Transfer text to wood

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Original Post

Here's the jist of what I'm looking to do...

I want to put words and/or phrase onto wood. Normally I would stamp them, but I'm going for a different look this time. So I thought I could type them on my computer and print them out, and then transfer them by rubbing them or some type of chemical solution. I remember hearing something awhile back about using acetone, but I think that was for metal. Any ideas?

Also, I will be making multiples, so it would have to be fairly simple (I would hate to have to buy tons of special paper.)

Posted at 1:07pm Feb 17, 2009 EST


zoepapilia says

i make stencils for stuff like that, but my (super non-fancy) method requires them to be cut out by hand (because i don't have any other fancy way to do it) so unless you can think of another way that would work for you, it really has to be worth it. (in other words, not a great idea if there are lots of small letters.) or you can use pre-made letter stencils. once you have stencils you can paint through them or woodburn, if the stencil is a non-flammable material.
other things you could do are screenprinting... or, use rub-off transfer letters (those ones that graphic deigners used to use before there were computers.. and now scrapbookers probably use them...)

Posted at 1:20pm Feb 17, 2009 EST

You might want to try an acrylic transfer, but you would need to reverse the text first in something like photoshop.

Posted at 1:23pm Feb 17, 2009 EST

Thanks for responding!

Zoe... I'm doing them in 10 - 12 font, so stenciling isn't an option. Can you imagine though - I'd drive myself insane!

Panchromatica...that might work. I'll play around with it.
Thanks guys.

Posted at 1:31pm Feb 17, 2009 EST

transfer paper - available in crafts stores. Comes in gray and white. each sheet is only a couple of dollars, but is reusable and gets me around 50 uses before I throw it out.

Posted at 1:36pm Feb 17, 2009 EST


I always engrave phrases into the wood with a router but I have seen laser work that can be tuned to a really fine point for small fonts. Other than that I like the Idea of transfer paper listed above. I have never tired it but it sounds good.

I think the best would be to talk to a someone who has a laser engraver and engrave the phrases into the wood...You might be able to get a reasonable quote for quantity work which would last longer and look better than a stencil or transfer. Thats one of the advantages of a laser engraver quick fast easy and accurate. Wish I had a laser engraver....

Hope this helps.

Posted at 12:54am Feb 23, 2009 EST

misseileen says

transfer paper or good old fashioned carbon paper, you know, the stuff that used to used to make copies while typing. Works well.

Posted at 7:41am Feb 23, 2009 EST

I seen a woman take a picture , then photocopy it ( it must be photocopied) this take a light oil and rub it over the letters and it transfered onto fabric. They used metal , wood , material , plastic. I can't remember what oil they was using something like a light machine oil. I can find out if you want. The store should still have the idea sheet there.

Posted at 7:55am Feb 23, 2009 EST

If you go to the art supply store they hve these markers called zylene markers. You just turn your paper over so the text is facing the surface and rub the marker on the back of the paper.

You can't go to Michael's or Joannes though. You can only find them at art supply stores.

Posted at 8:13am Feb 23, 2009 EST

I just realized that it's probably spelled xylene :)

Posted at 8:17am Feb 23, 2009 EST