How to Transfer Letters Old School Style

I love to create signs and add graphics to my furniture pieces.  Today I’m sharing with you how I do it.

There are a lot of ways to add words/graphics to a project with all the awesome cutting machines and fancy stencils circulating out there.  When I want to add a little something extra to my pieces, I have to use what I have on hand which sadly, does not include awesome cutting machines or fancy stencils.  So,  I transfer them old school style.

How to Transfer Letters Old School Style

Transferring to Lighter Surfaces:

Step 1:  Print your graphic in reverse.  (If you don’t know how, I show you in this tutorial or scroll down for how to transfer without printing in reverse.) I created this example through “paint.NET” (a free down-loadable photo editor) using the font Edwardian Script.

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Step 2: Transfer your graphic. Position your graphic face down and use a pencil to shade across the back of your image:

How to transfer graphics to furniture.

This will transfer the image to your surface:

How to transfer graphics to furniture.

Step 3: Paint in the graphic. I like to use acrylic paints for this step.

How to transfer graphics to furniture.

After a  light sanding and a coat of wax…perfect!

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You can see more of  how I built this headboard bench here.

 

To transfer without printing in reverse is a bit more work, but if it’s something small this will work just fine.

Step 1: Print out your word/s in the font/size you want. Again, I created this example through “paint.NET” (a free down-loadable photo editor) using the font Edwardian Script.

Love

Step 2: Turn your paper over and color in the lines with pencil.

Be sure to stay in the lines so it transfers nicely.

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Step 2: Position your graphic on your surface.

Flip your paper over and center your word/s on your surface.  Color over the words on the front in pencil.  For this part, you don’t have to be neat about it.

How to transfer letters

 

Voila! Your beautiful letters have been transferred!

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Step 4: Paint.

Easier said than done when you’re working with a font like this, but just take your  time using a small thin paintbrush. I use a script liner. Try to paint in long smooth strokes.

I use acrylic paint for the letters.

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I added a coat of clear wax to finish it off.

Hand Painted Love tableYou can see more of this little $5 Yard sale table makeover here.

 

Here’s a sign I made also:

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Bath sign

Pretty, right?

I saw this on Pinterest from My Cottage Charm and loved it. Something like this would be sweet hanging outside a child’s room with his/her name on it.

Transferring graphics to a dark surface:

  • Print graphic right side up.
  • Rub chalk across the back of your graphic.
  • Position in place and trace the outline of your graphics with a pencil on the front side. (As seen here and here.)
  • Paint in the lines.

Happy Transferring!

XO,

Signature

 

 

If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along! :)

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Comments

  1. cara molluranda says:

    You keep me going woman…loving your unique, one of a kind touches to your Home. Miss & live you :)

  2. Hey Christy, I love it! That’s the usual way I transfer letters, don’t have those fancy machines either, to make matters worse my printer stopped working, uhggg! The bath sign is cute too! You made me laugh with your “look-natural” pic :) I do that a lot when I’m with my sisters! Yours is a beautiful pic and yes it looks natural!

  3. Christy,
    Really like both signs but especially love the Bath one. I don’t have one of those machines either so I have to improvise quite often with letters when I’m painting.

  4. Old school is the best! You don’t need fancy vinyl stuff to make the most stunning pieces. Even though I did enjoy using a projector for the lettering of my basement bar =)

    I am your newest follower, by the way!

    Anja @ cocalores.blogspot.com

  5. Suzie Hobgood says:

    Just found your blog and really enjoying it. Wonderful ideas!

  6. JaneEllen says:

    I love your blog and the projects you do, will be back many times. You sure inspire me. I had to print out how to transfer images as it seems to be rather difficult hurdle for me, duh, go figure. At least now I have a much better idea how to do it. Your tutorial made it much clearer for me. I have learned so much from so many excellent bloggers like yourself, thank you. I’m a little slower than some of you, maybe cause I’m just learning about so many techniques, there’s so much to learn. My head is full constantly of all the incredible projects I see on here. Who wants to clean house, do laundry when there are so many things we can make. Happy weekend

    • I agree, JaneEllen! My garage is filled with projects waiting to be completed…I’d be out there all day if I had no concern for personal hygiene ha ha! I’m so glad to have you here! :)

  7. Rosalba Qumsieh says:

    Hi my name is Rosalba I like to decorate my home I just found your blog couple of days ago I really enjoy it you are great very talented and funny; there is nothing that I don’t like from your blog. Thank you for taking the time to explain everything about every single of your proyects they are super
    RQ

  8. I love this tutorial, so perfect every time. I downloaded Paint.net. Now I have to figure out how to use it!

    • This makes adding letters to something so much easier! It took me a while to get the hang of paint.net, but now I use it for collages and everything. I just discovered block posters.com. You’ll love that too. You can make your image as big as you want. It’s so easy and free…our favorite :)

  9. Love your transfers. I was wondering if you could use the paint pens for this instead of painting it by hand. I would make a big mess of it if I had to try to paint in the letters with a brush. I think if I used a paint pen it would be more like coloring. Is there any reason you do not use the paint pen? Would it make a difference that I am not thinking of? Please let me know what you think about this.
    Thank you
    Debbie

    • I’ve seen beautiful pieces done with pens, but oddly, I am very slopping with them. I do think the paint gives better coverage and I like the way the tip of a script liner brush can create fine details. I’ve also found that as the paint builds up just a bit on my brush as I’m working on a project, it stiffens a bit and I have more control over it. I would suggest trying both ways on a test piece first to see what works best for you. Good luck :)

  10. Thank you for the tutorial! I love your Bath sign btw. I saw it on Gina’s site too and loved it! I had to make my own as well,lol. Here the link if you wanna check it out!!! http://diyneophyte.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/hallway-sign/

  11. Oops, I’m sorry not Gina, it’s Missy’s site, My Cottage Charm.

  12. Lorna Howe says:

    I Love your site!
    You’re SO CREATIVE, you inspire me :)
    I’m wondering if you use a special type of paper to print your words on for transferring onto furniture etc?

  13. I cannot find paint.net try as I might. (or paint.NET). Can you help? Thanks!

  14. Thanks for the shout out, Karen! That turned out SO pretty!! I love how you mixed up the knobs! I’ve had some projects that I’ve finished and thought, “Wow, I love it!” and then after several days, it wears on me and I’m over it lol! This little french beauty turned out great :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Frenchifying.  I used the graphic from The Graphics Fairy and did the transfer old school.  Here is a great link to show you how with a pencil and […]

  2. […] signs as well. She added her words the old fashion way and it turned out beautiful. Check it out here. . She has great tutorial on how to transfer […]

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