live laugh love in 8 easy steps

I really love signs on timber. After reading links on Pinterest on how to transfer letters or images to timber, and experimenting with a few suggested methods, this is what I found:

The best and easiest way to make signs is to use a method which I learned in grade school.


So, here’s the Zefi sign-making method.

1. Print out the words you want on plain printer paper. I used different fonts for each word. (Ok, this bit I didn’t do in grade school!)

2. Then, using charcoal, cover the entire back of the printed image. If you’re transferring onto a dark background you can use chalk or light coloured soft pastels.


 3. Lay the paper onto the timber, charcoal side down. At this point its handy if you made sure the words/image are the right size for the timber you’re using.

I used weathered timber I’d prepared earlier, using a dry brush technique to create an aged sign look.

4. Using a pen, ‘colour in’ the letters, pressing the charcoal onto the timber surface. If you want to make sure the image doesn’t move, use some masking tape to tape down both paper and timber.

I’m extremely lazy confident so I didn’t tape it down.

5. Remove masking tape (if you used it), lift up paper, and voila! This is what you have if you’ve done it right.

If, unlike me, you’re not ‘confident’ and taped everything down, you can check your transferred image before you commit yourself by removing the paper.

6. Using a fine brush and paint, you then fill in the letters. I used watered down artists acrylic paint cause I wanted a softer look. By watering the paint down I achieved an uneven saturation of colour which is what I wanted.

If you plan to sand and distress the timber sign after you paint the letters, you can use undiluted paint at this step.

7. When I had the pieces all painted, I added screw eyes and asked Wayne to make some S hooks to joining them together.

That step took 5 weeks.

8. Technically, the sign is finished at step 7, but I added some jute flowers to my sign cause I like adding these little touches.

So there you have it. Something I learned in grade school has come in real handy.

I’m still waiting to see if algebra will come in handy.

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