Monday, March 26, 2012


So I decided to make kennel name plaques for CanAm last October.  Well, now Demo needs one, and since I decided to put his full name on his I had to remake Trophy's to use his full name (first world problems over here, I tell ya) and then I decided to make one for every body...

Anyway, so I posed pictures on FB and friends were asking how I did it. So here is a tutorial.  I appologize for the crappy pictures.  My camera's new lens has a really looooong focal length, and the original 50mm lens it came with no longer has an auto focus, and I can't do everything left handed.  SO you get crappy, slightly blurry photos.

First, head over to your local craft store and pick up your supplies.

  1. Blank wooden sign boards.  
  2. Some sort of Primer (if you're working with light colors, probably not necessary if you're going to use a black base coat, but I primed all mine anyway) - I used a spray paint white primer.  
  3. A wood safe sealer.
  4. Acrylic paint in whatever colors you are going to want to use.
  5. A sponge brush
  6. Small liner brushes - size depends on what type of font you decide to use - for blockier fonts you will want some larger brushes, but you will probably want some VERY fine brushes too.
  7. Ball point pen
  8. Pencil
  9. Designer fonts
  10. Computer program to print out fonts, printer, and paper. :)
Start by lightly priming your wood.  Get a smooth coat across the top and don't forget to do the sides.  Several light coats that won't drip or clump is best.  The lighter your base coat of acrilic paint is the thicker and more opaque you will want your primer coat to be (so you don't see the wood grain through).

Let dry throughly.  Then apply 2-3 (or more depending on the color) coats of your base color.  I used a small sponge brush for this, doing the sides first and then the top.  Keep your brush strokes going in one directions to keep the top looking neat.  Let the paint dry completely before adding the next coat.

Once the color is how you want it and while it is drying go to your computer and print out your words scaled to fit on your wood sign.  I used a digital scrapbooking software to get mine to just the right size.  I cut mine out to just smaller than the top of the sign so I could center it perfectly.  

Now flip it over and using your pencil color darkly over all the letters.  

Hold the paper up to a light source to ensure you have covered all of the letters.

It will look like this when you are done:

Right side up, center the paper on your now dry sign 

and trace every part of the letters with the ball point pen.  

This will transfer the graphite on the back of the paper to your sign and serve as your guide.  

Using whatever brushes/method you are most comfortable with paint and fill in the lettering.  Add a second coat if needed, and then let dry overnight.

Touch up the next day, let dry per your sealant's instructions (mine says to dry for 24 hours), then seal and let dry again.
I use 2 eyelets and double 'S' shaped carabiners to hang them from - if you think of something better let me know!

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