Will vinyl stick to wood?

Today we're so excited to share with you this post on how to make wood and vinyl signs by our customer and expert crafter Bonnie.

My name is Bonnie Moser. I am a newly retired elementary school teacher. I taught for 37 years while raising two children. I am happily married and even happier to now have more time for my crafting. I have always found time to try out new things. Whenever I saw something new it was my mission to figure out how to make it myself. I share that passion with 6 other friends. We get together every 2 weeks and have been doing it for over 35 years. Lately we have explored many uses for vinyl in our crafts which makes me excited to share what I’ve learned with you.

My project today will be a sign I often add to a bridal shower gift.

how to make wood sign

What you will need:

  • wood sanded and cut to size (I always cut, sand and paint extra wood pieces to have on hand for future projects.) 
  • vinyl, I prefer Craftables Permanent Adhesive Vinyl 
  • Craftables Transfer tape 
  • stain or paint of choice if you are coloring the wood 
  • rag 
  • sand paper (higher grit) or sanding tool 
  • sanding rag or fine grit sandpaper 
  • weeding tool such as a pick or pin  
  • squeegee (any tool that can rub transfer tape smooth) 
  • any craft cutter you have 
  • craft cutting mat 
  • Mod Podge or clear coat finishing paint

Throughout the year I collect wood from a local pallet company. They are kind enough to leave their scraps in a bin for the community to pick up and use. You can also locate unfinished wood panels at your local craft store. Also, Home Depot or Lowe's often have wood scraps that they give away for free.


I cut pieces of wood approximately 6” x 10".  I sanded each piece making sure the side I am placing my vinyl on is the smoothest. You can sand the wood by hand with sand paper or by using a power sander. 

chalk paint on wood

used black chalk paint for these signs as it’s paint I happen to have around.  Most water based paints will doWood stain also works well and comes in a variety of colors. I apply the chalk paint the same way I would apply stain using an old rag. It allows me to apply a transparent coat of paint letting the grain of the wood show through.  I like the idea of throwing away a rag instead of cleaning a brush. Clean-up is something I don’t enjoy so the easier the better! Allow the paint or stain to dry. Because you are using very little paint it should be dry in less than an hour.

mod podge on wood

Once the paint is dry apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front of your wood. I happened to have gloss finish Mod Podge on hand. You can use any clear coat finish such as a spray paint or liquid clear finish such as Rust-oleum Clear. Rust-oleum describes their product as good for indoor and outdoor projects so I use them when making a sign for the garden. It is latex based so it cleans with soap and water.

Whether it’s gloss or matte finish does not matter. You can cover the entire project both front and back but I don’t find it necessary. Allow the clear coat to dry thoroughly.  Once the clear coat is dry use your fine sand paper or sanding rag to lightly sand the clear coat giving it a very smooth finish. Even a gloss finish will look matte after sanding.  

weeding design white vinyl

I used Design Space to create my cut file. cut white vinyl so it will look great with the black chalkboard finish. like Craftables Permanent Vinyl because it is also known as "Outdoor" vinyl . Tt is water-resistant and will withstand exposure to the elements with great resilience. I like the 12”x12” size as it lays flat on your cutting mat. After it’s cut, weed away any part that isn’t part of your design. 

applying transfer tape vinyl on wood

Now it's time to use transfer tape to move your vinyl design onto your project. To use transfer tape, cut a piece slightly larger than your design. Peel off the carrier sheet and lay the sticky side on top of your vinyl design. Adhere the transfer tape to the vinyl by using a transfer tool such as an old credit card or a squeegee until smooth. Peel back the transfer tape making sure you are also pulling back the vinyl design from the backing.

applying decal to wood


applying vinyl to wood

peeling up transfer sheet vinyl on wood

Lay the transfer tape with the vinyl design adhered to the tape to the front of your wood. Using your squeegee or credit card, rub the transfer tape so the sticky vinyl adheres to your wood. The clear coat gave your wood a smooth surface to adhere to, not using a clear coat makes applying the vinyl more difficult. Peel back the transfer tape and your project is complete!

wood sign

Once you have completed one wood/vinyl sign you will begin to see many other projects to create. Try a sign for your garden. Add scrapbook paper to the wood first with the Mod Podge to add extra color. Use multiple colors of vinyl on one sign. The possibilities are endless!

Once you've tackled this new technique, check out Bonnie's other projects for inspiration:

bonnie m wooden sign

bonnie m wooden sign

bonnie m wooden sign

bonnie m wooden sign


bonnie m wooden sign

how to make wood sign



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