I’ll start by saying this project was a bit tedious. BUT, is really satisfying work that has beautiful results. I love giving gifts like this because it looks really nice, but also means a lot to someone because you made it specifically for them.

I have a sister that I wanted to do this for and felt these words on my heart and she also has a thing for Texas stars so I had to put a couple of those on there!

I found the font, and figured out what size to make the words and stars, printed them off, placed them on my piece of wood and taped the top of the paper down to the wood. Only taping the top let me slip the graphite paper (dark, black side down) underneath and be able to trace, but the paper stayed nicely in place and did not slip.


The first time I did this, I pushed down really hard with my embossing tool and gave myself a super sore hand. You really don’t have to push that hard at all. Yes, it is darker the harder you push but it doesn’t need to be super dark!

Just traced around the outside of the font and stars… doesn’t have to be perfect! If you get off a little bit it’s okay… it wipes right off with water or household alcohol.

I started painting from top to bottom. That way the paint won’t get touched while wet and the graphite tracing doesn’t get wiped off by your sleeve. I also left the paper on the wood taped until I moved down the board to paint that section.

I wanted to have an off-white contrast on this dark piece of wood and actually had an ivory color wall paint at home already.

So here is the very tedious part. Painting. Yes, I painted this whole sign with a tiny baby brush! 🙂

I went around the outside with a small tip just to catch all the crevices of the letters and just filled in where I could with a slightly wider brush.


You probably think I’m crazy, but I had a lot of fun! One pass didn’t quite look right for me, so I did two. The second time around is a lot quicker and easier than the first, especially if you get a good first coat around the edge of the letters. I loved the stars having some wood showing through so that took a little more detail but so worth it! I actually did the two stars opposite….did you catch that? 🙂

Now there were a few spots I went too far outside my lines so I just waited until it was dry and scraped back a little bit with my nails…. came right off! (sidenote: My wood already had a finish on it, so the paint came off super easy. I would recommend putting one coat of varnish on the wood before painting for easier clean up!)

I also went ahead and painted around the edge of the board on all 4 sides to give it a nice clean, finished look.

But because the paint could come off so easy, I knew I had to finish the top with something… I used a satin wood oil-based varnish wiped on with a square sponge brush. It’s something I already had on hand and knew it would look good on the wood. The sponge brush gives it a super smooth finish. My only regret with this is that it turned my ivory a bit more yellow than I really cared for.

Here is the sign right after the varnish. It looks super shiny but is really just still wet at this point.

And here is the sign hung up in my bestie’s house!!!

So…. is this project fun? Yes. Is it a little time consuming? Yes, but starts getting quicker and easier the more you do!

Was it worth it? Of course! She loved the sign and it has lots of love and meaning behind it. 🙂




Erika Troyer
One of Shyla’s bonus daughters 🙂



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