Easy Wooden Sign for Makerspace or Work Studio

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About: Aaron Maurer is currently serving as STEM Lead for the Mississippi Bend AEA and the Founder of a non profit called 212 STEAM Labs, Inc. Prior to this he served as an Instructional Coach for Bettendorf Middle...

This is a very simple project to help educators and anyone who works with students to design and make a sign for their learning space. It can be used by others too, but the focus is on using simple tools to design decorations that enhance the learning culture.

Step 1: Gather Materials

To keep things very simple for measuring here is what I used

1. 1 2x2 foot square piece of scrapwood. I took this board pictured and cut it down to a 2x2 foot square.

2. 4 12x12 inch vinyl sheets for the word MAKE

3. Acrylic paint of your choice

4. White paint or spray paint for the backdrop. You could swap out with another color.

5. Scrap wood for the frame or buy 1x1 or frame size of your choice.

Tools

1. I used a tablesaw to cut the scrapwood

2. Handsaw for the frame

3. Paintbrush

4. Vinyl cutter

5. Picking tools for vinyl

Step 2: Cut Board to Size

Cut your board to size. I prefer the 2x2 because it makes measuring easier for kids, but you can cut to size of your choice.

I added an extra image of the other sizes we cut as my daughters made their own signs for their room.

Step 3: Paint the Background Color

Paint the wood the background color of your choice. I chose white to make the letters pop, but my daughter did black and hers turned out great.

Think about your space and make sure it matches and fits the feel of the room.

Step 4: Cut and Place Your Vinyl

Using your vinyl cutter cut out the word(s) you are going to add to the sign.

For me, I chose the word MAKE so I had one letter for each 12x12 inch piece of vinyl.

My daughter did her initials.

Peel off the letter itself when you cut them. We are not going to use this part so think of a way to repurpose those letters. Instead we are going to use the outside portion of the vinyl serving as a stencil.

Finally, place your letters down the wood once the background paint is dry.

Step 5: Paint the Letters

Once you have the vinyl properly placed, then go ahead and gather your acrylic paint. We used a tiny roller, but a paintbrush would work just fine.

Go ahead and paint the stencil with the colors of your choice.

Step 6: Remove Vinyl

We removed the vinyl right away and did not wait for the paint to dry. We did not want to the paint to peel off or rip once it was dry.

Step 7: Touch Up Edges

If your letters get a bit off when peeling, don't panic!

We took a straight edge and just touched up all the sides with paint to make it look good. Easy fix!

Step 8: Make the Frame

Once we had the sign you can add a frame. My daughters chose not to and just kept the sign as it was. I wanted a frame so I took measurements and used some scrap wood. You can buy 1x1 or any size you want. Cut to size and make sure it all lines up before adding it on.

Step 9: Paint the Frame

Go ahead and paint your frame

Step 10: Glue And/or Nail the Frame

I used some wood glue and clamps to adhere the frame. I have the sign for two years now and have had no issues. You can add some nails to the back if you need to further the suppor the frame.

And then BOOM! you have a sign and a new piece to your learning space or makerspace.

Please share what you create!

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