How to Make Scale Model Lettering

Updated April 17, 2017

Scale modelling is a popular hobby for adults and children. Often, you have to make your own decals and labels for your scale models -- perhaps the name of a ship, or advertisements on a model race car. Or, you will wish to create your own billboards and storefronts for a model railroad. You may do so by hand using stencils and pens, or, create them on your computer with any font or graphic you can find.

Use stencils to trace letters onto the peel-and-stick label sheets. Choose stencils that are small enough to look authentic on your scale model. If you are creative and have a steady hand, you can also draw your letters without stencils.

Use the permanent markers to colour in your lettering. You can also use paint, but the markers cover more evenly.

Allow the paint or markers to dry completely before handling the peel and stick sheets. Spray the lettering with a clear gloss spray to prevent the ink from bleeding or smearing.

Cut around the lettering using a craft knife.

Remove the wax backing from the peel-and-stick sheet and apply the lettering stickers to your scale model.

Using a computer word processing program, create the desired lettering on screen.

Print the lettering directly onto a clear label sheet. Spray the lettering with a clear gloss spray to prevent the ink from smearing. Allow the sheet to dry.

Use a craft knife, carefully cut out the computer-generated lettering. Attach to your scale model carefully. This method provides a more precise and professional looking lettering job.


You can easily remove the lettering by peeling it off. Any adhesive left behind can be scrubbed with a soap and water solution.

Things You'll Need

  • Peel-and-stick clear label sheet
  • Coloured permanent markers
  • Craft knife
  • Stencils
  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Clear gloss spray
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About the Author

Kara Bietz has been writing professionally since 1999. Her professional observation work has appeared in the early childhood education textbook "The Art of Awareness" by Margie Carter and Deb Curtis. Bietz has worked in the field of early childhood education for more than 16 years. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in child development from Mesa College.