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Friday, May 31, 2013

Making Signs by Printing onto Wood

As I was rummaging through my very unorganized bin of craft supplies in search of marbles for my middle son's latest school project, I came across some wooden oval plaques my BFF gave me. Her mother had given them to her, but she wasn't sure what to do with them, and at the time, neither was I. However, not too long ago, I discovered this lovely post on printing onto wood. I loved the idea for an entirely different, much bigger project, but I knew I needed to test out the process on something smaller. This wooden oval was perfect. Now that I knew I wanted to print something onto these wooden oval plaques, I needed to decide exactly what to print.



Even though our neighborhood has a no solicitation policy with polite signs at each entrance, it never fails that some people still attempt to annoy us with their cleaning products, vacuums, and magazines. Most of us agree that if you are selling Scout popcorn or cookies, we will happily open the door. The rest, however, have become quite demanding and rude when we refuse to listen to their sales pitch. Now, I am always polite. I know it's their job, but I also know I don't want what they are selling and don't like the interruption.

Okay, so there are other signs I could make, but I have three of these ovals, and I figured my "No Solicitors Please" sign would be a good start. Matsutake Blog gave a neat tutorial for printing onto wood that involves Elmer's school glue, Mod Podge, a printer, a sponge paint brush, and card stock (though I just cut a file folder). Since those are normal items I have on hand, I was excited to get started. 

 First, you will need to create your sign. You can create one in Microsoft Word using Word Art because you'll need it to print backwards. To flip your text in Microsoft Word:



  1. Go to “Insert” and hover over “Picture.” Extra options will appear, including  “Word Art.”  Left click on it.
  2. Select any style from the pop up box and click “Okay.”
  3. The “Edit Word Art Text” box will appear where you can type in your text and choose your font and size.
  4. Open the “Drawing” toolbar. To do this, go to the “View” tab and hover over “Toolbars.” Left click on “Drawing.”
  5. Move your curser to the Drawing Toolbar and click on the “Draw” tab. You will then select “rotate or flip.” Choose “Flip Horizontal.” If it doesn’t work, it is probably because you need to click on the text you had typed.

You aren't ready for printing yet. You'll first need to make your paper and then possibly adjust your printer. I selected "other specialty paper" since it first refused to print on my paper.

To make your paper, you will take a file folder and cut it to the exact size of printing paper. Just trace it and cut it out. Next, and this requires planning ahead, which is why this project takes a couple of days, you need to paint on a thin layer of Elmer's school glue. I used a sponge paint brush. Let it dry, which may take a full night. I'd hate to try printing too soon and mess up my printer with glue. Make sure to get an even coat.

After your paper is ready, you can print on it, making sure you actually print on the side with the dried glue. Once you have your printed sign, cut it out as close to the words as possible to make it easier to line up on your board. Then use a clean sponge brush to apply an even layer of Mod Podge onto the board. Next, press your printed image carefully onto the wet board. Make sure to push down from the center and smooth outward to ensure the paper is really on well. Then set a couple of heavy books on top and let it sit overnight. 

The next day, soak your block with the printed paper on it for a few minutes. Then carefully pull off the paper and scrape off any residue with your finger. The ink won't rub off, just the paper and glue residue.

As you can see from my two signs, the no solicitors one didn't turn out too great. That was my first attempt. I don't think I used enough Mod Podge. When I applied a more generous coat for my Honor sign, it turned out much better. Why did I make the honor sign? If you recall from my Say Good-Bye to Whining... book review, we are still working on establishing honor within our family, so I thought a little sign would make a cute reminder to search for ways to serve others and maintain a pleasing heart.


Overall, this is a fun project, but I won't be doing it for any large printings since, as you can see, it may not always turn out perfectly. If you come up with any ideas of what you'd like to transfer onto wood, please share. I think the best part about this project is the price. It's practically free since it requires supplies we all keep on hand, except for the board unless you are a crafting hoarder like me.  
  


I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.  

1 comment:

  1. This is fun! Thanks for sharing your creativeness.

    -http://herweightlossdiary.blogspot.com

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