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Wood Dog Sign DIY Step by Step Tutorial!

A few months ago I made this DIY wood dog sign with a photo after we lost our sweet Maddie.  She was a 14.5 year old German Short-Haired Pointer that we said goodbye to right before Christmas.  She was our first baby.  My husband and I got her even before we were married and we took her everywhere before we had kids.  I even have a whole photo album of just her (up until kids were born!).  I wanted to have something prominent in our house that we would see everyday, so this is what I came up with:diy wood dog sign with photo

This was my first time trying transferring a picture to wood and I think it would have come out better on a lighter piece of wood.  I have since done a few more and the lighter wood definitely looks sharper but I am happy with how this came out!

Materials for DIY Wood Dog Sign with Transferred Picture

First you will need to cut out your design onto vinyl.  You will be using it as a stencil so weed out the lettering.  Then attach the vinyl to the wood with transfer tape.  I use the hinge method to apply large designs.  You can click here to read more in depth instructions on applying vinyl with the hinge method.

diy pet wood sign

diy pet wood dog sign

diy pet dog wood sign

After you peel the transfer paper off and the vinyl is pressed down well, I put a coat of regular mod podge around the edges of the letters to help prevent bleeding under.

After that is dry, paint in the lettering, let that dry, and then peel off the vinyl.

Now on to transferring the photo…  You’ll need a photo printed on regular white paper with a LASER printer.  It will not work with an inkjet.  If you don’t have a laser printer, you can have an office supply store print one for you for pretty cheap.  Size it and cut it to your liking.  (You will be flipping over the photo so if you have any words on it make sure to print a mirror image.  With just a picture it usually doesn’t matter if it ends up flipped.)

diy dog sign with photo

I put my picture on a piece of wax paper so the medium wouldn’t get everywhere.  Use a paint brush to apply the Mod Podge Medium Transfer to the top of the whole photo.   Make sure every little part is covered with the medium.

photo transfer to wood diy

photo transfer to wood diy

Then flip the paper over and put it on the wood dog sign.  Use a scraper or credit card to gently scrape it down flat.  Some of the glue will come out the edges.  Make sure to wipe it off so it doesn’t dry on the wood.

photo transfer to wood diy

photo transfer to wood diy

Now you need to wait… for 24 hours!!!  For those of us who are impatient, this is the hard part, but just put it aside and do something else!

After 24 hours, you will start peeling it off.  I put a wet wash cloth over it for a minute to get it wet and then started rubbing it off with my fingers.  You can also rub it off with a washcloth or a sponge.

photo transfer to wood diyphoto transfer to wood diy

It takes a while so take your time.  After you think you’re done, wait til it dries and you’ll see a bunch more white fuzzy spots.  Get it wet again and wipe those away.  Sometimes you need to repeat this process several times to get it all off.  I rubbed a bit too hard in a few spots but it kind of added to the aged look!

photo transfer to wood diy

That’s it!  After it dries you can add a layer of regular Mod Podge over it if you want.

Here mine is displayed on our family room book case.  Now I get to see the sweet face of our beloved furry friend everyday!

wood dog sign

diy dog sign with photo

photo transfer to wood diy

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

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diy dog sign with photo


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