How to make your own name plates

Updated July 20, 2017

Create your own name plates by wood burning letters onto a piece of wood. Painting the letters on the name plate might be a good alternative for younger children or people who do not wish to use a pyrography stylus. A personalised wooden name plate will make others think that you commissioned an artist to create such an attractive piece of work. You can even make name plates for family and friends as birthday gifts or even design one for your favourite teacher. Decorating name plates by hand will make people think you spent more money than time on such a beautiful gift.

Select a blank wooden name plate at a crafting store. If you are on a budget, look around your house for a rectangular piece of wood.

Use letter stencils to etch the characters on the wooden name plate.

Practice wood burning of letters on scrap wood before wood burning the final letters on the name plate. Keep in mind that pyrography is permanent, so you want to have a steady hand when wood burning on the name plate.

Carefully wood burn each letter on the name plate. Cover up any mistakes by making these look like decorative touches to each letter.

Pay attention when using the pyrography stylus, as you don't want to scorch your fingers. Unplug the wood burning tool when you are finished smouldering the letters onto the name plate.

Cover the name plate with wood varnish. Allow the varnish to thoroughly dry before moving the name plate.

Use letter stencils to trace the letters on the blank wood name plate. Paint the letters using acrylic paint.

Water down the acrylic paint for a more translucent look of the letters. Add several coats of acrylic paint to create letters with a richer hue.

Let the acrylic paint dry for several hours before touching. Spread mod podge over the wooden name plate to seal the acrylic paint and allow it to dry completely.


Create pyrographic stars or hearts to surround the letters on a child's name plate. Paint the background a bold colour before wood burning the letters onto the name plate. Use pyrography to burn around the edge of each letter. Paint the inside of each character with a bright colour.


Always watch children when they are using acrylic paints or a wood-burning tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden name plate
  • Letter stencils
  • Drawing pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Wood varnish
  • Mod podge (all in one glue, sealer and finish)
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About the Author

Julia Hanna started writing professionally in 2009. She contributes to Web sites including eHow, where she specializes in books, movies, crafts and social networking on the Internet. Hanna has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California, Riverside and a Master of Education from National University.