How to Make Custom Plaques

Updated March 18, 2017

You can use a wooden plaque for a variety of things. For instance, present a plaque as an award for a job well done, or display a significant word or motivational phrase. You can buy many plaques in stores, however they can be costly. If you have or specific word, name or phrase you would like on the plaque it will be more difficult to obtain. With just a little time and effort, though, you can create your own custom wooden plaque and display it proudly.

Choose an unfinished plaque from your local craft store. Another option is to find a plaque at a resale store or yard sale in the shape and size you desire. Do not be concerned with the message or design on an existing plaque, as you will be able to modify it.

Apply a thin layer of white acrylic paint to your wooden plaque using a 2- to 3-inch-wide paintbrush. This will serve as a primer for the background colour you have selected and will give the plaque a more finished look. Set the plaque aside for one hour to dry before continuing.

Paint the background colour onto your wood plaque using a 2- to 3-inch paintbrush. Use continuous strokes in the same direction to make sure the paint is evenly applied. Cover the primer completely.

Place the stencil of the word or phrase you have chosen onto your wooden plaque. Use clear tape to hold the stencil in place. Paint the desired letters onto your plaque using a 1-inch paintbrush. To avoid accidental paint smears, place your plaque aside to dry completely before removing the stencil.

Apply decals or paint-on designs to add the final touch to your wood plaque. You can use a stencil once again to paint on embellishments, or you can paint on a basic border.

Once the plaque reaches the desired look, add saw tooth hooks to the back for hanging.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood plaque
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes (one 2 to 3 inches wide, one 1-inch wide)
  • Stencils
  • Tape
  • Decals or paint-on designs (optional)
  • Saw tooth hooks
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