Picture of Hand-painted signs
Mother always said, "Remember who you are." Well, lest the Sisters forget, these hand-painted signs will keep them mindful.
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Step 1: Materials list

Picture of Materials list
Wood scraps (I used scrap decking that had been left in the weather for several years) 2x4x26
Sanding block
Printer with mirror image option
Acrylic craft paint
Assorted brushes, including tiny ones
Watercolor pencils (for shading)
Exacto blade
Stencil transparency film
Spray shellac
Picture hanging hardware

Step 2: Prepare the wood

Picture of Prepare the wood
Because the wood had been in the elements, I sanded it to remove dirt and debris. The rough finish is part of the charm, so don't overdo it with the sanding block.

Do a whitewash with white acrylic craft paint and a wet brush. Hit both sides and all edges, but don't go for a solid finish. You want the grain to show through.

Step 3: Print the names

Picture of Print the names
Decide on a font you like (I used Verdana). The size of the font is dependent on the size of the wood; I used 420 point for the 4" wide wood. Of course, the names probably won't fit on a single sheet, so you'll have to do some adjusting of the pattern you run, but that's not hard to do.

Set your print properties to narrow margins, landscape orientation, and mirror image. Trim the white space from your pattern, lay the pattern onto the wood, and rub firmly with a burnishing tool over the entire inked image.

Step 4: Get really comfortable

Picture of Get really comfortable
This part takes patience and precision. Follow the outline of your transfer and fill in the letters with the black acrylic craft paint. (The paint dries quickly, but be careful of where you rest your hand. Trying to repaint parts of the the white areas is less satisfactory than I thought it would be.)

In case you're tempted to outline with a Sharpie, I advise against it. I did that once, and the shellac spray caused the edges of the letters to feather badly. Stick with the acrylic paint for a sharp, crisp line.
becky.t.adams4 months ago

This is fabulous! What kind of burnishing tool did you use? (I've never used a burnishing tool and have no clue!)

Dr. P (author)  becky.t.adams4 months ago
Thanks--they were fun to do and The Sisters all have them displayed in their homes. I just used a capped marker. Anything solid with a bit of a pointed end will work. It's best to do the transfer while the ink is freshly printed. Good luck!
Thank you very much!
Dr. P (author) 2 years ago
Why, thanks!
peterman9212 years ago
Dr. P (author) 2 years ago
I'll bet they do. Post photos! You know, I've been thinking about the flowers (or whatever illustration--I want to do a chicken, I think). Maybe find good, basic pictures and print them in color. Then burnish the picture onto the board, just like you do the letters, and paint over the image. I don't know. Maybe.
Very nice indeed and very clearly demonstrated. I hope mine come out as well as yours.
bajablue2 years ago
Gorgeous gifts... so professional. I'll bet your sisters were thrilled!!!
Dr. P (author)  bajablue2 years ago
We shall see--because of work schedules, kids, and geographical logistics, we won't congregate until the first of February. I hope they like them.
Those are beautiful! You are a wonderful painter :)
Dr. P (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Well, thanks! Those watercolor pencils really help with the detail on the flowers. The first time I did one, I was surprised at how those splotches turned into jessamine blossoms.