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How to Make Wood Signs with Cricut Explore

How to Make Wood Signs with Cricut Explore
This post was sponsored by my friends at Cricut. They have amazing products, so you’re going to hear all about my opinion on that, but these thoughts, feelings and ideas are my own. Also, there are affiliate links within this post that cost you nothing to click on, but help me keep this site running.

I think my favorite part of my new Cricut Explore Air 2 is just how versatile it is. One day I’m making cards, the next t-shirts, paper flowers, decals and templates for signs. There is no limit to the creativity here, people! I was pretty stoked to see the application as a stencil maker when I made my “man snacks” sign for my Squeaky Clean Bachelor Party. Making a sign with Cricut vinyl was so easy! Beginners, you can definitely nail this project without suffering a Pinterest fail.

How to make wood signs with Cricut Explore Air 2. Use Cricut Vinyl, paint and wood to create cricut wood signs for parties or home decor pieces.

This tutorial is meant to answer the question  “how do I make a custom wood sign” with Cricut vinyl rather than just specifically “How do I make a Man Snacks Sign.” Although you should really own a “Man Snacks” sign, too. After you start using Cricut to make signs, you’ll start to make ALL the signs.

If you’re looking for how to use Cricut vinyl on wood or how to iron vinyl onto wood, see my Cricut Iron-on Vinyl and wood post here!

A note on choosing a plaque: Michael’s had a large selection of hobby wood last time I went. The pieces were thin, and ranged $1-$3. Completely perfect for fun little projects like this!

How to make wood signs with Cricut. Making signs with Cricut is easy--even for the beginner!

Making signs with Cricut vinyl is easy–even for the beginner!

How to Make Wood Signs with cricut explore air 2

Cricut has a design space app that works with the Cricut Explore that makes creating easy. If you’ve ever worked with a program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, many of the functions are the same so you really do have a lot of room technically to make incredible projects.

I like that  Cricut Design Space has a really large font library in addition to being able to access the one on my personal system. It makes setting up a sign with words on it super simple! Following is a brief how-to on using fonts and using Cricut to make signs.

Rustic Wood sign Materials

First thing, you’ll need to open up Cricut Design Space!

designing your cricut wood signs

So we visually can tell how large we need to make our wording on our sign, we’re going to make a shape the size of our plaque.

How to create a square in cricut design space.

Choose the square after clicking the shape button on the left hand column.

You’ll want to click on shapes in the left hand column and choose a square. This will place a square in your design space.

How to change the size of shapes in Cricut design space.

To change the size of a shape, first unlock the shape by clicking the lock button in the lower left of the shape.

But since my wood is not square (it’s 3.25in x 12in) I click on “Edit” at the top and change the width and height of the square to the size of my project piece. Be sure to unlock the shape before you change its size or it will stay a square!

Next, you’ll want to make your lettering! Chose “Text” on the left hand side. It’ll pop up a box to write your text in.

With the text selected, go to the top bar to change the font to whatever you like for what you’re doing. I loved “Amber Taste Basic” for my very masculine project.

From here, you can alter the line spacing if letters are too far apart, etc. etc. After you’ve fine tuned how you want your wording to look, you can click the double arrowed circle on the bottom right hand side of the text selection and pull it to resize and fill up the rectangle (that is the size of your wood piece.) All this design work should have taken less than 2 minutes. It’s a speedy project!

Once you’ve made the text the perfect size for your wood piece, delete your rectangle; you don’t need it anymore. It was just there for sizing.

Here’s the fun part! Now you get to cut out your project! Click “Make It” and follow the instructions on the screen. Be sure to turn the knob on your Cricut Explore to Vinyl before you click the blinking C to cut!

I used regular Cricut vinyl because that is what I had on hand. Cricut also makes a special stencil vinyl for just this purpose that is easily removable. Either work.

Using vinyl on your wooden sign with Cricut

After your machine has finished cutting, remove the Cricut vinyl from the mat and weed out the extra pieces. I want to have the wood show through in the lettering on my project, so I’m just leaving the letters this time, but you could easily weed out the reverse so you would be painting on the letters.

Cover the weeded vinyl with Cricut Transfer tape, pushing down on all the lettering to get it to stick firmly to the transfer paper.

Remove the letters from the backing and place on the wooden plaque. Rub the letters onto the plaque to make sure they stick, then remove the transfer paper.

Now that you have your stencil set up for your Cricut wood sign, you paint!

Here’s where I’m going to make a confession. I think I had something besides snacks on the brain when I did this ENTIRE tutorial. So instead of a Man Snack sign, I made a Man Drinks sign. But it proves my point that this method is versatile!

I used black paint for my “Man Snacks” sign, but seemed to have run out of black paint and used blue instead. Versatility again!! I dabbed the paint on gently with my brush perpendicular to the wood to create an imperfect stippled texture. That’s all there is to making the rustic look. A dry brush and a lot of dabbing.

As soon as you’re done painting, peel up the vinyl letters then let the paint dry. It’s much easier to remove the vinyl when the paint is still wet, so don’t wait.

Easy, right? This Cricut wood sign project really takes less than half an hour to complete, which makes this a great for so so many occasions! Man Drinks, Man Snacks, and whatever other Manly things you can label are all yours for the making!

Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party, craft and lifestyle ideas.

lorri hannigan

Monday 15th of July 2019

can i put letting on a painted surface and clear over it?

Paula Biggs

Monday 15th of July 2019

Can you put vinyl on a painted surface? Depends on the paint. NOT over spray paint. I melted a table doing that. Acrylic paint (unvarnished) I had no problem with.

Cricut Projects for Beginners - Liz on Call

Tuesday 9th of July 2019

[…] How to Make A Custom Rustic Sign with Cricut Explore by Frog Prince Paperie […]


Thursday 6th of September 2018

Looks great! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

Paula Biggs

Monday 20th of May 2019

Delighted to provide it for you! :) Happy crafting!