Wood Burned “My Little Cottage” Plaque Tutorial

After seeing some plaques that I did for Christmas presents this year a friend of mine ordered a custom plaque for her grandmother’s new house.

The only specifications she gave me was that it say “My Little Cottage” and that it should be neutral enough to go with whatever colors and décor the grandmother might want in her new home.

I purchased a plaque sized 9×12 from Hobby Lobby and sanded it.

Blank Plaque: 9x12

Blank Plaque: 9×12

Then I created the design in Publisher and printed it out.

I made the print big so the grandmother could read it easily and added a simple floral design.

I flipped the paper over and covered the back of the design with pencil.

I tried to get as even coverage as possible.

I tried to get as even coverage as possible.

I then taped the paper with design to the plaque making sure that the design didn’t go over any of the edges. I taped the top bottom and sides and each corner with one piece of tape, using eight pieces total.

I tried not to put any pressure on the design so the pencil doesn't rub off on the wood.

I tried not to put any pressure on the design so the pencil wouldn’t rub off on the wood.

Then I went over the entire design with a pencil making sure that I applied a good, even amount of pressure, but not enough to tear the paper.  Again I tried not to rest my hand on other parts of the design while working which could lead to a small amount of smudging.  To check that the design was coming through in the way I wanted, I carefully untapped one section at a time to check my progress, while keeping the rest of the tape in place, so the design wouldn’t move around.

Once I was done I removed the paper.

If the design isn't dark enough go over it again.  Make sure you do this before you remove the paper entirely.

If the design isn’t dark enough go over it again. Make sure you do this before you remove the paper entirely.

I started the wood burning process next.  I used a rounded tip for the majority of the lettering and a medium pointed tip for some of the serifs and the flowers.

I did the majority of the lettering first and then changed tips to do the rest.

I did the majority of the lettering first and then changed tips to do the rest.

Once the wood burning was complete I sanded the surface lightly, applied wood conditioner and stained it using a light gray stain so it would look a little aged.  I waited for that to dry and then applied two coats of sealer with drying time in between.

I think it came out pretty good.  I would have liked to paint in the flowers but they didn't want that.

I think it came out pretty good. I would have liked to paint in the flowers but they didn’t want that.

Once it was completely dry I screwed a small bracket to the back so it can be hung on the wall and it was done!  I delivered it to my friend and she liked it, so job complete.  Instead of payment I traded her for some of the grandmothers things that they were getting rid of, including an armchair, a small traveling bag, an army trunk from WWII with a shipping tag from 1944 and a knitting bag.  There were a lot more little items and I threw in some cash (but not much) to make it an even trade.  I love bargains so it was a pretty sweet deal in my mind!

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