I love the painted signs you can find at craft shops. I always admire the pretty paint jobs, but I some times gasp at the price. I came across a link on Pinterest to a tutorial for printing your own professional looking letters.
I decided I could make my own sign for the nursery using this method. Best of all? I had all the supplies I needed, so the project was essentially free!
First, I found a nice scrap board in the garage. I cut it down to the approximate size I needed and proceeded to stain it.
Like my staining bench? It's a big cardboard box in the basement that I use so I don't get paint or stain anywhere. I started on the back of the board, then I did the sides. This way, I was doing the front last, so I could make sure it blended in well with the sides.
I'm kind of impatient, so I barely let the stain dry 15 minutes before I moved on to the next step. In Microsoft Word, I typed the phrase, "We love you to the moon and back." I used the font Optima ExtraBlack in size 110. I printed it off and was ready to proceed.
I cropped the bottom of the page off, so there was an equal margin at the top and bottom of the page, and then I centered it side to side and top to bottom on the board. I secured it with scotch tape. As you can see, my stain wasn't quite dry, because it bled through the paper, but it didn't affect anything.
I was skeptical of the next step, but it worked like a charm. I used a normal ball point point and traced over the letters. It was really hard not to peek, but I didn't want to risk pulling up the paper to look and then not getting the letters lined up again!
If I was going to do this step again, I might trace over each letter twice. It made a good imprint in the wood, but because the stain was dark, it was challenging to see.
I filled in the letters with acrylic paint and a small paint brush. After all of the letters were painted, this is what I had:
I decided it needed something else, so I found some star and moon clipart online, and I repeated the imprint process at the top and bottom. And here's the finished product:
This was seriously a super-easy project. From start to finish, it took a little over an hour. The technique is fool-proof! The sign is now hung on the nursery wall, so these babies can come at any time!