Tag Archive for: stain

This teacher sign is the perfect end-of-year gift!

This wooden sign would make the perfect end-of-school-year gift for your child's teacher!

Hi everyone! It’s Vineta from The Handyman’s Daughter back with another fun project to share with you! It’s almost the end of the school year, and I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a nice gift for my son’s second grade teacher. Hopefully this little wooden sign will make its way into her classroom next year and reminds her of how much she means to her students.

I used one of my favorite stencil techniques, on this family birthdate sign I created for Mother’s Day. The reverse stencil effect appears almost like magic when stain is applied!

This family birthdate sign uses the same staining technique as the teacher sign!

We’re going to use the same technique for this DIY Teacher Sign. Here’s how it works!


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I started by digging through my wood pile for some scrap plywood and unearthed a 9″ x 12″ piece that would work perfectly. Remove any dust from the surface with a tack cloth.

You can choose from one of the many designs in the Silhouette Store (I used this one), or design your own. Apply the white stencil vinyl to the cutting mat and let the machine do the cutting.

I used a Silhouette machine to cut the stencil for my teacher sign.

Weed out the letters and shapes, then lay the transfer tape on top of the design. Use the smoothing tool to push out any air bubbles and ensure that the stencil is on securely.

Apply transfer tape to the stencil to keep all the elements in place.

Peel up the stencil and transfer tape together. Apply it to the plywood. Smooth out any air bubbles, then remove the transfer tape. The stencil should remain. Give the stencil one last rub, concentrating on the edges of the letters and shapes.

Apply the stencil to the plywood for your teacher sign.

Here’s the trick to this stenciling technique: wood glue! Have you ever discovered a big blob of wood glue preventing stain from soaking into your project? We’re going to take advantage of that instead of fighting it!

Dip your craft brush into the wood glue and carefully paint a thin layer inside the stencil. Move from the outside in, and try not to get any glue under the stencil vinyl. Allow it to dry for at least half an hour and the wood glue has turned clear.

Apply wood glue to the voids in the stencil, ensuring even coverage on all the letters of the teacher sign.

Carefully remove the stencil from the plywood. Some of the wood glue may flake off or stick to the letters. Use the fine grit sanding sponge to remove any excess. Anything with glue on it won’t take the stain, so make sure the edges are as sharp and clean as possible.

Remove any excess glue flakes from the stencil of the teacher sign.

Using a foam brush, stain the surface of the sign. Gel stain works best for this technique.

Use gel stain over the glue stencil of the teacher sign.

After a few minutes, rub off the excess. I prefer to stick my gloved hand in an old sock to wipe off the surface. Like magic the letters pop against the dark stain!

Using an old sock, I removed the excess stain from the stencil.

If you prefer more contrast, apply a second coat of stain. I found that thicker fonts and dark stain show up best. Apply a coat of poly over the surface to protect the surface and give it a glossy finish.

Use iron-on wood veneer edge banding to cover up the plywood edges and cut off the excess with a utility knife. Brittany has a great tutorial on how to apply edge banding. You could also create a simple frame using trim.

Iron on the edge banding to cover up the raw plywood edges of the teacher sign.

Your teacher sign is ready for the last day of school (although I’m not!)

This teacher sign is the perfect end-of-year gift!

This stenciling technique really makes the lettering pop against the wood stain of this teacher sign!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Don’t forget to check out all my other woodworking projects over at The Handyman’s Daughter!

Until next time!

 ~ view more of Vineta’s projects ~

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

Hi everyone! This is Lindi, visiting again from Love Create Celebrate! I’m really excited to show you how you can make your own Rustic Home Sign. You’ve probably seen something similar in a home decor store, but didn’t want to pay big bucks for one. You’re in luck, I’m going to show you how to make your own Rustic Home Sign using a scrap of wood you might have sitting around. If your scrap wood isn’t wide enough, you can glue two pieces together.

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl


  • 1×6″ wood board (as big as you want your sign to be)
  • Pencil or stencil
  • Drill
  • Scroll Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood Stain


Cut your wood board down to the approximate size that you want your sign to be. Mine was about 12″ long. Make sure the edge that the sign will sit on is flat. If not, sand down that edge. Sand the front and back of the board (especially if you glued two boards together.)

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

Trace the word “Home” on your board. Draw it by hand or transfer from a print out. Make sure that all of your letters are connected and that the bottom of the letters run off the bottom of the board (this way it will sit flat).

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

Using your drill, drill holes into the centers of the “o” and “e” that are enclosed. Use a scroll saw to cut around the word and within the letters. Use a very thin blade to allow you to navigate the edges and curves.

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

When you are done cutting, double check that your piece sits flat. Use your sandpaper to sand all edges. (Folded up sandpaper and a nail file will help you get into the curves.)

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

Stain your pieces using your favorite wood stain. (I used my well-loved can of grey.)

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

Let it dry, and display it proudly in your home!

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

I love how this piece turned out.

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

I can see myself using this piece on my mantle or any of the many shelves in my home!

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

I may have to make a few more or make some with different words.

Rustic Home Sign I Pretty Handy Girl

For more DIY decor inspiration visit Love Create Celebrate.

Lindi Signature

~ view more projects by Lindi ~


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How to make your own Rustic Home Sign using a scrap of wood you might have sitting around. | DIY wooden home sign | Pretty Handy Girl | #prettyhandygirl #rusticsign #woodsign #DIYtutorial

how to stain an old basket

I admit it, I’m a basket addict!

Baskets are one of the best ways to organize and accessorize your home but they can be very expensive when purchased new. Thrift stores are a great source of affordable baskets but they are often out-of-fashion colors and can have missing or broken pieces. Today I’m going to show you how to take those old, thrift store baskets and make them a beautiful accent piece for your home.


  • super glue
  • hand broom
  • stain
  • paintbrush


The first step in fixing up an old basket is to clean out any dirt or debris using a hand broom. Be thorough on both the interior and exterior.

before old thrifted basket staining

Next inspect your basket for any broken pieces. Use super glue to repair any areas that may need it. Read more