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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.
This tutorial is meant to answer the question “how do I make a custom rustic sign” rather than just specifically “How do I make a Man Snacks Sign.” Although you should really own a “Man Snacks” sign, too.
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 a Custom Sign with cricut explore
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 the 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 for making your sign.
Rustic sign Materials
- Wood plaque
- Cricut Vinyl or stencil vinyl cut to the size of your wood plaque
- Cricut Transfer tape
- Paint, your choice of color
First thing, you’ll need to open up the Cricut Design Space!
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. You’ll want to click on “insert shapes” and choose a square. This will place a square in your design space.
But since my wood is not square (it’s 3.25in x 12in) I click on “Edit” on the right hand side and change the width and height of the square to the size of my project piece.
Next, you’ll want to make your lettering! Chose “Add Text” on the left hand side. It’ll pop up a box to write your text in. From there, you’ll want to go over and choose “edit” on the right and 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, you can click the double arrowed circle on the bottom right hand side of the text selection and pull it to 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 “GO” and follow the instructions on the screen. Be sure to turn the knob on your Cricut Explore to Vinyl before you cut!
After your machine has finished cutting, remove the vinyl from the mat and weed out the extra vinyl. I am looking 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, 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 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!
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