Reverse Stenciled Signs

Before I get started, quick reminder that today is the last day to take advantage of the Silhouette Black Friday deals.


GO HERE and use code “CRAP” to take advantage of  the promotions before midnight tonight.

I love the look of neat and tidy text, but I sometimes don’t love the harshness of vinyl.  Maybe “harshness” isn’t the right word?  I dunno, but stay with me for a minute…

Remember how I used vinyl to stencil the art in the DIY Blogger House nursery?


I loved that project and it got me thinking about doing things in reverse.  So, when a friend asked me to recreate something she’d pinned, I went for it.

A board of some sort – I use 1/4” MDF.  It comes in a 2’ X 4’ sheet at Home Depot for about $3.50.  I have not found something as thin/affordable at Lowe’s.  All 3 signs you’ll see in this post came from the same sheet.
Vinyl lettering – I cut all of mine with my CAMEO.  The color of vinyl is not important.  You could probably even use stickers.
Craft paint in 2 colors
Sponge brush
Sandpaper and stain

Cut your MDF to size.  What size is not really important.  One of these signs was about 18 X 24 and the other two were closer to 15 X 24.

Apply a base coat of craft paint.  This is the color your lettering will end up.  I used white and off white.  I also watered down my paint, about half paint and half water.  You might not need to, but I was using some nasty old paint.  Open-mouthed smile


Once the paint is dry, apply vinyl lettering to the board.


Make sure the edges of the vinyl are sealed nicely.  Apply a coat of craft paint over the whole thing.


Scary, right?

Once the top coat of paint (or two) is dry, peel off the vinyl.


Whoa!  Different sign all of a sudden!  I may have dropped my phone in the toilet last week and lost some of my pictures.

You can for sure stop now, but I wanted something a little more worn.  I took some sandpaper to my project and roughed it up a little.


(I stopped after the sanding on this one.)

Still not quite right?

Apply some stain.  And stage the picture SUPER professionally. Then lose that picture when your phone goes swimming as well.


A little irony in the fact that one of my signs actually said “swim”?


He he he.

So, try using vinyl lettering as a reverse stencil.  I think you’ll love it.  It’s my new favorite thing.  And if you’re on my Christmas list, pretend like it’s your new favorite thing, too.  Open-mouthed smile

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  1. You can add me to your Christmas list :)

  2. I love your signs, but then I love everything you do so that is not a surprise. The “every little thing…” one is my favorite.

  3. I bought all the stuff to do one of these signs a few weeks ago so I am so glad I saw this, It will help me tons!!! I hope mine turns out as cute as yours. Love the Every little thing sign best that song is my sign tone on my phone!

  4. I absolutely LOVE the idea of a reverse stencil!

  5. Didn’t your phone know it was too cold for a swim? I love this idea, and since I’m so cheap I will probably be using regular old contact paper instead of the vinyl. Pretty pretty!

  6. Great signs. May I ask what font was used on the cursive lettering? :)

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  8. Hello! Can you use stain instead of paint over the vinyl? Would it bleed under the vinyl?

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