Personal die-cut machines can provide hours of crafting imagination with an end result that looks very professional. I use a Cricut Expression machine. Cartridges are needed for different themes and fonts, but a basic selection is really all that you need to get started.
I received my Cricut as a Christmas gift last year, so this year is the first time I have used it for Christmas projects. While amassing my selections for an upcoming Christmas craft show, I made small wood sign ornaments to hang on a tree. The project was done using what I had on hand. I used a variety of words that I associate with Christmas, but names or words that have special meaning to you can also be used.
Letter-stickers or purchased die-cut letters can be substituted for the letters if you do not own a Cricut. Before I owned a Cricut, a local school allowed me to use their die-cut machine.
Insert a cartridge in your Cricut with a letter font of your choice. Set the size to 1 inch. Type any words that are associated with Christmas. Cut each word in its entirety using card stock. I used ivory letters for red and green painted signs and red letters for ivory painted signs.
Measure the length of the word as it is spaced on your sheet of card stock. Add an inch to the measurement. Cut a length of 1×2 using this measurement.
Measure in from each short end approximately 2 inches and 1/4 inch from one long side. Mark the placement. Drill a small hole through the board at each mark. If the sign is really short, you may need to drill the holes approximately 1 inch from the end.
Paint both sides and all edges of the board with either a red, green or ivory colored acrylic paint. Allow the paint to dry.
Sand all the edges on both sides of the board to give it a worn appearance. Wipe the sanding dust off of the board.
Place each letter of the word on a paper plate with the back facing up. Protect your work space with plenty of newspapers. Apply a spray adhesive to the back of the letters. Tip: I lined my kitchen sink with newspaper and set the paper plate in the sink.
Start with the middle letter or letters of your word. Center the letter in the middle on one side of the wood sign. Place the other letters on the sign, spaced the same distance apart as they were on the card stock. The letters do not need to be in an even line. Roll a rolling pin over the letters to firmly adhere them to the wood.
Paint a layer of matte Mod Podge over the front of the sign and allow it to dry. This will seal the letters, preventing them from peeling or popping off over time.
Cut craft wire for your hanger. I used a thick 17 guage wire. Each different sign length will have a different wire length. Simply measure the length of your sign and cut your wire approximately 2-inches longer. The wire can always be trimmed if it is too long.
Insert each end of the wire in a different hole from the back of the sign to the front. Allow the ends to stick out the front of the sign 1 inch. Bend the curved back of the wire straight up. Grasp an end of one wire on the front of the sign with the tip of your needle nose pliers. Curl the wire backward and against the sign. Repeat with the other end.