How to Make Your Own Sign Stencils

4 Materials
$10
2 Hours
Easy

Cute signs are everywhere these days, right?

Rather than buying something ready made and impersonal from a store, here's how you can make your own adorable sign with DIY stencils. (No special cutting machines required!)

For more inspiration, be sure to check out all the cute sign projects on my website.
how to make your own sign stencils
I started with a sign board that I picked up at Goodwill. I knew I could paint over this one, and it only cost a few dollars. You can also buy sign boards new at any craft store. You'll be overwhelmed by the selection!

Other supplies you will need are:
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Computer and printer
  • Cardstock paper
  • Craft knife or Exacto knife
how to make your own sign stencils
Paint the sign board background any color you like.

I started with a dark brown, but ended up switching to cream as the project developed. It turned out I liked how the stencil shapes looked better as a dark color painted over a light color.
how to make your own sign stencils
I was making a sign for my kitchen, and decided to include a teapot and teacup in my design. You can choose anything you like. It's your sign!

Do an internet image search for whatever item you want to paint on your sign. I find it helps to add "clip art" and "silhouette" to the search terms. The search will return more basic shapes that are perfect for turning into stencils.

Once you find an image you like, download it and print it onto card stock. You can adjust the printing scale, to change the size as needed.

Then, get out your cutting board and craft knife, and simply cut around the outline of the shape.
how to make your own sign stencils
Once you've cut out the design, apply small pieces of double-stick tape to the back of the stencil. You'll want to cut tiny pieces to stick to even those delicate strips. If your stencil isn't stuck down well, paint will get underneath, and then you'll be sad.

CRAZY TIP: I stick both sides of the tape to my pants before I put it onto the stencil. That way, it picks up a little bit of lint and is less sticky. Then it's easier to remove the stencil later, without damaging the paint on your sign.
how to make your own sign stencils
Position the stencil where you want it on your sign, and stick it down.

Use a small brush with just a little bit of paint on it to fill in your design. Make sure it completely dries before you try to remove the stencil, or you could smear it.
how to make your own sign stencils
I painted a two coats of varnish over my finished sign, to help protect the surface, and give it a little shine.
how to make your own sign stencils
Here's what mine looks like finished. I'd love to see how yours turns out!

And if you like this sign...
how to make your own sign stencils
...you're absolutely going to love this one!

Check out the full tutorial plus a free template! at the link below:

Suggested materials:

  • Sign board  (Goodwill or craft store)
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Paint brush
See all materials
Single Girl's DIY

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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