lettering on a small box

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Forum topic by jerkylips posted 12-20-2017 05:27 PM 637 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 3348 days

12-20-2017 05:27 PM

I’m planning to make a small box for a friend – more of a gag gift than anything. I want something written on the top, not sure the best way to do it.

I thought about using adhesive letters, then staining with them on, peeling off to leave the unstained wood “letters”, then clear coating. I’m not sure if the stain would bleed through under the stickers, though.

Any thoughts?

10 replies so far

View wuddoc's profile


359 posts in 4496 days

#1 posted 12-20-2017 06:35 PM

You may wish to discuss your requirements with a sign or trophy shop that has a CNC laser. We use MS Word downloaded into our laser and it works very well for us.

-- Wuddoc

View LittleShaver's profile


677 posts in 1397 days

#2 posted 12-20-2017 06:56 PM

I usually get out the old wood burning pen and have at it.

I did recently see a video on several ways to transfer laser printed material directly on to wood. Looked easy and quick, but I haven’tr tried yet.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Walker's profile


385 posts in 1250 days

#3 posted 12-24-2017 05:23 AM

Do you have a router? Use a small straight bit set to a fairly shallow depth and free hand it! Draw your pattern with pencil and then rout over the pencil lines. a 1/16” or 1/8” straight bit is actually pretty easy to keep true.

-- ~Walker

View Pompeio's profile


9 posts in 969 days

#4 posted 12-24-2017 02:34 PM

My wife recently painted some wood Christmas signs. She pencilled the letters onto the wood and then applied Gorilla-brand clear tape to the outlined border of the letters. She was then able to paint the letters without any of the paint getting beneath the tape onto unwanted areas.

View Pompeio's profile


9 posts in 969 days

#5 posted 12-24-2017 02:35 PM

Forgot to mention that she tried taping a stencilled template to the wood but the paint did get under it.

View LittleShaver's profile


677 posts in 1397 days

#6 posted 12-24-2017 07:14 PM

There is a video on another website that demonstrates several ways to transfer laser printed materials to wood. Search YouTube for 5 ways to print on wood.

I tried the acetone method and it worked fairly well. I did it on white oak, I think it would do better on something with a tighter grain like maple.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Mengtian's profile


12 posts in 944 days

#7 posted 12-24-2017 10:26 PM

You could try wood burning. Pretty simple. You can get a decent starter kit for under 30 bucks.

View jeffswildwood's profile


4452 posts in 2755 days

#8 posted 12-24-2017 10:39 PM

I use a dremel with a router attachment

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2836 posts in 3700 days

#9 posted 12-25-2017 02:17 PM

I put lettering and images on small cedar boxes a lot. I inlay most (using a scroll saw) but I apply some. I print out what I want on my inkjet printer and glue it to the wood and apply wipe on poly over it. Many coats.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Planeman40's profile


1499 posts in 3539 days

#10 posted 12-25-2017 04:20 PM

Two ways not mentioned . . . .

1. Use “press type” available from art supply stores. These are “decal like” in that they are very thin and have a adhesive on the back. Need to be protected with a couple of coats of clear varnish.

2. If you are handy with making graphics on a computer using a drawing program, make up anything you want and print out in color on thin writing paper. Cut out and color white edge. Glue onto wood with Titebond. Finish by applying two coats of varnish over graphic. (I have used this method to make “decals” to decorate delicate scale rubber-powered airplane models for years. Works better than you would have ever anticipated and has the appearance of true decals. Be sure to color the paper edges though.)

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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