One of the easiest ways to make wood and canvas signs if you don’t have a cutting machine is to use freezer paper and transfer designs onto signs.
I love making signs both for my home but also as handmade gifts for housewarmings and other occasions.
This sign didn’t start out looking like this, freezer paper transfer projects tend to look more faded. I used the printed freezer paper design more as a template and then went over it again with a sharpie.
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Materials for freezer paper transfer projects
Freezer Paper – Freezer paper is also known as butcher paper. I actually couldn’t find it at the grocery store and had to order it online from Amazon. Here is the exact brand of freezer paper I order. I think wax paper could work as well.
Inkjet Printer – I used a Canon Pixma I got from Amazon.
Blank Sign – This can be done on canvas or wood.
Scraping Device – a credit card works.
Design Template – I’ve included mine along with some other “family” signs.
These Family Signs along with many other signs templates and goodies are available for free in my resource library.
How to transfer images and text onto wood using freezer paper
This is a relatively straight forward project. The part that was the hardest was designing the template in the first place.
The basic steps just printing the image on the freezer paper then imprinting it onto the medium.
How to flatten freezer paper
First, we want to print the design. If you got your freezer paper from a roll, it will likely curl.
I like to tape the edges to a piece of copy paper or cardstock.
Printing the image on wax or freezer paper
Wax paper works on both sides but freezer paper has a shiny side. We want to print on this shiny side.
Don’t forget to mirror the design.
Depending on your printer and the image use, the ink on the printout may bead.
Since I was planning on going over the letters with a sharpie, I didn’t mind.
If you do mind, I would suggest making the colors lighter or turning down the opacity so that blacks turn out more gray. This reduces the amount of ink used and therefore it is less likely to bead.
Transferring letters and images onto the wood
This is relatively straight forward, just place the image over the wood and scrape with the credit card or some rigid edge.
Be sure not to smear the printout.
Some people use an iron which I also tried. This made it a little more intense. Just don’t iron the paper directly, place a Teflon sheet or towel between the paper and the iron. This also only works for freezer paper. Wax paper will stick to the sheet.
You can also use something other than a sharpie like acrylic paint, I just thought the sharpie created more sharp lines (yes, I know that was obvious) but it will bleed more if you don’t use a sealant.