How to Make a Window Cutout Sign With CF Graphics
It’s Spring here or almost Spring in SW Florida. 79 degrees worth of Spring. Seasons aren’t really a thing down here in paradise but the fact is, it’s March. The holidays are well past us and the fever for a new, fresh start is upon me. I decided after I packed Christmas away that I would completely overhaul my fireplace décor. I’ve been tackling the project one day at a time.
Next up: an inspirational quote sign. I wanted a theme that would remind me every day that life is good even when things aren’t. An old hymn and the words to it came immediately to mind. It is Well with My Soul. I could have gone to my computer and designed the graphic myself but my go-to for graphics is, of course, Creative Fabrica.
It took one simple search to find exactly what I was looking for and a few clicks later I had the SVG I needed.
If this is a project you want to tackle there are a few supplies you’ll need.
- A Window Frame or the ability to make one
- Vinyl cutting machine and vinyl
I had two windowpane signs on hand that I had previously purchased at my favorite thrift store. When I bought these, I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I knew that something would come to mind eventually.
If you don’t have a sign like this but you do have a jigsaw and a piece of wood, you could always make a pattern and cut it out yourself. That’s exactly what I would have done if I didn’t have these on hand. I did have to modify my sign a bit to make it fit in the available space that I had in mind for it. To do that I just trimmed a few inches off the bottom of the sign then I reattached the bottom of the frame using wood glue and my brad nailer.
To prepare my board I sprayed the entire thing with white primer. I knew I was going to paint it a plaster color and I didn’t want to have to apply several coats to get full coverage.
After the spray paint was dry I applied one coat of chalk paint and let that dry completely. Sometimes I use a heat gun to speed up the drying process. If you don’t have time to watch the paint dry between projects, then you might want to buy one for your workshop as well.
While the paint was drying, I had time to sit at my computer and scroll through Creative Fabrica. I downloaded the SVG file that I was looking for and then I gathered some ideas and inspiration for a few Spring projects that I have coming up. Follow me here on CF if you want to see what I come up with.
I made a stencil in Cricut Design Space with my SVG file. I did a reverse weed and got the transfer ready to be applied to my sign face.
I applied my stencil to the sign, measuring as I went to make sure that everything was centered correctly. Then I used a stiff brush to apply several light coats of paint, one layer at a time. When I stencil with a brush, I pounce the paint on in an up-and-down motion. If it takes a few layers to get full coverage, that’s okay. I would rather spend a few more minutes applying the paint than dealing with bleeds after I lift the stencil.
Before the paint was dry, I carefully pulled up the stencil. Perfect results! No touch-up is required.
To finish the sign and give it a more rustic and aged look, I used a dry brush to apply white wax sporadically throughout the sign. When it was dry, I used the same technique with a brown wax. When the sign was completely dry, I added a top coat of clear wax then I used a wet wipe to remove the excess wax.
I love the way that this sign turned out and the convenience of repurposing a thrifted find made it come together quickly. If you want to make a sign like this and don’t have a pre-made option as I did there are a few simple steps you can follow to make your own cutout.
Plywood or a thin piece of hardwood will do for materials. If you want to use a more substantial board you can find laminate boards at Home Depot that are already cut into manageable sizes. They are in the lumber section near the pre-cut wood rounds.
Next, you’ll need a jigsaw. I know that some people are intimidated by the thought of using power tools. Don’t be! Try one tool at a time and with the mastery of each new tool will come a whole new world of creative options in the crafting realm. Jigsaws are inexpensive and easy to get the hang of. Wear your safety gear and practice a few cuts on scrap wood and you will never look back!
To make a pattern this size, (my window was roughly 18”x30”) you simply find a silhouette image and insert the image into an excel document. Resize it to the desired size then print the pattern over multiple pages. Cut and paste the pages together and you have a pattern to cut. Here. I just did a quick search on CF and found you a set of templates.
For those inside holes, just use a drill to make a pilot hole that is big enough to insert your jigsaw blade. And by the way, use a scroll saw blade in your jig saw for a much finer cut.
I hope this project has inspired you to try new things and get comfortable in a new crafting zone. Try new things and learn to use new tools. You’ll be glad you did!
Until next time – happy crafting!
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