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How to Apply Vinyl to Wood Signs With Slats

We've shown you before in a previous blog post how to design in Silhouette Studio for wood signs with slats. Well, we love bringing you new and different ways to create so that you can choose a method that works best for you. 

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So, here's another way to deal with how to apply a vinyl decal onto a wood sign with slats.

Select A Suitable Design...

It's worth noting that perhaps not every design will work well on a wood sign with slats in it. It's not so much about the intricacy of a design, but how big and how tall it is.

For example, check out this really detailed Peacock Mandala SVG cut in glitter adhesive vinyl and applied to a slatted wood sign. Even though the lines of the design are very thin, there's plenty of the design above and below each slat in the wood, so the peacock, and the beautiful mandala design, are still recognizable. There's actually a Facebook Live on this project over on the So Fontsy Facebook page if you want to check it out!

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The most important to keep in mind is that when using a wood sign with slats, there will be gaps in the design due to the small gaps between the slats. So, very small designs or parts of a design that aren't very tall may not transfer well onto a wood sign with slats. If the design is too small, the gap in the design may remove too much of it to be recognizable. Bigger designs with a lot of height to them will probably work the best for a wood sign with slats.

...And Keep Placement in Mind

Take a look at this humorous laundry sign which is a great example of optimizing where to place your design on a wood sign with slats. The word "laundry" is very large and tall so a couple small horizontal gaps through the word still leaves plenty of it on the sign, so it's clearly legible.

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The other words, however, are quite small. So, if one of the slats split those words in half, it would probably make them quite difficult to read, just because they are so small so there wouldn't be much left to read.

So, in this case all that was required to make this design work on a slatted wood sign was to position it so that the smaller words did not have a slat going through them.

You can find more humorous sign-worthy designs in the Funny Farmhouse Design Bundle. Head over to So Fontsy to grab this bundle which is chalk full with 31 SVGs for a staggering 85% off!!!

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Cut & Weed Like Normal

There isn't much that you'll do differently in this project when it comes to cutting and weeding the vinyl design for your sign with slats. If you need a beginner's tutorial for cutting vinyl, check out this blog post.

For this design, I found adding weeding boxes to be particularly helpful for weeding out the excess vinyl around the smaller text. To do this, all you have to do in Silhouette Studio is draw a rectangle around each word. Then, send the design to cut!

Add weeding boxes

These weeding boxes allow you to weed each word individually! It's so much easier!

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For very uniquely-shaped designs, check out this blog post to learn the trick to creating custom shaped weeding boxes and limiting wasted vinyl!

Transfer Vinyl to Wooden Sign with Slats

Next, apply transfer tape over the weeded vinyl and transfer it onto the wood sign. The Hinge Method is a sure-fire way to apply vinyl, so it's perfectly straight! Check out this blog post about how to apply vinyl decals on straight (on the first try!). Then, be sure to burnish the design very well once applied, but DO NOT remove the transfer tape just yet!

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Sharpen Your Craft Knife!

For this next part, you'll need a craft knife or box cutter and the key to success is that it is VERY sharp. 

Take your sharp knife and cut through the transfer tape and vinyl along the slats in the wood.

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Take your time and work carefully to create sharp cuts through the transfer tape and vinyl.

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After cutting through each slat, burnish the vinyl and transfer tape (again) onto the wood sign. Pay particular attention burnishing the vinyl directly above and below the slat. Use your fingernail or other thin tool to really "get in there" and apply a firm amount of pressure. I found in some cases to actually be folding part of the vinyl onto the wood in between the slats.

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Remove Transfer Tape

Now, gently remove the transfer tape. You'll probably need to remove the tape in sections because you've cut through it. After removing each section of transfer tape, burnish (again) over the vinyl and (again) pay very special attention to the vinyl that lays on either side of the slats in the wood.

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I recommend using a thin tool like a vinyl scraping tool or even an old credit card, to apply pressure onto the vinyl and push it down onto the wood in between the slats.

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The keys to Success

Really, the keys to being successful with this method of applying vinyl to a wood sign with slats is to.... 
burnish, burnish, burnish the cut vinyl onto the wood in between the slats.

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Also, use a VERY sharp craft knife to do your cuts. It really makes life so much easier!

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Add Greenery and A Bow

With the vinyl firmly in place, you can then add some beautiful greenery or perhaps a bow to your sign. But once your sign is complete, hang it up to admire your handy work!

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And be sure to check out the Funny Farmhouse Design Bundle! It's only around for a limited time so grab it at So Fontsy while it's still on sale! 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 


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3 comments

  1. What transfer tape is she using that doesn't have a backing?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perfect timing for this as I was about to make a sign with slats for a Christmas gift. I wasn’t sure how to do the vinyl. Thanks for the great advice and Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Perfect timing for this as I was about to make a sign with slats for a Christmas gift. I wasn’t sure how to do the vinyl. Thanks for the great advice and Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete

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