Thank you so much for ordering a sign kit from us! We hope you will enjoy this project and that it will provide a lasting, happy memory in the face of these uncertain times.
This is a 3 part project. You will want to paint your board and then allow it to dry for a few hours or overnight before applying your hand prints. The prints are part two and then your sign needs to dry a full 24 to 48 hours before the final step – applying the stencil and painting. You can do it sooner than that, but there is a bigger chance that your stencil will pull your background paint up.
Be patient between steps and you’ll end up with a beautiful piece you’ll love 🙂
Below are written instructions and a separate video tutorial for each part of the project to help keep it simple and easy to follow along. The video will be below the text for each section.
Painting the board. Your first step is a light covering of grey paint. You can go horizontal or vertical, but go all the way across the board in long strokes using thin coats. Thin coats are important throughout the project!
Once your grey layer is dry, you can take your sandpaper and lightly scuff the paint here and there if you want. That’s optional.
Once the grey is completely dry, brush on a thin layer of white. Allow to dry again and do another thin layer of white. Your first layer will have a lot of grey showing through – that’s ok. Keep your paint layers thin.
After the second coat dries, you’ll use your sandpaper to further treat your board and make it as rustic (or not) as you choose.
Step Two: The Handprints
Your kit will have yellow, blue, red, white, black and grey paints. For the hand prints you can use the paint in the kit or any acrylic paint you have at home. Mix colors that you enjoy. You’ll see some tips in the video.
Spread a layer of paint all over a paper plate. Have the person in your family with the largest hand go first. They will dip their hand in the paint and coat it well. You then place your hand down firmly, going straight up and down. Don’t move your hand around on the board, just down and straight up to get the nicest print.
Your hand paint should not be “dripping” off the hand, just a nice even layer. See the video for details.
After the first handprint dries for at least 15 minutes (wait until it’s completely dry) have the person with the next largest hand do theirs on top of the first one. Don’t go straight on top, spread the fingers a bit or angle a bit differently so that some of each hand print will be clearly visible after everyone has had a turn.
Each hand print should dry thoroughly before doing the next one. After step two, let your board dry at least overnight – the longer the better because it will make the stenciling part go smoother.
In the video we only had blue and yellow paint, but we decided to also add red so you can mix a wider array of colors.
Step Three: Stencil and Lettering
It is very important to be patient and follow the directions carefully for this step to get the best results. Your stencil will be on transfer paper. It has a paper backing and a clear layer of vinyl on top of the letters. Once you apply your stencil you need to complete the project. Stencils should not sit on your board for an extended period of time or they will adhere and not come off easily.
Run a popsicle stick or old credit card along the front and back of your stencil. Gently peel your stencil off the paper backing from one corner working slowly and making sure all parts stay adhered to the clear transfer tape.
Once your stencil is removed from the backing, place it on your board and press it down using your stick or card. Lift up one corner of the clear transfer paper and pull very slowly in a diagonal direction. Watch as you go, if you find letter centers or certain parts of your stencil don’t stick to the board, gently place that part back down and rub.
You can do one stencil at a time or do both together, it’s really up to you. If you do one at a time, let the first one completely dry before moving onto the second half.
*Hint* When placing your stencil on the board you need to keep the centers in the letters, we will paint over them and then peel them up after we paint.
Once your stencil is down use one of the 4 little white sponges in your kit and tap on (don’t rub or brush, tap) a very thin layer of the mod podge and let dry. It only takes a couple of minutes. Don’t put a thick layer on, you should barely see it if at all. This thin layer will ensure crisp, beautiful lines to your lettering because it prevents paint from leaking underneath your stencil.
Once the mod podge dries, use a clean sponge to apply a VERY thin layer of black paint using a tapping motion. (never rub or brush the paint over stencils or use heavy paint or it may bleed) allow the first layer to dry for a moment or two and go over it again with a second layer.
Now it’s time to pull your stencil off. Go slowly! Carefully remove from one corner and gently peel it away. You’ll find the centers are still in the letters. Gently use your toothpick to pop them out.
You should have beautiful crisp, clear letters, but if there are a couple of spots that need touchup there is a permanent marker and a liner paint brush in your kit you can use for touch-ups.