Paint a Reindeer Names Wood Sign
The holidays are fast approaching and soon enough, the little ones will be watching the skies for jolly ol’ Saint Nick!
This Reindeer Names wood sign is the perfect decoration to get your whole family into the spirit of Christmas – and because it’s sealed, it’s the perfect accessory for your front porch!
Reindeer Names Wood Sign
- Digital Products
- Preparing the Wood
- Sealing (Base Coat)
- Cricut Design Space
- Stencil Design
- Cutting & Weeding
- Apply the Stencil
- Painting the Colors
- Wood blank (I used an 8” x 10” panel)
- Fine grit sandpaper (if necessary)
- Acrylic paints (optional – glitter paints)
- Water-based wood finish (I used Varathane Diamond Wood Finish Exterior – glossy)
- Stencil vinyl (or removable vinyl)
- Digital products: Reindeer Names Bundle
- Transfer Tape (paper transfer recommended)
- Weeding tools and scraper
- Cricut cutting machine (or other)
As I always recommend, the best place on the “webiverse” to get all of your digital products, graphics, fonts, and even crafts is at Creative Fabrica! They offer a one-stop shop for the most affordable and unique designs out there – not to mention their subscription plans! I highly recommend that you head on over there them check them out.
While you are there, don’t forget to grab the Reindeer Names Bundle. This awesome bundle contains 40 different designs, all in a variety of different size dimensions so that you can use practically any wood blank shape your heart desires!
Once you have the file, download and extract it.
Preparing the Wood
The first thing you need to do before jumping into making your sign is to determine if you need to cut and/or sand your wood blank. I cannot stress enough the importance of having a clean and smooth surface to work with. This will not only help with the ease of applying your paints, seals, and/or vinyl, but also will add to the finished look of your project.
To start off, if necessary, proceed to cut your wood panel to the size of the sign that you want to make, then sand it accordingly. Alternatively, you can purchase your wood blank from the dollar store as I did; an 8’ x 10’ artist panel, but they have a variety of different shapes and sizes. With these panels, no sanding is required and they’re ready for painting straight out of the packaging – saving you a bunch of time!
Paint the entirety of the panel. You can use your favorite acrylic paints, but I personally prefer to use chalk paint for the base. I love working with this paint and the coverage is fantastic! Allow it to dry for at least 1 hour, then if necessary, apply a second coat.
- 👉 Tool Tip: Painter’s Pyramids are one of my favorite tools to use when I make my signs. These plastic pyramids not only allow you to paint your entire project at once, without having to wait for each side to dry before applying stain to the other sides – but they are also very affordable!
After the paint is fully dried, you’ll need to add one base coat of seal. This will not only protect the base paint from ever chipping off but will further help in preserving the sign. It will even make it water-resistant so that you can place it on your front porch if you’d like to place it outdoors!
To apply, dip a synthetic paintbrush (or foam applicator) into your can of wood finish, wiping off any excess.
Lightly coat all sides of the painted wood panel, being careful to catch any droplets that might be falling down on the edges.
Once coated, let the sealant dry for at least 24 hours before applying your stencil.
Cricut Design Space
While your wood panel is drying, open up Design Space and start a new project.
First, you’ll want to create the wood template so that you can size and adjust your design as needed. Insert a shape from the Shapes Library that best resembles the wooden blank that you are using. Unlock it, and change the size dimensions to reflect the same size as your blank.
Change the color of your new template to one that is similar to the color of paint you used on the panel. This will make it easier for you to see what your final design will look like.
Upload and insert your favorite reindeer SVG file from the download that you extracted earlier. I recommend choosing one that will fit nicely on your blank; if you are using a round-shaped blank, then a circular design might be more appropriate. Essentially, you don’t want to be left with too much “free” space.
As I am using an 8” x 10” panel, I chose to use a more rectangular design.
When creating a stencil, you want to keep in mind that the more simple the design is, the better. This is especially true when it comes to stenciling on wood as it can be tricky to get your vinyl to stick to it. The first coat of seal definitely helps with this, but it’s not 100% foolproof.
Basically, try to avoid cutting anything too small that could easily shift when you paint over it, so depending on the design that you choose, you may need to manipulate the SVG if it contains too many tiny details.
To do this, determine which areas that you don’t want to cut and make use of the contour tool!
I didn’t want to cut out the decorative slices within the word “Prancer” so I hid those. Take your time to really analyze the entire design.
Once you are satisfied that you have contoured everything to your liking, it’s time to weld all of the layers together in order to create the stencil.
To do this, simply select the design then click on Weld. All of your layers will now be considered one single layer.
- 🧐 Planning Ahead: If you love the color scheme of the design and don’t want to forget it, either snap a pic of your screen with your phone or make a copy of it before you weld.
The final step to designing your stencil is to slice it.
First, select only the template behind the SVG and enlarge it slightly. This will help to create some wider edges which will help you to avoid accidentally getting paint on the sides of your blank.
Next, select all and then Align>Center. With both the template and SVG selected, Slice! There are a lot of slices that occur so have a little patience while Design Space works on it. 😉
Because this is a stencil, you only want to keep the sliced template. This is your stencil!
You are now ready for cutting and weeding!
Cutting & Weeding
Click on that Make It button, grab your mat and stencil vinyl (or removable vinyl), and cut!
- 👉 Washi Sheet: Choosing the correct material settings is paramount to a flawless cut. I often use the Washi Sheet material setting when cutting small details and texts.
When the cutting has been completed, weed as per your usual methods – but remember, you are creating a stencil, so you want to keep the negative only. Again, you will want to evoke your “crafter’s patience” – there is a fair amount of weeding!
Applying the Stencil
With your stencil cut and weeded, apply the transfer tape and burnish well.
- 🔔 A Note About Transfer Tape: I highly recommend that you use paper transfer tape or even painter’s tape for this project. Standard tape can make the release of the stencil onto the wood difficult.
Line up your design so that it is centered on your blank. Using a ruler can be helpful with this.
When you have the decal exactly where you want it to be, start burnishing small sections at a time.
Slowly (very slowly) lift away the transfer tape. If any parts of the stencil vinyl lift off with the tape, just replace it and burnish again.
After the stencil has been applied, lightly (and once again, carefully) burnish again to make sure that the entire stencil has adhered well.
- 👉 Burnishing Tip: I like to use a felt-covered scraper to burnish the stencil vinyl after the transfer tape has been removed. This helps to avoid any scratches or tears while ensuring that all of the air pockets have been removed.
Painting the Colors
Now that your stencil has been applied and is bubble-free, you can get ready to paint!
I decided to stick with the red and green but added in some metallic gold for extra “oomph”. Create a color plan before you jump into it and then just go ahead and start painting!
Remember to pay close attention to the stencil; make sure that it is not lifting so that your paint doesn’t bleed through underneath it.
Allow the paint to dry, then add additional coats as needed. You can make this sign vibrant and bold or with fewer coats, give it a rustic farmhouse look as I did. The choice is yours!
Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before removing the stencil. To remove the stencil, you may need your weeding pen to peel off the smaller pieces…just be careful not to weed off your paint!
- 🧐 Corrections Tip: If after removing the stencil vinyl you discover that there was some bleeding in certain areas, you can just grab your base coat color and give the sign some touchups! I recommend using a very small paintbrush for this to assist with accuracy.
When your painting is thoroughly dry, give one last coat of the seal and allow it to dry for at least 12 hours before hanging it up! If you plan to place it outdoors, wait at least 24-36 hours to allow the seal to fully cure with the acrylic paints.
For an added decorative touch, you can add on some clear-drying glitter paints when the seal has dried.
Voila! Yet another adorable craft to add to your Christmas collection!
Keep on Crafting! 💖🎄🦌