How to use Cricut Stencil Vinyl on Wood

How to use Cricut Stencil Vinyl on Wood

How to use Cricut Stencil Vinyl on Wood

Crafting can be frustrating!  But oh, so fulfilling!  Do you ever see a project and your like, “I can do that!  Easy peasy!  I got this!”  And then you get started, and you are like WTF?  Have you been there?  Do you know what I am saying?…LOL Well, this weekend, I tried doing a Cricut stencil using vinyl for a decorative rustic wood piece. 

Let me share with you what I have learned and to help make things easy on you for your next project when using your Cricut stencil vinyl on wood.  And if you don’t already have a Die Cutting machine check out “How to Choose the Best Die Cutting Machine”.

First thing first, as a crafter, you have to know that most crafting projects that you do for the first time is partly experimental.  I told myself going into this that I would not be disappointed because I didn’t know how it would look.  I have some rustic wood that I got from Rockin’ Wood, and I have been dying to use this rustic wood in a project that I saw posted in a video.

Do you know how you can watch a video on a project, but still not get the same results?  Yep, that has been me on several occasions. 

The first thing I should have thought about was the type of wood I was using versus the vlogger’s wood.  I used rustic wood with all the natural and beautiful imperfections that it has to offer.  I asked myself a few questions.  Should I sand down?  Should I do a whitewash paint? 

I decided I wanted first to see the wood as it was in its natural element, and since I have several pieces of wood, I could experiment with these different elements more in the future.  I like the details of rustic wood, and I am thinking of how I can create some great decorative pieces throughout my house.

So here is what I learned on how to use Cricut stencil vinyl on wood!

What you need for your Cricut Stencil Vinyl Project

  1. Cricut Explore
  2. Cricut Design Space software
  3. Adhesive vinyl or Heat transfer Vinyl
  4. Transfer tape
  5. Acrylic paint
  6. Tape -painters or scotch
  7. Rustic wood
  8. Paint brushes
  9. Paint brush sponge
  10. Font downloaded

What to Plan

  1. Fonts and Scripts used

Cricut stencil Vinyl

What type of script or font do you want to use in your project?  First, review some font options that you would like to use.  Choose something from Cricut Design Space or pick something from one of the many free download sites that offer free fonts.

Also, in the Cricut Design Space, you can use your computers system fonts that you like without having to make any purchases.  To see your system fonts in Design Space, add the text box and click System under Fonts menu.

Cricut stencil Vinyl

Also, to add a free font or a paid font to your system, download the font and then add to your system fonts by adding to your fonts settings on your computer.

2. Type of wood

Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood

Decide what look you want to go with for your decorative wood project.  As I noted earlier, I wanted to experiment with the raw look of rustic wood, so I chose not to alter the wood at all.

In particular, this is where you need to decide on the overall esthetic of your design.  Do you want wood with a smooth surface? Do you want to stain or whitewash your wood?
Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood
With this purpose in mind, decide on the size of the wood you will need.  For my quick experimental project, I decided to use a 12-inch by 3.5-inch wood.

Also, have some spare pieces of wood scraps so that you can test out the paint or stain to see if you like before being committed.

3. Paint color

In order to make the font stand out, make sure that you choose an acrylic paint that makes your font stand out.  This is where the extra wood scraps will come in handy, especially if you are like me and like all different colors of paint and want to try out other elements.

4. Cricut Design Space Layout

Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood

As an illustration of your potential layout, you need to formulate how your fonts and Cricut stencil vinyl will look on your wood.  Now is the time to make sure the font is spaced well or add in more design elements to your project. 

I used Lauren Laski’s method.  See her tutorial here on how she created her stencil.  Because I decided to use rustic wood for this project, and I wanted the natural elements of the wood, it was more difficult for me to adhere to the vinyl.  Keep this in mind when you plan your wood project as it will affect the adherence depending on the type of wood you choose. 

For this project, I did not use Cricut brand vinyl.  I used some left-over scrap vinyl from a while ago that my dog had chewed the edges (LOL). 

Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood

Next time I will be trying different types of vinyl to experiment. I found that the vinyl I had was not sticky enough to secure to the rustic wood.  Therefore, I used some tape to help me secure the cutout. 

But keep in mind that if this is an experiment or a first pass, use whatever type of vinyl you have on hand such as adhesive vinyl or Heat transfer vinyl.  This is a great way to use your scrap pieces. 

I experimented with three fonts.  I did not have to weld all three fonts to achieve the slicing effect Lauren uses in her video.  I say experiment with your fonts and see what works.  On a side note, I could not get one of the fonts that I had uploaded to slice.

Unfortunately, the “R” in dream kept disappearing when I did a weld.  Eventually, I just used the attach function to get the same effect.

5. Adhere Vinyl and Paint

Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood

Another important note that you need to be aware of is taking time to weed.  Be patient and go slow so that you can avoid taring or damaging the vinyl stencil. 

Finally, I printed out the vinyl, and I am ready to adhere to my rustic wood. Please take a look at Laura’s part 2 video as she adheres the vinyl to her wood and then paints the stencil.

Once again, I came into problems with my vinyl when I went to transfer to the rustic wood.  There was no adhesion or sticky back that would adhere to the wood. 

To solve this issue, I ended up removing my vinyl stencil and taping it down to the wood with masking tape.  I would recommend painters tape first for a stronger grip, but the scotch tape was convenient, and again this was me experimenting.  I was not too concerned about the end project as I knew I would be refining and doing this again.

If you have this same issue with your adhesive vinyl sticking to your rustic wood, I suggest using thumbtacks or even Mod Podge to secure.  Also, check out our blog post on Best Adhesives for Crafting.

Cuttingforbusiness.com has a great article on how they used Mod Podge for their project. You can read the article here.

Lastly, once I had my vinyl secure, I painted!  I chose to keep this simple and use white acrylic paint for my vinyl stencil, but I will be trying some other colors.  I used a minimal amount of paint for this project and due to the letters being so small. 

So here is the end project for my rustic wood!

Cricut stencil Vinyl on wood

Lessons Learned!

I am so glad that I tried this out, and I will be doing this again as I am going to be moving into a new house soon, and I can’t wait to put some cool wood décor around the new place.

So, this is what I learned, and I hope this saves you time.  Plan, set expectations, and be flexible.  I know that all of us are so tied up in the day to day norms, but we want to sometimes rush through things.  That is why I say, take the time to enjoy and learn your hobbies. 

Take time to cultivate your passions.  Do crafting on your terms!  If you make a mistake, you can always retry again.  Remember, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing!

Am I happy with this experiment?  Yes!  Can I do better? Yes! Was it easy? Yes!  Overall, I would do this again, but it is better when you can sit down and plan.  Even with all the best laid out plans, you still have to improvise. 

Another thing to note is that you are not limited to vinyl.  For unsmooth surfaces, plastic, chipboard, or thick paper like cardstock might be a better way of cutting your stencils.  Also, in the future, I will experiment with different finishes and colors.  Stay tuned for another rendition of my Cricut stencil wood project.

Finally, check out some cool Cricut vinyl stencil projects on our Pinterest Boards.  I would love to know what Cricut vinyl stencil wood projects you have done.  Let us know on Facebook and Instagram what you are doing!

Crafting Out


Below is a Pinterest Friendly Photo so you can pin it to your Crafting Boards with ease!

Leave a Comment