This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have been wanting a personalized porch sign for a while now. In fact right before everything shut down I was signed up for a wood painting making one class but of course that got cancelled and honestly I was a litdqtle worried about doing it with paint because my paint always seems to seep underneath the stencils and get messed up and it really bothers me. But since I started getting into playing with my Cricut I’ve been toying with the idea of using vinyl to make a personalized porch sign on my own. I mean why not?
So I started by researching. What type of wood would I use? Wood stain or paint the wood? What type of vinyl is best for outdoors? But once I set my mind to it it had to happen so I went out, gathered supplies, and did my best. And I love the final product! It’s not perfect – but that’s part of what makes it so great. So before you get started allow yourself to have not everything aligned perfectly and centered. It’s okay. It’s not supposed to look perfect, that’s the whole point.
So here’s what you need:
-Cricut Permanent Vinyl (I used the colors white and clay – If you use the Joy make sure you get the Joy vinyl)
-Cricut Cutting Machine (I have the Explore Air 2 but the Joy would have been perfect for this)
-Cricut cutting mat (not needed if you use the Joy)
-Cricut Transfer Paper
-Large wood Board (this can vary based on what you want. I wanted big so I did 18″ wide and it’s pretty long. I planned on cutting it but then liked how it looked once I laid it all out.)
And here’s what you do:
(1) Start by using the Cricut Design Space (I use the app but you can also use desktop) to easily design you porch sign and play around with how you want your sign to look. I used a Laurel wreath image, text for the numbers and words, and then just a floral line for the bottom embellishment. You can find these embellishments just by searching images that are already on the app. I only used 2 colors of vinyl so in the app I just made sure what I wanted to be in the second color was a different color on the app as well. Not going to lie this was the most time consuming part of the whole project but I was being indecisive.
(2) Use the Cricut to cut out your design. I absolutely love the Cricut permanent vinyl but keep in mind it’s thicker than other vinyl so if you’re using a Cricut with the automatic settings you’ll want to switch to manual and not rely on the vinyl setting. I also prefer to use the Cricket Strong Grip mat with it. You’ll want to use the scraper to smooth I tout on the mat really well before cutting. I used the Cricut Explore Air 2 for this project but like I said above the Joy would have been perfect as well! It is so cute, practical, and uses Cricut Smart Materials which are designed to be used without a mat which makes these projects even easier!
(3) After cutting is my favorite part – weeding! Use your Cricut weeder to pull of the negative image space from your vinyl. If you use the right cutting setting the Cricut permanent vinyl weeds super easily which made this step go quickly. Then set these aside, somewhere where your kid can’t get a hold of them.
(4) Stain and cut (if you want to) your wooden board. I really thought I was going to cut this board and last minute decided not to. But if you want something narrower, or shorter, or you can only find way longer pieces of board to start with, you’ll want to go ahead and cut it before staining the wood. I find staining wood super satisfying and always enjoy staining. I found that for something this size the brush worked way better than the sponges. I went with a dark stain just because it’s what we already had on hand from our porch and back deck, but the key is to just use a stain that differentiates the color vinyl you use. So if you use light vinyl like I did go with a dark stain, but if you want to use dark colors go with a light stain or you could even paint it white. White with navy or dark brown vinyl would have looked awesome too. Give your wood several hours to dry after staining.
(5) Lay out your design on the board. You need to know exactly where everything is going and give yourself one last chance to trim the board to whatever size you need!
(6) Transfer your work over to the board! This is the part that is so scary for me. But like I said above imperfections is what makes work personal and gives it character. Do your best but accept any flaws that come up. Use Cricut transfer paper cut to the size of what you’re transferring, and lay it on top of your cutout. Use the scraper to smooth out any air bubbles and make sure your design adheres to the transfer paper. Then slowly lift the transfer paper and make sure your design sticks to it. Carefully place the design where you want it to go using the transfer paper. Once you’re certain that’s the spot rub it out using the scraper. Carefully pull the transfer paper off the design leaving your design on the board. Some stain or paint might come off with it but you can easily touch that up once done.
(7) Touch up any stain that came off in the process of creating your porch sign. Allow a couple hours for any touch ups to dry and then put it out on your porch and enjoy it!
I love our new sign! It is the perfect touch to our porch which is a place our family spends a ton of time! Make sure you head to Cricut blog for more ideas and inspiration!