a great way to fill spaces and add separation.

Have fun with it!

I made this monogram sign for my lovely friend, (she's more like a daughter to me) Faith Carol, for her wedding.  She used it as her guest book.  Now it hangs in her home as a reminder of her special day.

Here are some of my projects:

I'd love to see some of your projects so please post photos in the comment section.

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wood sign Laundry room

Super Easy Laundry Room Sign

How cute is this?!?

I had the best time making this laundry room sign shaped like a clothespin. It was super easy, too! It only took a scrap of wood and a few simple tools.

Here's what you'll need:

1x12 pine board approximately 29 inches long
Handsaw Circular saw or band saw
Cordless Drill
Jigsaw or hole saw ( I used both)
Round file (Optional)
Sandpaper or an orbital sander
Measuring tape
Straight edge or ruler
Stain in your favorite color (I used Special Walnut)
Craft paint
Hardware to hang it! ( Used two small eye hooks and some wire)

First, take your measuring tape and straight edge and mark your cut lines.  These aren't exact, down to the fraction of a hair!!! A 1x12 is actually 11 1/4 and I'm just not that particular about it being exactly PERFECT!

clothes pin measurements

I used a circular saw to cut the long lines on the outside.

Then I used a jigsaw to cut the notch on the short end of the clothespin.  I used my cordless drill to make a pilot hole for the football shape, then used the jigsaw to cut the rest of the way.  You could use a hole saw and just make this a circle like the other ones. I just liked how the football shape looked.  It looks just like a real clothespin! 🙂

Next, I used a hole saw to cut the other two holes.  One at 2 inches and the other one is 2.5 inches.

I then used the circular saw again to cut the inside legs of the clothespin. You could also use a band saw or jigsaw for this.

Clothes pin wall art

Check out my slippers! Sometimes a girl just needs to work in the garage with her slippers on. I guarantee that I still had lip gloss on though.

Finally, I used a round file to make the groove that runs the length of the clothespin.  You could skip this step and your pin would still look totally cute!

I used my orbital sander to smooth everything out then I was ready to stain.

After the stain dried....(The next day)  I used my lettering technique to transfer my words.

See Easy Lettering Technique That Doesn't Take a Vinyl Cutter.   So super easy that my kids make their own signs.

I used craft paint to paint in my lettering and let it dry. I did two coats of paint so it wouldn't look opaque.

The last step is to varnish. I used Varathane Polyurethane in semi-gloss. It goes on easy and cleans up with water. It's great for indoor and outdoor projects because it has a UV protector.

Ok, there's one more step; hanging hardware.

These are my absolute favorite!  The screws are small so they are great for projects that are made out of 1-inch material. You could also use eye hooks and some wire.


There!!! Perfection! And so cute! (I told you!)

There are lots of cute quotes you could use for variations.

Check out my tutorial on "Easy lettering technique that doesn't take a vinyl cutter"

I just love how it looks in my laundry room.


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