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2 Ways to Make DIY Signs with a Silhouette

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Do you know what I noticed while I was editing photos for my fall home tour? Many of the walls in my house are blank. Ridiculous! Of all the different areas to decorate, walls seem to stump me the most, so rather than taking the time to figure out what to put on them, I just ignore them and they stare at me, sad and bare. 😉

After seeing the fall tour photos, I decided it was time to fix the problem, and I went on a little sign making spree! I already showed you my not-so-hand-lettered sign that I made with my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, but I have also used two other oh-so-easy sign making methods with my Silhouette recently, so I thought I’d show you those as well!

Here’s what you’ll need for both types of signs:

List contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

The “Paint and Peel” Method

This is probably the method I use most often when making signs, and it is really so simple.

I start by creating my design in the Silhouette Studio software. I just measure my surface and then size my design accordingly. In this example, I used Playfair Display font for the “Lawson & Co.” design and Sugarbush font for the “gather.”

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Tip: When using cursive fonts, be sure to right click your design and choose the “weld” option so that your machine cuts the word as one piece instead of individual letters. After I weld, I usually right click again and choose “group” so that I can move my word around as a single unit.

Because this design was going to be longer than the standard 12″ mat size, I changed the length in the “Design Page Settings” window to make my design area larger.

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{Also I’m cheap and fit as many designs on a page as possible so that I don’t waste vinyl! 🙂 } After my design is set, I load my vinyl directly into the machine (no mat since the design is longer) using the “Load Media” option and cut the vinyl using the standard settings recommended by Silhouette (blade 1, speed 5, thickness 10).

If I need to, I paint my surface the color that I want my words to be. In this case, I wanted the words to be white and the board was already white, so I just left it alone.

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Once the machine has cut my design, I weed away the excess vinyl (1).

I then cut a piece of transfer paper to the size of my design. Once I peel off the backing of the transfer paper, I line it up on my design and press the sticky side down, using my scraper tool to make sure the vinyl adheres to the transfer paper (2).

I can then peel the backing off of my design, revealing the sticky side of the vinyl (3).

I center the design on my surface and again use the scraper tool to press everything down and make sure it adheres to the surface completely (4).

I peel the transfer paper up and cover the words with a layer of clear decoupage to seal them so that none of the paint seeps under the vinyl (5).

Once the decoupage dries, I paint over the entire surface with my paint color of choice (6).

I let the paint dry for 5 to 10 minutes so that it has set in a little bit but is not completely dry (if it dries too much my paint will peel up with the letters), and then I peel up my letters to reveal the white part of the sign. And I’m done!

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

If you saw our kitchen reveal (and have a really good eye!), you may have already spotted the Lawson & Co. sign…

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

The Stencil Method

I will use this second method if I want to stain my surface rather than paint it. For this design, I started with a wooden board, which I sanded and stained. I again used my Silhouette software to create my design.

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

{This is Playfair Display font again.}

After I had the machine cut it out, I weeded out the letters this time and kept their outline to use as a stencil.

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

I transferred the stencil over to the wood– I was trying to be cheap and save my transfer paper, so I used painter’s tape to do the transfer (1).

While it is possible, it was definitely a lot more difficult, so I recommend sticking to the transfer paper if you can.

Once I had my stencil adhered to the wood the way I wanted it, I again covered it with a layer of decoupage to prevent paint seepage (2).

When the decoupage had dried, I filled in my letters with paint (3). I again let the paint dry for 5-10 minutes so it would set a little bit, but I removed the vinyl before the paint dried completely.

Since the wood wasn’t a completely flat surface, the paint leaked in a few places. I was able to use black and brown Sharpie markers to carefully color over the spots that leaked, and you can’t even tell where they are anymore!

How to Make a DIY Sign with a Silhouette Machine | JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com

Creating signs with the Silhouette is really so simple… I’m kind of addicted! 😉 I know not everyone has a cutting machine, though, so I’ll soon be showing a method for making beautiful signs without one– stay tuned!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Delightful Sign Off

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

124 Comments

  1. I had a friend cut out vinyl letters for me to put on a painted wooden board. How would you seal it so the vinyl doesn’t get ripped off? Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      If it’s not going to be handled a lot, I wouldn’t think you’d have to worry about it coming off– the vinyl is pretty sticky. I have projects from a few years ago where the vinyl is still perfectly adhered. If you’re worried about it, though, you could do a few coats of decoupage over it for some extra protection. Have fun with it! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

      1. And then some bowling alley wax

    2. Jessyca Allen says:

      Hey Abby!

      Once you use the vinyl for one sign, are you able to use it again? Or is it a one time use only?

      Thanks,
      Jessyca

      1. justagirlabby says:

        Hi, Jessyca! I only use it once. It gets kind of gunked up with the modge podge and paint going over it. I hope this helps! Have a great week!

        ~Abby =)

  2. christy @ Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer says:

    I’ve just started really using my silhouette and it has spoiled me! It’s so much easier than hand painting in all those graphics. All three of your signs are beautifully done! XO

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! Yes– I do love the Silhouette for signs! Happy Halloween!!

      ~Abby =)

      1. What kind of silhouette do you recommend? Im considering getting one and read reviews the cameo 3 breaks down and has issues.

        1. justagirlabby says:

          I have the Silhouette Cameo from several years ago, and it is still holding up well for me! I have never used the Cameo 3, so I can’t speak for it. Melissa from Silhouette School (http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/) is a great resource for all things Silhouette, and I know she has reviews on the different machines on her site, so that may be a good place to check!

          ~Abby =)

  3. So pretty! I really need to use my Silhouette Machine more!!

  4. Can you share where the gather font is from? It’s gorg? Same font as amazing grace?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes it’s the same as the Amazing Grace sign! It’s called Sugarbush and I purchased it in a bundle with a few others at Creative Market. Hope this helps! Happy Weekend!

      ~Abby =)

      1. I tried finding the *sugasbush* font. But haven’t had any luck. I looked at Creative Market but it shows 0 results. Can you help? Thanks!

  5. So I have a silhouette and haven’t really made the leap to using it for signs- I’m not sure why. I guess I get stuck in my faux-transfer-paper-pencil technique even though it is causing me to have sore shoulders. Lol. I LOVE all your signs -that one in your kitchen is adorable too!! Great job Abby – I am definitely coming back to this tutorial and going to give my Silhouette a second shot!

  6. I think my original comment got deleted – anyhow, I meant to say that I definitely need to give my silhouette a chance for sign making. I have gotten too stuck in my old-school pencil-fake-tracing-paper method! Thanks for the tutorial- pinning and coming back to it as needed! And I LOVE your beautiful signs!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, friend! I don’t feel like I use my Silhouette to its full potential either, but I do love it for signs! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  7. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom says:

    I always love your Silhouette posts, especially since I am still learning on mine. Keep them coming! These signs are both so beautiful!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you so much, Carrie! I still don’t feel like I use mine to its full potential, but they are SO nice to have for projects! Have fun with yours! Happy weekend!

      ~Abby =)

  8. Jaclyn Lorimer says:

    Wow, thanks for this post! Perfectly timed as I just bought a Portrait. Can’t wait to get started!

    Visiting from LorimerLiving.Com
    XO, Jaclyn

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Ooh so excited for you! You’re going to love it! Be sure to check out Melissa at silhouetteschoolblog.com — she has a tutorial for *everything* Silhouette related! Enjoy your weekend, Jacklyn!

      ~Abby =)

  9. Can’t wait for the tutorial for those without a machine! These are so beautiful and I have many bare walls in my house too (just moved in late July). Would love to do name signs for my two boys!

  10. Jess @ Make and Do Crew says:

    Wow, this explains how 99% of the signs I see on Etsy are made. Thanks for clearing that up!

  11. Lauren Baxter says:

    Your signs look awesome!! I can see how addicting it could be, I love how you choose wood pieces. Gives it more of that homey, vintage, DIY feel that suits your style. Those look super easy too! I may eventually have to get on this silhouette train.

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

  12. Tamara p. @thentheres2.com says:

    I do think I’m going to have to look into getting one of these machines. My niece just made the bridesmaids’ tanks (for my daughter’s wedding) with their initials on them and then an Instagram sign for the wedding. They all turned out so cute! I instantly was envious for one..ha.
    PS I just spoke of our recent wedding at: https://wp.me/p5HMBr-w5
    Now I’m gonna go crash! HA

    1. Hi I love the welcome sign! I cant wait to make my own. Would you mind telling me what stain did you use on the wood?

      1. Abby Lawson says:

        Hi, Vilma! I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Have a great week!

  13. I love the welcome sign! Can you share the measurements for the wood and the size of the letters used? Thank you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thank you, Karen! The welcome sign is 34″ tall x 5.25″ wide, and the letters are 350 pt. Playfair Display font. I hope this helps! Have a wonderful week!

      ~Abby =)

  14. Love your signs and now I guess I know all all those beautiful sings on Etsy are made. Just wondering, I am not very familiar with Silhouette, but which one do you use for your signs? Are you able to use any font that you have purchased with a Silhouette machine or just certain Silhouette machines. I have many different fonts that I have purchased to use with photoshop and would love to use them to make signs but just was not sure if I would with a Silhouette or if I would only be able to use fonts from their store. Thanks so much!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes! Any font that you have installed on your computer can be used with the Silhouette software. There are also additional fonts available for purchase from the Silhouette store, but I have always just used my own. I hope this helps! Have a wonderful day, Lyn!

      ~Abby =)

  15. Teresa Alexander says:

    After staining, do you use a wax or anything to seal the stain before you apply the stencil? Also, when you paint on the decopage, do you only paint the vinyl around the lettering, or paint the entire board, before painting in the letters?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Teresa! I don’t seal the board before I apply the stencil. For the decoupage, I only do it right over the letters, not the whole board. It dries clear, so you won’t even be able to tell where it was when the sign is finished. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

      1. onecraftymiss says:

        The only part I’m confused on here is once you put the decoupage on the letters and then paint over for your sign, when you peel the vinyl letters off you don’t have an issue with the dried decoupage making it hard to remove the letters?

        1. justagirlabby says:

          Great question! I do the whole process fairly quickly, so the decoupage is mostly dry, but not fully “set” when I paint over it, if that makes sense. Sometimes I have to touch up a few places with paint. If the paint leaks onto a part that is stained, I have used black and brown sharpie markers to do touch ups and it works like a charm. 🙂 I hope this helps!

          ~Abby =)

          1. Sarah Chapman says:

            So do you put decoupage only on the vinyl letter? How do you keep that perfect (because wont paint not adhere to decoupage)?

          2. justagirlabby says:

            Hi, Sarah! I paint over the vinyl letters with the decoupage, making sure to really seal in the edges, so some of it does get on the main part of the design. The paint adheres to the decoupage just fine in my experience.

            ~Abby =)

  16. Beautiful work! I love my Silhouette! But when I try to make stencils, I always have problems with the letters that have cutouts in them, such as “O, B, P, R” etc. They always take too much of the letter. Any tips on how to fix this? It’s like their needs to be another connection between the cutout portion and the letter to give the letter another line!

    Thanks for the post!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I haven’t had this problem, but whenever I have Silhouette issues, I always go to Melissa’s site, Silhouette School (https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/). She has tutorials on EVERYTHING Silhouette, so I’m sure she has touched on this before!

      ~Abby =)

  17. southerndollwithamasonjar says:

    Thank you for taking your time to post this tutorial! I have been free handing my wood signs and am ready to upgrade to the silhouette cameo to save time. What package do you recommend when ordering the silhouette cameo? They have so many options! I want to be able to do exactly what you did in this tutorial! Would I want to go with the starter bundle, vinyl bundle, vinyl kit/pixscan or vinyl/pixscan bundle? So many options, it’s overwhelming! Thanks a million!!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Everyone is different, but I personally use vinyl more than any other medium, so I would go with the vinyl bundle! Happy cutting!

      ~Abby =)

  18. brandy1976jones says:

    Hello There. I am a newbie, so I have a question that might seem silly, but I haven’t done any signs yet and was wondering when you put the layer of decoupage over the letters (the first tutorial) do u carefully put it just over the letters themselves with like a small paint brush? I’m a little confused on that step.
    Thank you for your help.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Brandy! Yes, I just put the decoupage over the letters themselves. It dries totally clear, so you won’t even know where it was when your sign is finished! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  19. Hi
    I was just wondering which decoupage you use. Would mod podge work? And do you let it dry completely?
    Thank you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes! I have used mod podge before and it has worked well. I also like the Martha Stewart brand of decoupage– either would be fine!

      ~Abby =)

  20. Hi!! I want to make a welcome sign for outside. I have never heard of Silhouette. Can you please fill me in. Like where can I purchase, what kind & how much are they? It sounds awesome for making signs.
    Also, is this way better than using stencils?

    Thank you!!

  21. I am still getting used to my silhouette and have become pretty comfortable overall with the software and tools it came with, but I am wanting to get a larger variety of fonts. I don’t love the silhouette design store’s selection and they seem kind of expensive. I read in a previous comment about how you purchased these fonts from Creative Market. I had never heard of it but checked it out and did some of the free downloads and now I am stuck. Could you help explain how to use the fonts after they are downloaded?

    Thank you!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, LeeDa! I am on a Mac, so after I download the fonts, I drag the .ttf or .otf files into my “Fonts” folder. Then, the next time I open up my Silhouette software, they are in my list of fonts that I have to choose from. If you’re on a PC, try googling “How to install fonts on [name of computer]” and there should be a tutorial out there that can help. Have fun with your Silhouette!

      ~Abby =)

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Megan! So sorry, but the Etsy listing says it is hand lettered by the artist, so it’s her actual handwriting, not a font. One of my favorite fonts that looks hand lettered-ish is called Sugarbush, and I bought it from Creative Market. I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  22. Quick question… Have you ever used contact paper before instead of vinyl? I worry about wasting the vinyl when the contact paper from the dollar store is less expensive. I’ve been able to cut a design on the contact and transferred it to the transfer tape, but I can’t get the contact letters to adhere to the painted wood. It also won’t peel off the tape.. Thanks!! Going to try to attempt a stencil 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Bev! Yes, I have used contact paper before. It is not quite as thick and sturdy as the vinyl, but it definitely still works, especially for stenciling purposes. Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  23. Taylor Edwards says:

    I love your work and instructions! I have what may be a silly question but I hope you can help. I am looking into buying the silhouette printer (on amazon) but theres quite a few options to choose from.Cameo? Heat Transfer? Roll Feeder? Starter Bundle? Vinyl Bundle? Vinyl/Pixscan bundle? WHAT DO I BUY?

    Also, can this printer print really large do you know?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Taylor! I always recommend the vinyl bundle because I use vinyl for the majority of my projects. The Cameo can cut 12″ wide and however long your vinyl roll is. If you want to cut larger than that, you’ll have to do it on multiple sheets and put them together. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  24. Silhouette machines are great, I so badly want to purchase one for myself (maybe a Christmas present for myself). These are both gorgeous signs, <3 the "Welcome" one! I was wondering, how do you get your ideas for your DIY projects? Do you find things online and think oh, hey I can do that or is it just things that pop into your head?

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It’s probably a combination of both! For the most part, it is mostly out of need and I find a way to make it happen! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  25. Hello, thanks for the info on the signs!! I just recently purchased a Silhouette and I am dying to make a big Welcome sign! Can you please instruct me on the size of your letters for that as well as how did you get your grid to run long?! Thanks

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Brie! The WELCOME letters are 350 pt font. I changed my grid size in the “Design Page Settings” menu (the symbol looks like a piece of paper with an arrow pointing across and another arrow pointing down) in the top right corner of the screen. If you’re new to Silhouette, I highly recommend Melissa from Silhouette School (https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/)! She has detailed tutorials on just about everything you can imagine! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  26. So I use the stencil method a lot and have no issues w leaking as long as my paint isn’t too runny. But I recently tried the paint and peel method because it’s sooo much easier. But it pulls my paint up EVERY time. So frustrating. Wondering if you have any insight. I’m using contact paper for my stencils. My board has been painted for a while so no issues there. I lay down letters. Burnish the HECK outta it. And then I do 2 layers of paint over them. 1 is never enuff for coverage. And then I pull letters and up comes the paint with it. Soooo. Does that mean paint is too dry? It’s sticking to my contact paper? Also curious what transfer tape you use. Thanks for any help you can give!
    Jill

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh I hear you. Sometimes the Silhouette projects can be frustrating! So it’s hard to troubleshoot from afar, but here are my thoughts: I ended up with a really long piece of Silhouette brand vinyl in a color that I knew I probably wouldn’t use anywhere in my house (the royal blue color you see in the post), so that is what I use to make my stencils. I find that it has worked a bit better for me than contact paper. Then when I do my coats of mod podge and paint, I do it all very quickly and the paint is still decently wet when I pull up my vinyl. There are always little places where I go in and touch up with a tiny brush, but no major leakage or paint pulls that make the piece unuseable. (When I’m using stain I touch up with black and brown sharpie markers. Works like a charm.) I am currently using the Silhouette brand transfer tape. I hope this helps! Have a great weekend, Jill!

      ~Abby =)

  27. Thanks for the info on the signs. I have just started making my own signs, but have had a problem with the transfer tape removing some of the stain from the wood when I peal the tape off. Have you had this problem? Do you have any suggestions? I am using Silhouette’s own premium transfer paper. Thanks!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Ronda! I’ve had this a little bit, but I just go in and touch up afterward. Sometimes when I’m using stain I even touch up with black and brown Sharpie markers– works like a charm! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  28. I’m having issue with the vinyl leaving a sticky residue once it’s removed to reveal the base coat. Any suggestions because once I sand to get the distressed look, it gets stuck in the residual adhesive?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      That is odd. I can’t say I’ve ever had that problem. Maybe try a different type of vinyl? I’ve used Silhouette brand vinyl, Cricut brand, and vinyl from Expressions Vinyl, and they’ve all worked well. Sorry I couldn’t be more help! Good luck!

      ~Abby =)

  29. I have a cricut and I’m using transfer paper. I have painted the board that I want the letters to be. Can I just stick my letters on the board and then paint over what color I wanton the board to be and then just peel off the transfer paper? I have never used that decoupage so not sure how it works. I’m trying to find a faster way to making signs.
    Thanks

    1. justagirlabby says:

      The decoupage prevents leaking and creates crisper lines, which is why I use it. If you can skip that step and are still getting crisp lines, definitely go for it!

      ~Abby =)

  30. Amanda Carper says:

    I can’t get my vinyl stencil to stick to my stained board. It keeps coming with the transfer tape. Tips?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I’ve had that happen before and it can be frustrating! I usually use the scraper tool to help hold down the vinyl as I pull the transfer tape away and that seems to help. Good luck!

      ~Abby =)

  31. Janet Singsank says:

    Hi! I’m thinking about joining the Silhouette world for making signs for which I use Printmaster, carbon paper & pencil, paint, and stain to make currently. Which machine would you recommend in the Silhouette line? Thanks so much!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I love my Silhouette! It would be perfect for your sign making!

      ~Abby =)

      1. Janet Singsank says:

        Would that be the Cameo 3? Or the Curio?

        1. justagirlabby says:

          I just have the older version, but my friend Melissa talks about the newer versions and gives her recommendations over at https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ . She is always my go-to for all things Silhouette!

          ~Abby =)

  32. Hello! I tried this stain and paint method and when I pulled the vinyl off it pulled off the wood too 🙁 I’m using 631 vinyl. With pine stained wood. Any suggestions?!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hm. I didn’t have that issue when I did mine, so I’m not sure. You could try using contact paper instead of the vinyl. It tends to be less sticky than the vinyl, so it may pull away a little easier for you.

      ~Abby =)

  33. When staining your wood and then applying a stencil and painting over with chalk paint, do you need to finish it off with a sealer? I have tried a few and they usually yellow my white letters. Wondering if it would be ok to not seal it? Or possibly just rub some soft wax over the chalk paint?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I’m not a chalk paint pro, but I have always heard that the wax and buffing is what makes chalk paint really look awesome, so I think your idea of using the soft wax would be perfect. Hope you’re having a great day, Mary Ann!

      ~Abby =)

  34. What type of vynal and transfer tape do you use? I am having a problem getting my vynal to stick to the transfer tape and the wood ?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Ashley! The transfer tape is Silhouette brand. I usually purchase vinyl from Expressions Vinyl (https://expressionsvinyl.com/). I hope this helps! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  35. Hello! I’m just curious what exactly you use as your “stencil” material? Is it just rolls of vinyl? I just feel like rolls of vinyl are so pricey and I’m just wondering if there is something cheaper out there to use in place of that to make wooden signs. I’d appreciate any tips!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I either use vinyl or contact paper, which can be cheaper. Have a great day, Stacie!

      ~Abby =)

  36. When using the outline of the letters as a stencil (as in the welcome sign) is there a way that you could use the letters to make another sign instead of just weeding them out? This would enable you to make 2 signs with 1 vinyl cut out. Sorry in advance if you’ve already answered this question! I just got my silhouette yesterday & I look forward to attempting to make the welcome sign.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I’m sure there is. I would think it would be easier to carefully pull the outline part away first, leaving the filled in letters, rather than vice versa. If you’re new to Silhouette, the best resource I’ve found is Melissa at https://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ — she has a tutorial for everything! Hope you have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  37. Kimberley says:

    Hey I love your signs and this has been very helpful. I made 2 signs this weekend for the first time but neither one of them came out right. On one the paint peeled up around the letters when I peeled the letters and the other one the paint ran behind the letters. Then I found your post and it has shown me some of my errors but I still have a couple questions. First, do you and your wood completely smooth first, and two, what kind of paint do you use?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Kimberley! I think I sanded the wood a little bit, but it definitely was not completely smooth. I used regular latex paint– the same type you would paint on your walls. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  38. Hi There,
    With your first sign ‘gather’ what type of paint do you use for this?
    thanks
    Sarah

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Sarah! It’s just regular wall paint! I believe it’s Behr brand. Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  39. I’m new to using my Silhouette and I’m confused as to how you did the Welcome sign. Did you cut that on vinyl? If so, how were you able to weed the letters out and the vinyl around it didn’t “collapse”? I’ve tried this and once you weed, it’s unstable and soft, unlike cardstock which is sturdy. When I tried this before, the vinyl just stuck on itself and it didn’t work as a stencil at all. So basically, I’m lost! Any advice would be appreciated!!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Jenny! I did cut it on vinyl. I weeded out the letters while the outline was still on the paper backing, which keeps them from “collapsing” like you described. Then I would use transfer paper to transfer the entire outline to the board, which helps to hold its shape. I hope this makes sense! Have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  40. Any recommendations on the type of white paint you use over a dark stain so that it covers completely?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I just use whatever I have on hand– typically craft paint or wall paint– and do a few coats. I’ve never had a problem with coverage. Hope you have a great day!

      ~Abby =)

  41. Hey Abby- I know you answered a similar question, but I’m thinking that was for the second method? For the Paint & Peel method: Once the vinyl letters are stuck on, do you paint the Modge Podge over the entire sign surface? So just brush it over the letters and background and then paint over that?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Lynn! I typically just paint the modge podge over the letters to seal the edges, not the entire surface. Best of luck with your sign!

      ~Abby =)

  42. Janelle Minich says:

    Hi Abby! Great blog, thanks for all the tips! question for you – have you ever made a sign where you stain the wood 1 color, you paint (with Silhouette created stencil) color #2, but there are some things that need a 3rd color inside whatever you painted color #2. (Ex: thinking of making a sign with an orange background for halloween, making a stencil for a ghost – want to paint that white – but then want to also have the “eyes” of the ghost black.)
    Just looking for any tips you might have about layering stencils/paint colors on top of each other – assuming the underlying layers are dry, of course!
    thanks so much!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I don’t know that I’ve ever done a project like that, but I bet Melissa from Silhouette School has. She has a tutorial for everything! You can search her site here: http://www.silhouetteschoolblog.com/ .

      ~Abby =)

  43. Hi Abby! Thanks for the tutorials! Question: after you apply the vinyl letters to your wood, what tool do you use to paint over them? Paint brush? Sponge brush? Spray paint? I would think with anything other than spray paint the paint brush would pull up the letters or the paint would pool around them, no?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Ashley! I use a paint brush. I’ve never had trouble with it pulling up the letters because the vinyl is adhesive, and pooling hasn’t been a problem either. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  44. Hello,
    Beautiful work! I’m just curious how you peel up the letters after the mod podge and paint. In my experience, vinyl is not easy to remove once it’s adhered to the surface. Thanks!! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Erin! I use a combination of the hook tool and just my nails to get the letters up. I don’t let the paint/mod podge dry completely, which makes it easier. Sometimes there will be a little smudge by the letter where I remove them, but then I just go in and touch it up with paint. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  45. Hello!

    I love how you’ve explained both of these! I am
    Planning on making Halloween/ fall signs for outdoor by the front door. I had a couple of questions. I have a cricut and am going to be using that. Just for clarification, When I cut out a stencil for the wood I cut it onto vinyl, take out the letter, and transfer the stencil to the transfer paper then on to the wood to paint? Just want to make sure I do it right the first time around! Thank you in advance.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yep! You have it exactly right! Best of luck with your project!

      ~Abby =)

  46. Kelly Case says:

    Great post, Abby! I really enjoy making letters and cutting wall decor for our house. I’m currently cutting letters for a new baby nursery for a friend with my new Silhouette Cameo 3. Thanks for the fun vinyl cutting ideas in your post!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Oh, fun! Thanks for stopping by, Kelly!

      ~Abby =)

  47. Wow! Great idea!! You could also use spray paint instead of brush 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Very true! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  48. The sign looks really nice.. I never tried doing this..

  49. Linda Wright says:

    I recently took a class where we painted sayings on a weathered board. We were supplied with a adhesive backed stencil. we used a hook to remove all the nooks and crannies of the stencil. Then we firmly press the stencil on the wooden board. We then took a brush and dabbed paint on top of the stencil. We slowly remove the stencil before it completely dried. I was so impressed with my project!!! I would like to make these projects at home. So I know first thing I need is to buy a Silhouette!! Would I be able to use a adhesive backed stencil with a Silhouette. If so where does one purchase these stencils? I happened by chance to run across your blog and am so happy I did. You offer so much help and I hope you can help me to.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Linda! You could use the Silhouette + adhesive vinyl to create the adhesive backed stencil. I buy the vinyl on Amazon. You would create your design in the Silhouette Studio software, which comes with the machine. You can either make a design yourself or buy a design for about $1 in the design store. I hope this helps!

      ~Abby =)

  50. Girl You are so stinkin sweet and kind to answer all of these questions, lol. I absolutly love your signs. I’, working on my first set and let me just say it has not been an easy peasy for me. Gahhh it’s taken a total of 3 days so far. My hardest thing was just trying to size up my letters and get them straight on the board. I still could not get them to align correctly on my board 🙁 Thank you for taking the time to explain your porject to an absolute Tee. You are so appreciated.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Nichole! I hope you got it all figured out! <3

      ~Abby =)

  51. Do you have any problems with paint adhering to a stained board? Do you use water or oil based stain?Also what kind of paint do you use?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I have never had trouble with the paint adhering. I typically just use whatever paint I have around, often acrylic or extra wall paint (water based). Have a wonderful holiday!

      ~Abby =)

  52. Do you ever try and save both parts and use both methods with one piece of vinyl? I have tried but struggle with getting them both! Just wondered if you have any tips!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Cyndi! I can’t say that I’ve ever tried that. I suppose it is possible, but like you mention, I would think it would be fairly difficult because you have to be careful to preserve both sides. :-/ I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

      ~Abby =)

  53. I’m planning on using the paint and peel method for an art-themed kids birthday party to make canvases with their initials (not real original, but they’re 3 – they don’t care). However, I will need to prep the canvases well ahead of time, so the lettering will need to stick on the pre-painted canvas for at least a week before the kids paint and their parents peel. I am wondering what you think would result in the cleanest possible initial – covering the lettering with the clear decoupage, which would be very set by the time the letters were peeled off, or not sealing the vinyl at all?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hmmm that’s a tough call. I think I may just not seal it because I would worry that the decoupage that is really set would pull up their paint right along with it. You may have a few small bleeds, but I would think they would be minimal. (And if the bleeds are bothering you, you can always touch them up with white for a canvas.) Have fun with the party!

      ~Abby =)

  54. On the Welcome sign you made, did you paint the modge podge in the letters and then the paint color?
    Karmen

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes. I did modge podge over the vinyl where the letter cutouts were and then painted over it. I hope this helps! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  55. Shelli Weiss says:

    Have you ever had an issue with the stencil not adhering to a painted surface? I use Oramask 813 stencil film with a transfer tape. On occasion I have a sign that requires me to layer the stencils. So I paint the first layer, trying to make sure not to use too much paint and helping it dry with a hair dryer. The paint I use is Sherwin Williams Latex acrylic. Then I put the next stencil down over the painted surface and when I go to pull the spacing tape off the stencil doesn’t want to stick, or stay in place. It is driving me crazy. Any ideas?

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I would just try a vinyl with a stronger adhesive for your layering stencil rather than the stencil film and see if that helps?

      ~Abby =)

  56. Linda Sue says:

    I am so impressed with the way you took time to answer every single question and I love your work. Beautifully done!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Linda! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  57. mamasweetpea says:

    Hi, what cut settings do you use when you cut contact paper without a mat instead of vinyl? thanks

    1. Abby Lawson says:

      Hi there! I put the blade on 1 and then use whatever the machine selects for speed for vinyl!

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