Galentine’s day is the day we celebrate our most wonderful friendships with the people who get us the most- our besties! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make some fun shelf-sitter Galentine signs. Also included are eight free Galentine sayings in a mirror image, so you can easily add them onto wood with the reverse graphic transfer method. If you’re looking for another Galentine’s day gift idea, I also have some fun wooden wine charms you can make.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase through a link.
How much wood you need will depend on how many little shelf-sitter signs you want to make. Note: The actual width of a 1×4 board is 3 1/2″. Each sign is 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″.
- 1×4 board (the length depends on how many you will be making)
- Chopsaw or mitre box and handsaw
- Orbital Sander (optional)
- Sandpaper (150 grit)
- Matte Mod Podge
- Brush for applying Mod Podge
- Stain-blocking spray (optional) for blocking wood from bleeding through to white paint
- White (or light-coloured paint) I used Fusion Mineral paint, Victorian Lace
- An old candle to distress the edges of the wood
- Black water wash (black paint mixed with water to age the base colour of the wood)
- Printer and computer paper to print downloaded sayings on page 1 and page 2 (inkjet or laser printer; see step 4 for insight into using either one.)
- Water-based Matte finish spray or the kind you brush on
1. Cut blocks of wood for signs and sand
Fun fact; a 1×4 board is actually 3/4″ x 3 1/2″.
- Take the 1×4 board and cut each piece 3 1/2″ long. Repeat for as many as you need.
- Smooth out the sharp edges with a sander or by hand.
2. Age the raw wood with a black water stain, then apply a stain blocker
A couple of notes before you begin these steps: Save time applying the stain by taking an old bucket with enough room to dip the wood blocks into the black water. Why use a stain blocker? Over time, the tannins in the wood could bleed through, causing the white paint to become a dirty yellow. Applying a lacquer or a stain blocker prevents this from happening.
- Age the wood with this easy-to-do stain: Mix 1 cup of water with 2 tsp of black paint until blended.
- Cover the wood block with the black water stain and allow it to dry.
- This next step is optional but recommended. Spray on a Shellac or stain blocker when using white or light paint on wood to stop the wood from bleeding through to the paint down the road. Note: it’s a smelly spray, so use it outside or in a well-ventilated space. Let dry.
3. Rub candle wax, paint, and distress the wood
I like to give the wood signs a distressed look, but you do you!
- Rub a candle around the edges and sides of the block of wood.
- Apply a coat of white paint. Let dry.
- Add a second coat of paint if needed.
- Sand the top edges of the wood to distress it and bring out the layers.
4. Print and then Mod Podge printed sayings on the wood
A few notes before you print.
- Laser printer vs. an inkjet printer: a laser printer will give you a darker transfer along with crisp lines. An inkjet printer will give you a softer look but a higher chance of some parts of the transfer rubbing off – which isn’t bad if you want an old-worn look.
- In the free reverse graphics I have for you, I’ve included cutting lines so that the paper goes all the way to the edges. If it doesn’t, your end product will have lines from the paper left behind, which doesn’t look good. (See the photo below on the right.)
- Download and print the reverse graphic sayings. (Page 1 and page 2), then cut them out around the black line.
- Brush on a light coat of Mod Podge evenly over all the paper on the side that shows the reverse printing.
- Next, press it firmly down onto the painted wood block in order to eliminate any bubbles and wrinkles.
- Set aside and let dry overnight.
5. Dry glued Galentine sayings overnight; remove the paper
- Don’t let the paper get too wet for this next step because the graphics could rub off.
- Take a damp rag and wipe the dried image until you see the writing coming through more clearly.
- Hold onto the wood and slide your fingers along until the paper starts to come off. Keep doing this until you’ve removed as much of the paper as possible.
6. Apply a top coat to the Galentine’s saying
We’re almost finished with this little Galentine’s day gift idea project. The last thing to do is to protect it with a clear coat which also hides any residue left behind from the paper. I typically apply one light but even coat. I prefer to use a spray on the top coat, but you could also brush it.
And that is all there is to this tutorial for a Galentine’s gift idea. If you’re looking for another Valentine’s or Galentine’s project, I have a fun, sassy wine glass charms tutorial or check out more DIY projects.
See you at the next project!