Making the perfect hand lettered sign can seem like a daunting task. Either you need a really steady hand to get great letters or you need a really neat trick to show you how to transfer letters to make a painted sign. We all know that I don’t have a steady hand so hopefully I have tricks up my sleeve.
Well the good news is that I do! You won’t believe how easy it is to hand letter a sign with this simple pencil transfer trick. This will stand the test of time. Cutting machines are here and will continue to evolve and change but this simple trick will always be there.
All you need to make a pencil transfer to help you get perfectly painted signs is a print out of the phrase you want to paint and a pencil.
If you follow me on Facebook than you know that I’m working on a large sign to hang behind our couch using an old linen roller shade. Between the roller shade and this trick, the 4ft sign should cost me less than $5.
I started by hand painting the word joy with no guide. Painting on the linen is time consuming because it’s very textured but I went slowly and in the end wound up with a giant joy that I love. Finally it was time for the next part. I wanted the words, “no greater” in perfectly uniform text across the top of the curvy bubbly joy text so that it will read “no greater joy”.
I started by measuring the space where I wanted the words. Then I made a template on the computer of the font and size that I wanted the words. To save paper I combined the words onto one page and then cut them apart.
Next I cut the words apart and taped them back together using washi tape. You’ll notice washi tape in each corner. This is to use as a guide for the paper. If the paper gets moved or I pull it back to check on the transfer, I can use the washi tape guides to perfectly reposition it.
Once you have the position laid out, turn the paper over.
Using the side of your pencil, color the back of each letter with lead from the pencil. You need it to be pretty dark so don’t wimp out on this step but it can also be sloppy. You are just using the lead as the transfer material.
Now reposition the print out where you want it to be, lead facing down onto where you want the words to be transferred.
Using the same pencil, trace around the outside of each letter using a little pressure. As you can see, I went off the letters a little because of the texture of the material I was transferring the letters onto. If you’re transferring it onto wood you shouldn’t have this problem.
When you pull up the paper the letters should be perfectly transferred onto your sign.
Now use a small paintbrush to fill in the letters.
That’s it! When your paint is dry you should have a beautiful sign
Now my sign is almost finished. A few more steps and it’ll be ready to hang. I’ll be back soon to show you the finished product.
Go out and create! Make signs until you have no more wall space and then send them to me!
Don’t forget to pin this for later or to share with your other crafty friends!