If you have any familiarity with a sewing machine, then you can use a scroll saw! Check out how I made a custom business logo sign using my scroll saw and some scrap wood.
As you may know, I’m in the midst of the Fall 2018 One Room Challenge and I’m working with my friend Sherri – contractor and owner of Details Renovations. Sherri is footing the bill for her home office makeover and allowing me to come in, learn, photograph, help (when I can) and blog about the transformation. I wanted to do a little something on the side to contribute to the room and to thank Sherri for her kindness in letting me barrage her with questions and exploit her home…
and if you follow JaimeCostiglio.com then you know she is single-handedly growing the market for scroll saws.
I decided I had to give scrolling another try to create a business logo sign out of wood.
When we demo’d Sherri’s office, we removed some select pine boards that were in excellent shape. I ran them through the planer to remove the previous stain, used my biscuit joiner to attach two boards together and then sanded them smooth.
I coated the new sign board in dark walnut stain and two coats of triple-thick varnish in satin (sanding between coats)
I took a screen shot of her business logo from her website and imported it to my Silhouette Cameo – if you don’t know how to do this, these are the steps:
- take a screen shot of the image you want to copy
- open your Silhouette Studio to a design page
- click the file folder in the top left corner (it’s the open folder)
- find your image – likely on your desktop and double-click. It will open onto your design page
- re-size your image by dragging the corners in or out
- click on the butterfly icon on the far right side of your design page (this is the trace button)
- a new window will open on the right. Click on ‘select trace area’
- outline the image/words that you want to cut
- click ‘trace’ near the bottom of the right sidebar
- click ‘send’ in the top right corner of your design page and set up your cutting preferences per usual.
I cut the logo from adhesive vinyl so that I could stick it to the ¾”, pre-primed mdf wood I wanted to use for the letters.
You can also print your image on printer paper and use a spray adhesive to attach it to your wood, or just trace out your image by hand.
*MDF is a great wood for scrolling, but the sawdust that comes from it is very bad for you – please remember to wear safety gear and a mask before making your scroll saw sign.
I started with the larger letters until I got a feel for how to move my mdf around, and then moved on to the smaller (1″!) letters.
I’ve read that it’s very difficult to seriously injure yourself with a scroll saw, and I was very slightly tempted to touch the running blade to see if it was true…
then I remembered the tide pod idiots and those kids that made themselves blackout and decided to save my Darwin award for another time. (Disclaimer: it’s a saw and your hand is soft flesh)
I sweat my way through cutting the teeny tiny letters for my scroll saw sign and I made it through with only one do-over!
I did use pre-primed mdf for my letters, but further priming was required for the tops, bottoms and sides of the letters. Applying a latex paint right to the raw mdf would cause it to swell and warp, so you have to use a spray primer here.
I hand-painted all the letters with a watered down version of BM’s Briarwood before I decided I wanted a lighter colour to better contrast against the dark walnut backboard.
I ended up using Painter’s Touch Ultra in almond and attached the letters with a clear super glue.
I used 1′ x 2″ boards to create a frame for my scroll saw sign, cutting each board as I worked my way around the edges to make sure a nice tight fit on the mitred corners. I pre-painted these as well in BM’s Metropolis to match the trim work in Sherri’s new office. I nailed these in place with a brad nailer.
What do you think of my first ever scroll saw sign?
I love all signs, but there’s something special about raised letters that sets it slightly above the rest.
I used ¾” mdf but you could use ½”, ¼”, birch plywood and make cutting even easier.
I’m so glad that Sherri’s logo is basically straight-cutting (without fancy whirls, swirls and flourishes) – it was the perfect project to cut my teeth on and give me the confidence to move on to bigger and better!
A 100Things2Do scroll saw sign perhaps? In a 4′ circle?
I love how this turned out! Thank you Jaime for inspiring me yet again to leave my comfort zone and try something new.
*100Things2Do.ca is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com or Amazon.ca. Below you will find affiliate links to products I used to complete this project.
Have a great one – oh, and SURPRISE SHERRI! lol
Great job on the sign! You are very talented! Thank you for the detailed description of the process.
Thank you so much! If you want to see some REALLY amazing scroll saw work, you need to check out Jaime Costiglio blog – she is a scroll saw ninja!
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