DIY Tutorial: A Handmade Sign for the Fourth of July

Free Patriotic Printable; Fourth of July home decorThe Fourth of July is right around the corner. If you are not into the year round patriotic decor (like me), now is a great time to set out a few items for some week long red, white, and blue.

Here you will find an illustrated guide to making a simple handmade sign to celebrate this year’s Fourth of July.

Liquitex Gel
Paint Brush
The inverted free patriotic printables found below
Laser printer
A piece of smooth wood about the size of a piece of computer paper
An old wash cloth

Supplies for a DIY Image to Wood Transfer
If you want to have this sign done by the time your guests arrive for your Fourth of July Cook out, be sure to start this a day in advance. You need to allow some time for the Liqutex gel to dry.

Your guide to making a simple handmade sign for the Fourth of July:

1. Cut down a smooth piece of wood to size. Since the free patriotic printables below are sized to be printed on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of paper, its ideal that your piece of wood be about the same size.

The print with the lyrics by Lee Greenwood doesn’t fill out the entire sheet of paper so a smaller piece of wood would work for that printable.

2. Print the INVERTED IMAGE that you want to transfer to wood. Be sure to print it from a laser printer. AN INK JET PRINTER WILL NOT WORK FOR THIS. I printed mine at our church and paid the office $.20 per copy. Otherwise, I’m sure a Staples, Office Max, or local print shop can do the trick.

Free Patriotic Images, Lee Greenwood

Below you will find the links to the free printables.

3. Using your paint brush, cover the inverted image of the free patriotic printable in a layer of Liquitex gel. You don’t need to glob it on, but be sure to cover the printable thoroughly. The Liquitex gel is going to transfer the ink from the pLiquitex matte gelaper to the wood. Paint a layer on as if you were mod podging. 

The Liquitex Gel you see pictured is the trick to this project. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby quite a while ago. I paid $13.99 for 8 ounces, and I found it over near the canvas and paint aisles. I bought the matte style, but I think there are a few different options.

Transferring an Image to wood

Once you have the Liquitex gel smeared on the paper, lay it flat against the wood. Use something like a credit card to smooth the paper. You want to get all the bubbles out.

Free Patriotic Printable for DIY Image to wood Transfer

4. After letting the gel COMPLETELY dry (I leave it overnight to dry), take an old wash cloth and get it wet. You don’t want it dripping wet, but wet enough to soak the paper that has now adhered to the wood. Slowly wash away or wipe off the paper from the wood. As the paper absorbs the water, you will slowly be able to wipe it off.

Free Patriotic Printable. DIY Image to Wood Transfer.

DIY Image to Wood Transfer. Free Patriotic Printable.
Keep wiping and wiping until all the paper brushes off. The more you wipe, the more likely you are to take a bit of the ink off too…which is quite alright if you enjoy a bit of the distressed look!

Free Patriotic Printable. Star and red stripes.
I uploaded non-inverted images for anyone wanting a free patriotic printable for the Fourth of July just to set in a frame. BUT, BE SURE TO USE THE INVERTED IMAGE IF YOU ARE TRANSFERRING IT TO WOOD. The letters will all be backwards once you are done if you don’t use the inverted image.

Click below for the regular images or the inverted ones. Enjoy!

Free Patriotic Printables

Free Printable with Lee Greenwood lyrics.
(Please note this post contains affiliate links.)

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