Customize your home décor with your favorite quote by making a wood sign using Cricut stencil vinyl.
Let’s face it, few people actually think “live, laugh, love” are words they want to live by, much less have plastered across their walls. I’m not sure if those three words do much more than make people cringe anymore, lol.
If you want to have words or quotes as part of your home décor, why not make them meaningful and personal to you?
With that in mind, I wanted to make a sign as a gift for my husband, so I chose a quote from one of his favorite movies, Rudy. I’m pretty sure he’s seen this movie at least five million times and he always does an impersonation of Rudy when he says it during the movie.
And since Rudy takes place at Notre Dame, of course, I had to use the Fighting Irish blue and gold school colors. (Not to mention those colors also blend well with my decor…shhh.)
I also wanted to try out Cricut’s stencil vinyl since I accidentally bought it, thinking it was transfer tape, lol.
You’ll be amazed at how nice and professional your signs will turn out using Cricut’s stencil vinyl. I love that I can make my stencils of anything, any words I choose instead of using the premade ones that have limited designs and need to be taped down so they don’t slide.
Let’s get started!
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Make a Wood Sign Materials
- 12′ by 12″ Wood Sign (I bought mine at Walmart for $10)
- Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2
- Light Grip Cricut Mat
- Cricut Stencil Vinyl
- Cricut Standard Grip Transfer Tape
- Weeder Tool
- XL Scraper Tool
- Accent Color Chalk Paint (For Sides)
- Metallic Chalk Paint (For Wording)
- 1.5-Inch Paintbrush
- Foam Paint Daubers
Make a Wood Sign Steps
Step 1: Open a new project in Cricut Design Space.
Create a text box and type the quote you want to use. If you’re using wood or a surface that is smooth, you can do the quote altogether as one graphic.
If your surface is segmented like mine, I highly suggest you break your quote or words up into individual lines as separate graphics so you can place them where you want on the wood surface.
For mine, I typed the first word and line “Sometimes.”
If your wood sign is unpainted or unstained, and you want it to be, now is a good time to paint or stain it so it’s dry in time for the stencil. I bought a prepainted sign from Walmart because I liked the way it looked. You can find them easily wherever crafts are sold.
Step 2: Then you’ll change the font to one you like, I chose Cricut’s “Varsity Letter Narrow” font since this was a sporty quote.
If your font requires it (the font has more than one layer) unselect any layers (the little eyes) so they show only the solid portion to cut and not the outline.
Step 3: Resize the word(s) to fit within the width of your wood surface. Remember the maximum width for a Cricut machine is about 11.5 inches so plan accordingly.
If you are doing the quote as one graphic, you may need to play with how many words are on each line until you like the way it looks and it fits the width and length needed.
I made my first line 11 inches wide.
Step 4: If you’re using individual lines, copy/ paste that text box five more times and then change the text for the remaining lines.
If all of your wording is in one graphic, move on to Step 5. Make sure to SAVE your work!
Note: I don’t find it necessary for individual lines like I used, but if you’re using one graphic, you may want to insert a box shape around your text, select “Slice” and then delete any extra layers. This will make it easier for you to week and place later.
Step 5: Select “Make It” and spread out individual lines so you have room to cut them apart later. If yours is all one graphic, make sure the spacing is displaying exactly how you want it to cut. In case you don’t already know, you can move your objects around on this prep screen.
Step 6: Set your base material to “stencil vinyl” and make sure you have the Fine Point Blade loaded. Place a 12″ x 12″ piece of stencil vinyl on a light grip mat, grid side/ face up, and load it into the Cricut machine. Press the blinking Cricut button to cut out your stencils.
Step 7: Before you weed it, cut the vinyl into strips by line so you can place them where you like on the sign.
Step 8: Now, when you weed, simply peel out the letters, leaving the negative space behind. This will be the total opposite of how you usually weed vinyl. Make sure to leave the centers of letters like O, R, A, etc. behind when you weed.
Step 9: Cut a strip of the transfer tape and carefully place it over a word strip. I like to cut my transfer tape so it is wider than my stencil piece so it’s easier to separate and remove later.
Use the scraper tool to burnish the transfer tape to the stencil, making sure to focus any letter centers or orphaned pieces.
Tip: Do not use strong grip transfer tape with stencil vinyl—it won’t want to release. Even with standard grip transfer tape, I recommend sticking it to your shirt or the wood sign first before sticking it to the stencil vinyl so you can lessen the adhesiveness a bit.
Step 10: Then just peel the backing off your stencil.
Step 11: Place the strip on the wood sign and burnish it with the scraper tool so the stencil vinyl sticks to the wood. Carefully peel off the transfer tape making sure to leave the tiny center sections in place. Repeat for all of the word strips.
tip: The stencil vinyl (and most vinyl) tends to be pretty stretchy, so be extra careful when pealing back the transfer tape so you don’t warp the stencil.
Step 12: Dip the paint dauber into the paint but remove some of the paint by dabbing it off on paper first. Now apply the paint to the stenciled areas, carefully trying not to get paint under the edge of the stencil. The trick is to lightly dab it straight up and down and don’t come in at an angle. Let that paint dry completely before continuing.
I’ve linked to thicker chalk paint under Materials, above. If you use a thinner, or standard acrylic paint, it may bleed outside of the stencil area.
Step 13: Once the paint is dry, carefully peel off each word strip.
Repeat for each line of your quote, if applicable.
Step 14: Now lightly apply the blue chalk paint to just the sides of the sign, leaving bits of the white showing through. Let it dry completely.
That’s it! Now you have a good idea of how to make a wood sign using Cricut stencil vinyl. This was my first project using stencil vinyl and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleased with the results for sure.
Questions for How to Make Wood Signs Using Cricut Vinyl
- Shouldn’t I place a box around my wording if I’m making a stencil? You can, but when making wording with a blocky text like this, it’s not really necessary.
- Does it really matter which transfer tape I use? Yes! Trust me, that strong grip transfer tape will stick to that stencil vinyl like white on rice.
- Do I have to use chalk paint when using Cricut stencil vinyl? No, but make sure your paint is thicker. Thinner, runnier paint tends to bleed under the edges of the stencils.
- Do I have to use Cricut’s brand stencil vinyl? Nope. That’s just what I’ve used (so far) and am familiar with. You can find much larger rolls of stencil vinyl on Amazon, it just doesn’t have the grid pattern embedded like Cricut’s. If you try it and love it, let me know in the comments!
- Can I just cut regular vinyl and use that as a stencil? Sure, but your results may vary. It won’t be transparent, making it harder to place and most people have to use Mod Podge to seal the edges of the stencil to keep it from bleeding. Stencil vinyl is made to stick to surfaces well but also be easily removable. Plus, regular vinyl is twice the price of stencil vinyl.
- Do I need to use clear sealer on my finished sign? Not really, it’s up to you. If the sign will remain indoors, I don’t see a need, but if your sign will be used outdoors at all, definitely seal it. If you’re using chalk paint, a sealing wax would be a nice way to finish off your sign.
- I’m still worried about the paint bleeding, what can I do? It doesn’t hurt to take a little Mod Podge and a pouncer and apply it lightly around the stencil edges. I just haven’t needed to do this with any of the signs I’ve made so far.
- What if I don’t have Mod Podge to use? Another trick to help prevent bleeding is to first paint the stencil in the same color as the wood sign (if painted) then let that dry and then come in with your wording color. That first paint will create a barrier and any bleeds won’t be noticable since the paint is the same color.
- Wouldn’t it be easier to just cut the quote out of regular vinyl and stick it on the sign? Yep, it probably would be and I have done exactly that for some of my other projects, but it creates a different look and then you’re limited on colors. Also, if your sign will be outside in the elements, that vinyl may start to peel.
I was thrilled when my husband loved his gift and knew it was a hit when he proudly displayed it in his office.
He still says the quote along with the movie (we’re on viewing 5,000,012) but now sometimes I can hear him in the other room, randomly reading the words on the sign, lol. Nailed it!
So, I’d love to know if you’ve tried to make your own wood sign with stencil vinyl and if you used a quote, which one did you use? I’ve linked to a couple of other signs I’ve made using stencil vinyl below if you still need more inspo.
Making a wood sign using Cricut stencil vinyl opens up a world of endless ideas on customizing your home décor exactly the way you want.
Love this wood sign made using stencil vinyl and want more inspiration? Try the projects linked below for more ideas!
- Make Your Own Rewrite the Stars Sign (Use any fav song lyrics!)
- Kiss Me I’m Irish Wood Shamrock Sign (Customize with your percentage!)
- Wood Fall Leaf Ornaments (Uses word art found on Cricut or online)
- How to Use a Vinyl Stencil on Barnwood or Reclaimed Wood by Cutting For Business (For more stencil vinyl tips)
Want to remember this tutorial? Save it to Pinterest!
6 thoughts on “Make a Wood Sign You’ll Love Using Cricut Stencil Vinyl”
This would be amazing to do!
I have never watched Rudy, but I love the sign and quote. It’s something that can be displayed all year 🙂
This quote is lovely and I agree with the others about how much I’ve enjoyed watching Rudy.
Rudy is such a great movie. Love this quote too. Great job and thanks for the inspiration.
This is great! I have really wanted to purchase a cricut machine but haven’t. It appears yours comes in very handy! I enjoy the colors you chose also. So much fun to meet you in this group!
Thank you, Paula! I don’t always set out to use my Cricut, but it seems to make most of my craft projects so much better and easier, so why not use it?