How to Make Children's Name Plaques

Updated February 21, 2017

Children’s name plaques are useful in decorating a child’s room. They personalise a room and give the child ownership and a sense of pride. Personalised name plaques make useful tools in organising a child’s play or storage area, and in helping him/her recognise where/her his toys, or other belonging, should be kept. In cases where multiple children share a bedroom or play area, name plaques can give each child a sense of their own personal space in the shared room.

Sand the plaques with medium-grit sandpaper. Repeat with the fine-grit paper until the wood is smooth and wipe off the dust using the cloth towel.

Paint the plaque in the desired colour of acrylic paint. Let dry until the paint is not cool to the touch. Repeat with a second coat of paint and allow it to dry.

Measure the width and height of the plaque using the ruler and lightly pencil mark the plaque’s centre. Lightly mark a horizontal line along the centre mark.

Align the stencil letters along the drawn line, starting with the name’s two middle letters being stencilled. Lightly mark the place of each letter, making sure they are evenly spaced across the plaque.

Tape the stencil in place for the middle letter using the markings made in the earlier steps.

Apply a small amount of paint on a stencil brush and dab it on a paper towel until almost dry. Moving the brush in a circular motion begin paint the letter from the outer edge and working inward to the centre of letter. An almost dry brush will prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil.

Lift up the stencil and let the letter dry before repeating the last two steps for the remaining letters. After all the letters are painted, allow the plaque to dry.

Apply two coats of matt sealer with the paint brush; allow time for drying after each coat. It should lose its stickiness before you proceed.

Cut the ribbon in half and knot one end of each piece, leaving 2-inch tails. Turn the plaque over with the backside up and glue the tails down at the upper-left and -right corners. The knots should hang over the top edge of the plaque with the ribbons lying parallel with the plaque’s sides.

Turn the plaque over with the right side up. Tie the ribbons together in a tight bow to make a ribbon hanger for the plaque. Apply a small dot of glue inside the bow to secure it.

Cut the tails of the bow at an angle. Use fray check or clear nail polish along the edge of the tails to stop fraying.


If the paint bleeds under the stencil or the letter is imperfectly painted, wipe the paint away quickly with a wet cloth. The names can also be painted freehand or by tracing the stencil in pencil and painting the letters on to the plaque. Add additional decorations such as silk flower blooms, rhinestones or dimensional glitter paint after the matt sealer is dry. Add streamers of ribbon to the bottom to hold barrettes. Use a picture hanger nailed on the back instead of the ribbon hanger.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood plaques
  • Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Cloth towel
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brush
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Alphabet stencil
  • Masking Tape
  • Stencil brushes
  • Paper towels
  • Matt sealer
  • 1-inch-wide gross grain or double-sided satin ribbon, 1 yard
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Fray check or clear nail polish
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About the Author

Katharine Godbey began freelance writing for blogs and websites in 2007 with a background in curriculum writing and teaching. She studied business at Colorado Technical University. Godbey enjoys writing about many topics including small business, crafts and florals, decorating and health.