I’m a lucky mom. My kids are amazing (says every mom, everywhere.) But, one thing they aren’t, are good sleepers. Shortly after my son was upgraded to his “big boy bed” he was showing up in my room at all hours of the night. Like a zombie, I’d walk him back to his room and put him back to sleep; sometimes multiple times a night. If I was really tired, I’d give in and let him sleep with me. And if I was really, really tired, I’d wake up in the morning with him next to me not knowing he crawled into my bed.
This was a problem I had to tackle because when I’m fully rested I can take on the world but I am not my best self with extended sleep deprivation. My husband and I tried different approaches and a whole lot of wishing, hoping, and praying. We started saying “I’ll see you when the sun comes up” as our final goodbye when putting him to bed. We figured it gave him a tangible guideline for when it was okay to leave his room. And it seemed to have helped!
Eventually we got him staying in his bed through the night, although I still get the occasional mid-night visit. Two and a half years later, this is something we still say every night! It’s become such an endearing phrase for us so I want to create a plaque to honor it.
Below you find how to create your own awesome artwork by creating your own stencils.
- Wood Plaque – mine is an 18” round pine from Home Depot
- Wood Stain (Rag & Gloves)
- Craft Paint
- Foam Brush
- Cricut or similar craft cutting machine and tools (cutting mat, weeding tool and scraper)
- Con-Tact Clear Covering
- Glad Press ‘n’ Seal (or vinyl transfer tape)
- Clear Sealer Spray
- Using a rag, follow directions on stain to color the wood plaque your desired shade. I recommend wearing gloves for the sake of your fingers. After having stained fingers for a week or 2, you don’t make the mistake of not wearing gloves again.
- Using Cricut cut your design out of the contact covering. I created my design using a combination of Photoshop Elements and Cricut Design Space. It can be as simple or complicated as you’d like. Many images can be found online, free for personal use, or you can design your own like I did.
- When cutting the contact covering, be sure it’s backing, the white and blue side is down, sticking to the mat and the plastic side up. Your machine should be on the vinyl cutting setting. This will result in the plastic being cut but the backing remaining intact.
- Using the weeding tool or something similar, remove the unwanted pieces from your cut contact paper, also known as weeding the design. Remember, we’re making a stencil so you want to remove the image that will eventually be painted. You will be leaving the negative space.
- Now you’ll use the Press ‘n’ Seal as a transfer tape hack. Lay the Press ‘n’ Seal over your weeded stencil. Use the Cricut scrapper or a credit card to smooth it out and get a good connection to the contact paper. If you let too much time pass from when you attached the Press ‘n’ Seal to the contact paper to when you’re ready to do the actual transfer, you may need to run the scrapper over everything again because the Press ‘n’ Seal connection weakens.
- Remove contact paper’s paper backing and attach stencil to wood. Again, run Cricut scrapper over entire stencil to get a firm attachment of the wood.
- Gently remove Press ‘n’ Seal. It can sometimes have a very strong grip. I find it best to pull on the diagonal with a little bit of a zig zag motion. Make sure any small pieces stay attached to wood.
- Let paint dry and remove stencil.
- Spray with clear coat sealer.
I used this easy stencil method to create a new decoration for my son’s command center (that project’s on its way soon!). What will you stencil? Share your ideas and projects!