Simple Name Plate




Introduction: Simple Name Plate

Hi All,

I have made this wooden nameplate on pallet wood for my sister-in-law. Before making this name plate, I did alot of research on many options and narrowed down to 2 methods, that could help in transferring images on wood.

1. Using Acetone

2. Using PVA glue

I choose to use these methods, as I am not good in drawing and If you have seen my previous projects, I paint everything black.

Now these methods appear very simple, there are several videos which demonstrate these. But when I tried them, none of them worked !!! May be the laser printer material is different in India, acetone and PVA glue used is of different concentration or composition. May it is just me. So for people like me who cannot hand draw and have failed using above methods, in this intructable I will show how to use acetone method and then use a fine tip pen to get the required results.

Step 1: What Do We Need ?


  • Pallet Wood
  • Design ( laser printer as mirror image)
  • Cutter
  • Acetone
  • Black Acrylic paint and fine tip brush
  • Black permanent marker
  • Hooks and chain for decoration


  • Sander : I am using oscillating tool with 60 grit sandpaper
  • Sandpaper : 80, 180 and 220 grit
  • Hack Saw

Step 2: Sanding

Pallet woods comes in many form, the one I got are from furniture packaging, which means it has rough surface and has a natural / authentic appearance

  • I used a sander to clean the rough surface with 60 / 80 grit
  • Then hand sanded with 180 and then 220 grit, till you are happy with the smooth surface
  • Tip : I cut down the pallet wood into 2 ft long, this makes it easy to work
  • Plus this enables me to cut the length into 1 ft each and I can work on two pieces together

Step 3: Transfer Image

  • I designed the name plate design in powerpoint and then converted into image and paste in word as mirror image
  • Take a laser print on a A4 sheet ( regular printing paper)
  • Cut the template as show to the size of wooden plank
  • Secure the paper design on the wooden plank using paper tape
  • Apply acetone on the paper and spread it across using old credit card

Step 4: Backup Plan

The Pain

  • For some reason the image transfer did not happen
  • I tried few more time, changed printer intensity to best, using different brand acetone
  • But none helped

Backup Plan

  • I tried this for 6 time and then it stuck me, that My weakness was drawing not sketching
  • The faint transfer could be used as template and I could repaint it by hand
  • I used fine tip permanent marker pen and started drawing / sketching
  • I started with the borders and then inside
  • The output was amazing

Step 5: Finishing

  • Add hanging ears at the center
    • To find exact center I usd a nail and then made sure that the wood plank was leveled with ground
    • Then drilled a bigger hole
  • As decoration I added two hooks and a chain as shown


  • Since I used Permanent marker, I cannot use varnish, I have to use something else. I will share what worked
  • I need to replace the chain and hook with copper finish chain to give "that" look to it
  • Designs can be complex but colors chosen have to be of same tone as the markers available at home

Please share your feedback and suggestion

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    3 years ago

    I have seen some tutorials on the "acetone technique", and I think the secret is that they used shiny/glossy MAGAZINE paper there instead of ordinary white printing paper!

    => Take an old magazine that you have finished reading and don't need anymore. Make sure that the pages look slightly glossy; you can best see this by holding it under a bright light.
    => Rip out a page and print your design onto it. (Yes, simply overprint the text and images that are already on it!)
    => The rest should work like you described it. Only this time the acetone should indeed transfer your picture. :)

    Explanation (as far as I know): Acetone cannot dissolve/loosen the toner itself. But Acetone dissolves many types of plastic. The magazine pages probably have a very thin "plastic coating" of some kind. Acetone loosens this coating (with your printing on it), and the whole thing transfers to the target surface. As if you had printed your template on an extremely thin piece of foil, so to speak.

    I haven't tried this myself yet, but I'm sure that must be the reason why it didn't work for you.


    Question 4 years ago

    Did you use a real laser printer or an ink jet printer? My understanding it it has to be a laser print with carbon dust baked onto the paper. The entire baked "ink" layer is what transfers.


    Answer 4 years ago

    I used hp laserjet 5200 series and canon 5020. Not sure on what kind of ink is used by these laser jet printers


    Tip 4 years ago

    Some printers have a setting for mirror image.

    Another way to flip an image is to use an image viewer like Irfanview Horizontal Flip (the h key)


    Reply 4 years ago

    Good info, i am good in PowerPoint. It was effortless on it too.