Painting Wooden Signs with Vinyl Stencil

Painting Wooden Signs with Vinyl Stencil -


In an effort to get right to the point of this tutorial, I wanted to go over a method for painting wooden signs. Most of the signs that I have made before have been painted wood with vinyl overtop of them. Some customers, however, like a cleaner look of it all painted. This is extremely beneficial if you are going to hang the sign outside.

1. Start with a painted surface. I used a chalkboard paint and then “distressed” it with a light blue overtop, so it looked like a worn chalkboard.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -


2. Cut your vinyl. I used black vinyl (confusing, I know), because it’s what I had the most of. I used an outdoor vinyl, because I needed it to be a strong stickiness. Peel off the letters, leaving just the background and inside of the letters o/e/d/g/a/etc.

In addition, for this project, I didn’t use my good transfer tape (since I didn’t really need it). I used Press and Seal wrap instead as a cheaper alternative. I don’t like to use this all the time, but it worked for this project.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -


3. Press the vinyl “stencil” onto the wooden board.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -


4. Carefully peel off the transfer tape. It’s ok if you have some uneven bubbles, but it’s best if you get get them out.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -



5. Using Mod Podge (matte finish), paint a layer onto the wood, where you will put the paint. I didn’t do a thick layer on this project, but I think that it would be best to do more than a thin layer.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -



6. When it is mostly dry (but not all the way), you can get ready to paint the letters.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -



7. Paint the letters using 2-3 coats (depending on the paint).

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -



8. Before the paint is completely dry, peel off the vinyl carefully. Look at the great, clean lines.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -


9. Peel off the insides of the letters

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -


11. Overall, it is a clean look. There were only a few places of bleeding paint, and that was due to the vinyl bubbling. You can easily fix this with a paint brush and steady hand.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign -



Tutorial Tuesday with Doyle Dispatch

Have a Hoppy Spring Silhouette Tutorial

You would never believe that with the snow that we have had in Virginia, we are into our first full week of spring. Crazy, right?

Well, it is! And to continue the decoration that I started with my Luck o’ the Irish sign, I thought that we needed one for the springtime. Since I am Jewish and Tim is Christian, I didn’t want a purely Easter sign (although I love the pastel colors), so I decided to use the colors and have a bunny theme. Hey, normally I try to keep it far from feminine in our house, but this is my one corner to cutesy it out.

Have a Hoppy Spring - The Doyle Dispatch

So, I used the essentially the same steps as I originally found on The Sensory Emporium, but I wanted to write my own tutorial since I have changed a few things.

Silhouette Studio Offsetting & Shape Words - The Doyle Dispatch

Start by piecing out the words that you will want to use. I have “Have a,” then “hoppy” will go inside the bunny (so I saved it for later), and then “spring.” You can also see that I was playing around with what I wanted my bunny to look like. I found these images through a Google search (you can actually do a safe search to be sure that you are allowed to use the images), then I traced them. To find directions on tracing shapes, look at my tutorial hereHave a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Next, I wrote “HOPPY” in all capital letters and placed it inside the bunny.Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Then I chose my font and readjusted the size. I am currently obsessed with Oh {Photo} Shoot!, which I believe I got for free from a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Then, I ungrouped the letters, which allows me to move, resize, and alter each letter individually.

Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Before I did too much readjusting, I duplicated Mr. Bunny, as I would need another copy of him later. I then readjusted all of the letters so that they will go past the outline of the bunny.
Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Next, I selected the image of the bunny and all of the letters and clicked Object –> Modify –> Crop.
Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

As you can see, this then cuts off all of the extra parts of the letter that are outside of the bunny. This also gets rid of the bunny (which is why you needed to have an extra copy of him earlier).Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Then, you can slide the duplicated bunny over again and do some last adjusting of the letters. Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

This isn’t the most simplistic font, so I had to clean up a few points.Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Then, I figured out what I wanted to cut on one color of my vinyl and I put it on the page. Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

I always like using as little vinyl as possible, so I get creative with my spacing.

Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Once that was cut out, I realized that I wanted a little extra to the finished sign, so I highlighted the text and used the offset tool to outline the letters. Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle Dispatch

Then, I sent these backgrounds to the cutter. Have a Hoppy Spring Tutorial - The Doyle DispatchI am so excited with how it turned out!

Have a Hoppy Spring - The Doyle Dispatch

YHL Pinterest Challenge! DIY Menu Board Edition

Menu Board Before:After

Pinterest Challenge Winter 2013

Well, I have been LOVING YHL (Young House Love) for years, ever since we moved to Richmond and bought our house. I am finally going for it and taking part in one of their Pinterest Challenges! This one is the Winter Edition 2013. You can find their post and the link-up here.

The idea is that you have to make something that was inspired from something you pinned on Pinterest.

This was perfect timing, as I had this gross seen-better-days mirror that my dad got at my brother’s school’s community yard sale. I inherited it at the end of December or beginning of January.

Chalkboard Menu - The Doyle Dispatch

Side note: See, my dad is a lover of yard sales. He doesn’t need anything going into these yard sales, but once he sees something, he knows he needs to have it. This year’s Chanukkah gifts included several of these finds, by the way.

He gave it to me, knowing my love of things that can be turned into something great. Still, I just could not get past the roses. Or the boxy shape. It was sooo not my style.

Then, my amazing neighbor gave me some direction: a menu board! I had pinned them as something that I would love to make, but I just didn’t make the connection. I instantly told Tim my idea. He liked the idea, but then we talked and realized that we had NO wall space left. Between pictures, paintings, my family birthday sign, and other fun items, we really had nowhere logical for it to go (except the bathroom, and I don’t think it would fit there).

So it sat. And sat. And gathered dust while it sat some more. Let’s just say, it has been sitting around the Doyle garage for a while.

Then, YHL posted this Pinterest Challenge, and I knew I just had to bite the bullet and make my menu board!

So, here is the inspiration pin:

Just as a reminder, here is what I started with:

Chalkboard Menu - The Doyle Dispatch

Ok, so first step was to paint the mirror and inside with chalkboard paint. Why use chalkboard paint? Well, I have had it lying around, untouched, for about 4 years. I needed an excuse to crack it open.


After a long time of stirring and mixing (I probably shouldn’t have used the 4-year-old paint, but I was feeling cheap at the time), I was able to get one coat on the mirror and inside of the frame.


At first glance, it looked great! Then, you look up close and realize that you certainly do need another coat (or two) of paint.

IMG_3208Thankfully, that stuff dried really quickly, so I was able to get another coat of paint on pretty soon after the first coat. This is good, because I am an Impatient Nelly when it comes to my crafts. (Use your Veruca Salt voice: I want it done now!)

While I was waiting for it to dry, I decided to go ahead and get those roses out! In hindsight, I should have waited for the paint to dry first, but remember Impatient Nelly here. To do this, I needed to first smash the glass. I tried to be gentle at first.

IMG_3213Fast forward 20 taps later and a still-whole piece of glass. Time to let out some aggression.


Of course, as I didn’t have anything covering this pane of glass(yes, my eyes and feet were protected), some glass did fly up. Some landed on my newly-painted chalkboard paint (before coat #2, so I was still able to get a smooth-ish finish), and some on the ground. Just a reminder that you may want to wear shoes in our garage for the next week or so.

Still waiting for the paint to dry here, so I smashed the other two panes (it was all actually one pane, but just in 3 parts)… this time covering them so all glass stayed in the roses. Then, I carefully removed the pieces of glass. Yes, there was glass all over those roses.

IMG_3217Oh darn, they had to go.

IMG_3216They were my least favorite thing about the whole original mirror, so I LOVED pulling them out one by one.

Once they were out, I had to pull their cardboard base out.


See my dirty hands? I love being messy when I paint!

Then, an UGH moment: styrofoam. So, I broke it and pulled it out.


This is why I dislike styrofoam.


Static-y pieces of leftover styrofoam. Ugh.

So, what’s a girl to do? Paint the inside with more chalkboard paint!

IMG_3230Not the neatest of my paint jobs, but it would do for now.


Once I applied the 2nd coat all over, I took a break for a couple of days until I could run to Thrill of the Hunt and pick up some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.


Cue the angels singing

This was the first time I’ve used chalk paint, and I now know why people swear by it. It was expensive (about $30 for that one quart of paint), but with no sanding, priming, or any prep, I would happily pay that amount.

The first coat went on fine, but then it seemed to clump up together a bit. I would assume this is due to the waxy nature of the original wood.



Coat #2 went on much smoother, as if the base of the chalk paint allowed the paint to adhere better.

IMG_3496With the painting done, now I could focus on the details. And if you have read any of my recent (last 3 months) blog posts, you know that this means it is time for my SILHOUETTE CAMEO!!!


I took this opportunity to use the print-and-cut feature on the Silhouette. I had to make registration marks (so that once it was printed, the Silhouette would be able to recognize where it needed to cut) and the outline for the menu cards.

Registration Marks

Then, I used the text feature to create text for the lettering. In order to print them, you can use the cut style button to make sure that the text is selected as “no cut.” Then, you just need to fill in the text with whatever color you want to use (black).

Cut Tool

Then, we just lined up the food choices with the tags.

Menu Cards Pic

Ready? Print!

(No image here… sorry!)

Then, you just have to line the paper up on the cutting mat, have the Silhouette detect the registration marks, and you are ready to cut!

Detect Registration Marks

After I cut those items, we had to get the rest of the labels for the menu board.


Of course, they were done in vinyl! I used my favorite font EVER “Lobster 2.”

IMG_3513 IMG_3514 IMG_3515 IMG_3518
Skip ahead to the final look:

Menu Board.jpg

Not bad, right?

Menu Board Before:After


You can see all of the link-ups at Bower Power, The Remodeled Life, Decor and the Dog, and Young House Love.

Made in a Day
he Humble Brag Supporting Habitat for Humanity
Linked up on So You Think You’re Crafty’s “I’m Crafty: Upcycle Projects

Linked up on {what’s shakin’} Link Party #76:

Organized Pantry

At the beginning of the new year, Tim decided to give in to my request to redo the pantry. We have lots of yummy items in there, but it was sooooo hard to find everything.

We first went to Walmart to get some containers. We already had the clear containers, so we didn’t have to spend a lot to get a nice, clean look. Here’s what it looked like once we got the bins:


Well, before we labeled everything, we wanted to live with it like that for a while, just to see if it would work for our lifestyle. It did!

Phase 2: label with vinyl! I picked about 10 final font choices, Tim picked out the final font, and it took just a couple of minutes to cut the vinyl and place them on the bins.


We are short on storage space, so I saw this great idea at a co-worker’s house: a shoe holder on the back of the pantry door to hold cleaners, plastic utensils, baggies, and food wrap. Isn’t it a genius idea?


Aren’t you jealous of my beautifully organized pantry?

Thumb-Body Loves You!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Being a 4th grade teacher, I can get away with cutesy Valentine’s Day cards. Tim and I promised that we weren’t going to exchange presents for this Valentine’s Day, but I had to make him this card (especially because I made 25 more of them for my students). Still, Tim’s WAS a little more special.


The hearts cut out, thanks to my Silhouette.


Seriously, look at all of those hearts! It would have taken me about an hour to cut them out by hand. Thank you, Silhouette!


I then scored where I wanted the fold of the card to be.


Time to get dirty!


Cute thumb-print hearts!


The inside and outside of the cards.


Tim’s special card


Tim had a multiple choice question to answer with his card. I hope he got it right!

Then of course, what did he do on our NO GIFT Valentine’s Day? He sent me this delicious and beautiful Edible Arrangements basket.


I love my husband!

Personalized Coffee Cozy

This winter, I was all about the homemade gifts. You will see a post soon about my sugar scrub recipe (mmm…), but I wanted to show you how I created this personalized coffee cozy and mug.


First, I cut out 2 of the fabric sleeves by using the template from Skip to My Lou. I also cut a felt sleeve in a coordinating color. I then pieced them so that the felt sat on the bottom with the two pieces with the correct-sides facing each other.


I sewed around the two long sides and one of the shorter sides.


Then I turned everything inside out. The felt will now be in the middle. Make sure to push the corners out with a skewer or pencil tip.



After that, I wanted a cleaner edge, so I sewed along the border. Next, I sewed up the open end.


Next, take a hair elastic and sew/tie it together in the middle. I used the thick hair elastic. I also put a button on it.



Because I wanted it to be reversible (you will see why), I put a button on the other side as well. The elastic will work on both sides.


Next, I picked out a font for the personalization. I picked the bottom one (actually, Tim picked it out once I narrowed it down).


I used my t-shirt vinyl iron-on material to cut out and iron on to the cotton.



I let it cool, and here is how it looked on both sides.


Isn’t it cute? When L is in the planning stage, she can have it be on “Bride.”




When she is married, she can switch it to “Mrs.”




I also loved how it turned out so much, that I cut out some additional indoor/outdoor vinyl to add to the coffee/cup set that I got from Starbucks for her. The best part? She didn’t know that I personalized the mug myself until I spilled the beans! She thought it came like that!




This tutorial was featured on Totally Tutorials and DIY Supplies.

Totally Tutorials Blog

Hello Goodbye

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to my Silhouette. I have an entire Pinterest board with inspiration projects and how to’s, and I love being able to chat with other Silhouette owners on my Facebook group (Clueless Cameo Club). By the way, the Cameo Club is public, so come and join us in the conversation.

Well, I love the Hello/Goodbye vinyl from Pinterest. While we were putting up holiday decorations today, I felt that the door just needed something else. After all, I had just taken down our monster from Halloween.

Well, it only took about 30 minutes to find the font that I wanted to use, make some adjustments using the Weld and Point Delete functions on the software, and I had my signs. I love how they turned out!



Clipart with Silhouette Software

Clipart Silhouette Studio Button

When I was on one of my Thirty-One Facebook groups earlier, we were talking about the differences between the Silhouette machines and the Cricuts. I absolutely love the software that comes free with the Silhouette, and I thought that it would be a great topic to show how to take a Clipart picture and turn it to a cut-able image.

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not an expert in this software, and there may be other ways to accomplish this goal. I have found a way to make it work for what I want to do. If you know of other ways, please let me know in the comments.

1. Do a search to find your image. I love Google Images, by the way. Cute snowman, right?2. Once I have found my picture, I will just do a screenshot to get that image. On my Mac, I use Shift+Command+4, and it lets me select the rectangle that I want to take a picture of.

3. Open up the Silhouette software.

4. Drag in the screenshot image.

5. With this image, there is a Low Resolution Warning. I just chose to ignore it. Based on what you want to make, you may not want to ignore it.

6. In the upper left corner, click the symbol for Tracing.7. The Trace tools will open up.

8. Click “Select Trace Area” and highlight the image that you want to trace. The grey box will open up and the image will appear yellow. The yellow lines are the trace lines.

9. This is when you have to decide what you want to accomplish. If you just want the outline of items to create a silhouette image, you will click “Trace Outer Edge.” This is what it will look like:

10. You will need to drag away the black lines, leaving the red cut lines. This is the result:


11. Don’t want a silhouette? That’s ok. Instead of clicking “Trace Outer Edge” when your image is outlined, you will click “Trace.”

12. You can also play around with the settings before you click “Trace.” Change the thresholds and filters to have different effects. I truly don’t have these mastered yet, but I just play around until I get the desired effect.

Again, if you know some other trick to use with this software, please leave a comment! I am always wanting to learn more about this machine (and I am trying to avoid reading the instructions as long as possible).

Mailbox Vinyl

Updated 11/17:

Yes, I have had more fun with my Silhouette and the premium vinyl: mailbox fun! Now, our mailbox has some great style!


Updates to DIY Page and Free to a Good Home

Hello, readers!

I wanted to let you know that I have spent some time on this rainy, cold week to update the DIY page. Take a look at all of the items that I’ve made (although I keep feeling like I have left so many out)!

Want me to make something for you? These are just the start. Let me know what you are looking for, and I will do it! No cost to you, except for supplies and a post on this blog.

At some point, I may start an Etsy page, but for right now, I’m just having fun making cute crafts to occupy my time and relax my brain.

Also, I have some items that I made with my Silhouette that just don’t have a place in my craft room. I will be donating them to the trash can unless someone wants them: