Typography Art the Easy Way

Typography Art the Easy Way

So, truth be told – I do not have many purely original ideas. However, I am great at copying borrowing ideas that I like from those of you who are brilliantly creative. #wishiwaslikeyou #thankyoupinterest Two years ago, my husband finally hit on a good gift for me. He tries but there have definitely been some hits and misses in the gift-giving department.   It was Silhouette Cameo.  When I unwrapped that Cameo I wasn’t even sure what it would do, but I am a crafty person so I knew I was going to love figuring it out. I am certain I am still not using it to its full potential, but boy do I love what I can do with it! One cool thing that you can do is make one of those trendy typography signs that you see everywhere.

Typography art is not hard to make.  All you need is a little inspiration.  A favorite quote or saying.  Your favorite song lyrics or maybe even a verse from the Bible.

So, I saw a really cool sign while watching TV.  I loved the words.  They spoke to me, but didn’t like the $155 price tag; so, what’s a girl on a budget to do? Make one of course.  I’ve never been afraid to try to DIY something I really want.  What’s the worst that could happen after all?  A little wasted paint?  So, I dove right in.  I am still in love with that sign I made!

If you’ve ever wanted one of these oversize signs for your home, here’s how you do it.

  1. Select the wood you are going to use for your sign and paint it the color that you’d like your lettering to be. In this case I want my wording to be gray so that is the color I am painting first.  I tend to use chalk paint for these projects so there’s no need to prime the wood. However, if you are using latex or acrylic paint, you may want to prime your wood first.

paint used for painting a gray base coat with chalk paint

  1. Type your saying/words into the Silhouette program and arrange them as you’d like it to appear on your sign. I think it’s fun to use different fonts and have my text go in various directions like subway art, but for this, I am sticking with one font and text in one direction.
  1. Resize your design using the page design tab. You’ll need to enter in the measurements that you’d like your sign to be minus a three or four inches for a border.  For this sign, my measurements were  24 x 36 inches.  Remember if you’re using a cutting machine, you’ll need to select “No Mat” so that you can cut this long of a length.
  1. Now, it’s time to cut your design. Your Cameo will cut any length of a design, but it is only to accommodate a 12inch width. You’ll need to slice your design so that it cuts in 12 inch ‘slices.’   I use contact paper rather than vinyl to make my stencil as it is way cheaper than the vinyl and works just as well. However, in this case I used green vinyl so that you would be able to see it better.  Although, I will say, using vinyl is slight easier to work with as it’s thicker than contact paper.  Still, Contact paper is cheaper.

vinyl letters cut with Silhouette Cameo

  1. With your design cut, you are ready to weed the background, leaving just your text on the background paper.  You can see above that I’ve weeded mine and in the process I’ve messed up a couple letters.  That’s okay.  I can imply cut those letters on another sheet of vinyl & fill them in later.
  1. Carefully transfer your text to the wood using transfer tape. You’ll need to place the transfer tape on top of your text and firmly press on both the tape and on the back of the contact paper. Now, carefully lift your transfer tape with the text adhered to it and place it on your board. Repeat this until all of your text is transferred onto your painted board. Press it down firmly to the board making sure that all the letters are securely adhered.  I use my scraper tool for this part.

vinyl lettering being weeded and trasferred

  1. Next, you will paint over the letters with the same color you used previously (the color of the letters). This is the second coat of this paint and will seal your letter edges so that you won’t have any bleed through of your top coat.
vinyl letters on transfer tape
Here are the vinyl letters on the transfer tape. Sorry about the flash

Here you can see that I’ve started to add the green vinyl letters on top of my painted board.  It’s super simple when you use transfer tape.

  1. When the paint dries, go over the entire board with your top color. Depending on your color choice and if you want it faded/aged looking or more solid, you may have to have more than one coat.
paint on top of vinyl letters
This is after one coat of color over the top of my letters.
second coat of paint over vinyl letters
This is after the second coat of paint over the letters. Now time to peel the letters off.
  1. While the paint is still damp, you can begin removing the letters using a hook tool.
  1. When the paint is entirely dry, you’ll want to go over your sign using sandpaper to rough the edges and give it a vintage look.  Here’s a close shot of my sign after the stickers have been removed and I’ve gone over it very lightly with fine grit sandpaper.  You will definitely see some imperfections in my work.  These can be corrected with a steady hand a small paintbrush or paint pen.


typography art signOkay, it’s not completely perfect, but I can still “tweak” it as needed with a paintbrush and a steady hand.

  1. Finally, you may want to seal your work using wax or a poly coat to protect it.
typography sign
Sorry, this shot is a tad bit crooked.

And ~ voila! ~ you have an adorable typography sign to decorate your room or porch with.

Here are a few others that I’ve done.

Pottery Barn Knock Off sign
I saw this idea in a Pottery Barn catalog

Silent Night typography sign on black canvas











typography sign in gray UNT subway art in black and green with swooping eagle



I am constantly seeing more of these graphic art signs that I want in my home. All I have to do is remember what I saw and then try to recreate it at home. If you don’t have a Silhouette Cameo, you could also use sticker letters to create your sign. What other items do you see while you’re out and about that you’d like to recreate for your home?

1 Comment

  1. Super Neat! I saw one in a store for over $400!

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