Best Vinyl for Wood Signs and Artsy Project Ideas
From key plate holders, gift ideas for trendy cheese plates, to wedding welcome signages, the ideas are endless. But hold on, what is the best vinyl for wood signages or decorations? Can vinyl stick to wood?
Let’s cut to the chase — either heat transfer vinyl (HTV) or adhesive vinyl can be used in wood blanks. Also, you can use removable vinyl as a stencil if you plan to use spray paint or acrylic paint on the wood.
The type of vinyl you want to use depends on the finished product you’ve envisioned and the type of wood you want to use. Keep in mind that heat transfer vinyl will look like it's painted. On the contrary, adhesive vinyl will simply look like a sticker finish.
In a nutshell, adhesive vinyl sticks better to stained wood with a smooth texture as compared to raw wood. There are many tips and tricks and the right application process you can follow in making wood signs using vinyl plus some project ideas you can try. Are you excited to learn something new? Read further and think of the next project you want to create.
What Kinds of Wood Are Used for Vinyl Printing?
Before anything else and before you start on that wood sign, you should know which types of wood are compatible with vinyl printing. Remember that there are many types of wood where vinyl can stick. However, these are the most common ones and can be easily bought at a craft store:
- Natural Wood: Examples are redwood and cedarwood. Best for indoor decorations like key holder, coaster, or wooden plate.
- Crezon Board: Otherwise known as water-proof plywood. Best for outdoor use like barnyard signage.
- Wood substitute: Also called high-density urethane (HDU). This is not graded as lumber but contains a mix of materials such as wood fibers, plastic, and cement.
You can use untreated, raw, sealed, stained, or even painted on wood on your vinyl printing projects. Just take note when you print vinyl on a stained or painted surface, press in small increments. This is to make sure that there is no discoloration.
So when you see a slab of wood made of these materials, grab the opportunity and think of your next vinyl printing project. Both finished and unfinished wood can be used. Just make sure to get familiarized with how to finish a wood properly in case you decide on buying unfinished wood.
What Projects Can You Do With Wood and Vinyl?
There are a lot of wood projects you can do with vinyl. Whether you’re using adhesive vinyl or HTV, you can do so many projects. Here are several ideas you can try:
Project Idea #1: Stained Wood Sign for Your Home
This is a great project for outdoor welcome signs you can place on your porch or as a door sign. Or you can place this in your living room, surrounded by frames of your family pictures. In a video demo, pre-sanded stained wood was used.
However, sandpaper was used to further smoothen the surface. Then it was stained with a wood stain. Once the stain is dry, glossy adhesive vinyl was directly applied, which sticks well to the surface. If you want a tacky surface for a sure solution that the vinyl will stick, you can spray adhesive on the wood before applying the adhesive vinyl.
To add a little excellent detail, you can use Glitterized heat transfer vinyl as well. Use an EasyPress machine to iron the vinyl on wood. For stained or painted wood, use the lowest temperature on your EasyPress machine and make sure to apply heat evenly to the whole area.
Project Idea #2: Framed Wood Decors
YouTube Source: How To Apply Iron On To Painted Wood by Design Bundles
With this project, you can buy a wooden frame in a craft store or online. Typically, these wooden frames are already painted or stained, so you can directly transfer vinyl on them. You can hang this wooden decoration in any part of your room.
You can also use this as a welcome sign or place inspirational quotes on it. To add more details, you can paint its corners. Do you know what will be a great idea for this project? Use Glow in the dark vinyl. Because why not?
Project Idea #3: Wood Serving Tray or Coaster
If you’re thinking of a housewarming gift for a friend or a loved one, this is a great idea — a wooden serving tray and throw in a couple of coasters as well. This is also a great idea for serving charcuterie platters at home.
If you want a simple design, you can use white or light-colored heat transfer vinyl for this project. If you want to add a little more creativity to the coaster or serving tray, you can use Colorful-splash heat transfer vinyl.
Remember that if the finished look of the wood is dark, it is best to use light-colored vinyl so the print will pop out. Using dark-colored vinyl is fine but the tendency is, the print won’t pop. Light-colored vinyl like white, yellow, and light green look great on wood.
For this project, you can either use permanent adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, much like the project ideas mentioned above. However, for wooden serving plate, the best option for a more professional touch is heat transfer vinyl. Why? Heat transfer vinyl when transferred on wood will have that paint-finish look.
Project Idea #4: Rustic Wedding Decorations
Rustic wedding? A wooden welcome sign or backdrop will always be a good idea. Using a slab of wood, you can directly apply adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl. But for one-time occasions like this, a permanent vinyl will do the trick. At least you can reuse the wood for other occasions in the future.
Because if you use permanent adhesive vinyl on heat transfer vinyl on the wood, it’s going to be a permanent print. But if you use temporary vinyl for one-time use only, you can still reuse the wood without worrying about vinyl marks leaving the surface. So not only are you being creative, you’re being sustainable as well.
Aside from directly applying vinyl on the wood, you can use temporary vinyl as a stencil as well. That is if you want to use paint for better details. If you want, you can also add details of golden glittered or textured metallic vinyl on the rustic wedding decoration.
Just so you know, this wood decoration is not just for rustic-themed weddings, this works for beach and garden weddings as well. But for beach weddings, you might want to use light-colored wood and a little detail of blue vinyl so it connives with the wedding’s theme.
Project Idea #5: Wooden Name Plate
This idea is more of a good source of income than your usual crafty creations. Yes most, nameplates are made of metal with engraved letters. But hey, why not make a wooden nameplate using vinyl? It can be a nameplate for the office table or can be hung at the door.
If you’re a crafty wood maker, you can make one on your own. If not, don’t fret, you can buy blank wooden nameplates online or have them custom-made in wood makers. You can use either permanent vinyl or apply heat transfer vinyl for this project.
Just a tip when making wooden nameplates, use light-colored woods paired with dark-colored vinyl, black vinyl as much as possible. Also, it looks better if you use heat transfer vinyl so it has the professional touch of permanent paint. You can use metallic textured metallic vinyl for a more classy look.
A sample of Textured Metallic Vinyl from TeckWrap Craft
Other Project Ideas for Wood and Vinyl
Other than the project ideas mentioned above with wood and vinyl printing, here are some nifty projects you can make as well:
- Real estate signage
- Camping signs
- Road signs or directional signs
- Signage for business establishments (e.g., golf course, restaurant)
- Farm signs
- Wine bottle box
- Wooden clock
- Restaurant signboard for “Menu of the week” (use temporary vinyl)
- And many more
Basically, with finished wood, you can print it directly with vinyl. It’s always best to talk to the local shop or wood makers about what kind of wood is best for vinyl printing. It wouldn’t hurt watching YouTube videos as well, to find your next inspiration.
Just one tip when putting vinyl on wood make sure that the wood is sanded or finished thoroughly. You want a smooth surface for the vinyl to stick. You can buy unfinished wood signs but make sure to master how to sand, stain, and smoothen the wood’s surface. You do not want splinters too, right? Make sure to sand down the wood well.
Another tip is to experiment with other types of vinyl. Don’t just limit yourself with glossy and matte vinyl, try out the other textures as well. TeckWrap Craft offers different vinyl designs like Metallic, Glitterized, Color-changing, Galaxy, Rainbow stripes, and many more.
Using these special types of vinyl will always add an extra wow factor to your project. For instance, you’re printing a wooden sign as a Christmas gift. Perhaps you might consider using the Christmas Plaid vinyl. Check out this TeckWrap craft project below:
A sample work using TeckWrap Craft Christmas Plaid vinyl, also available in green and white.
In this Christmas ornament project, a Christmas Plaid vinyl was used for the girl’s clothes. Just look at that detail. Can you make this project on wood with such precision? Of course!
Will you be needing a cutter plotter like Silhouette or Cricut? Yes! Not unless you have intrinsic and detailed Exacto knife skills. But of course, cutting vinyl with a machine will always be easier and faster. So here are the other materials needed for this kind of project:
- EasyPress or heat press machine (if you use heat transfer vinyl)
- Permanent vinyl or heat transfer vinyl from TeckWrap craft
- Transfer tape
- Weeding tool
- Squeegee or plastic like credit card
- Stencil vinyl (if you want to use paint instead of directly applying the vinyl)
- Teflon sheet (especially when you use a heat transfer vinyl and the vinyl material is not thick enough)
If you have unfinished wood, you need to stain or treat it. You’re going to need a Wood Finish, with the color of your choice. Then you need to use either a brush, sponge or cloth to apply the stain to the wood.
Can you paint on wood and apply vinyl to it? Yes of course! Just make sure to let the paint totally dry before applying vinyl. For painted wood, you can use either adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl. If you want a matte finish on your project, you can apply a Mod Podge finish as a final touch, especially to vinyl letters.
Vinyl Application Method: Adhesive Vinyl or Heat Transfer Vinyl
In a nutshell, here’s the process of applying vinyl on wood:
- Gather your materials
- Prepare your design (you can make one of your own or choose from the Cricut design space)
- Cut the design on the cutter plotter
- Weed the design
- If you’re using adhesive vinyl, place it on a transfer paper
- Prepare your work surface and the wood
- Sand the wood (if it still has an uneven surface)
- Stain the wood with the Wood Finish color of your choice
- If you want, you can apply paint on the surface and let it dry for 24 hours the most
- If you used adhesive vinyl, directly apply that to the wood surface
- If you used heat transfer vinyl, take out your EasyPress and set it in low temperature
- When using your EasyPress, make sure to apply heat evenly to make sure the vinyl sticks to the wood properly
- For the heat and time settings, make sure to follow the instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Usually, low heat temperature is recommended for this process
- For a final touch, you can use a Mod Podge and spread it evenly
- That’s it! Your woodcraft is ready
What Kind of Vinyl Do You Use for Wood Signs?
For wood signs, you can either use adhesive vinyl or heat transfer vinyl. Which vinyl you use depends on the type of wood you have, and the overall look you’re aiming for. If you want a paint-looking finish, use heat transfer vinyl. If you don’t have an EasyPress, you can use adhesive vinyl.
Can You Use Vinyl on Painted Wood?
Yes, you can use vinyl on painted wood signs. You can either use heat transfer vinyl or adhesive vinyl. Just make sure to let the paint completely dry. You can also use removable vinyl as a stencil if you plan to use spray paint.
Summing It Up!
There you have it! One last tip before you create your wood project, if it’s your first time and you want to practice applying vinyl on a wooden sign, you can always use removable vinyl. That way, you can remove it in case of any errors. For sure you’re pretty much excited about starting your next project, don’t forget to share your TeckWrap Craft creations with us!