It would be awesome to be able to freehand my script or sign graphics, but I certainly was not blessed with any drawing abilities whatsoever! And my printer only prints pages up to 8 1/2 ” wide. Thankfully, I can just cheat with Excel. This tutorial also helps lay out a larger sign and determine font sizing if needed. I’ve used this method on a variety of signs, including pencil eraser painting, iron transfer wooden signs, and paper circle mosaics.
Here, I am showing an example where I will be transferring an image onto a piece of luan that is 15″ tall by 18″ wide.
- Open a new worksheet in Excel. Across the top there are drop down menus, File, Home, Insert, etc. Click on Insert, then find the Shapes Icon. Click on the small gray triangle under the Shapes icon. Select Rectangle.
- Your pointer will change to a crosshairs. Left click and hold to drag out a rectangle from left and down to the right. It doesn’t matter where you start or how big it is.
- After you release the mouse button, the Drawing Tools Format menu will automatically appear at the top of the screen. On this menu, find Shape Fill, select the small gray triangle to the right of Shape Fill, then select White.
- Next, find the Size section of the Drawing Tools Format menu. In my example, it is all the way to the right. In the height and width fields, fill in the height and width of your piece. I will input 15 and 18.
- At this point, your rectangle is probably too big to display on your screen, so on the top Menu, select Zoom, then select a zoom percentage. You may have to try a few percentages until you get the right size. In my example, I am using 50%. Now, you can see your entire workpiece on your screen.
- If your goal is to print out a large picture to trace, go to Menu, Insert, Picture, and select your picture. Drag a corner of the picture until it gets to the right size based on your workpiece. Then skip to Step 9.
- If your goal is to trace letters, then next add a Text Box. Go back to the Insert menu, then select Text Box. Again, your pointer will change to crosshairs and you can drag and create a text box like you made the rectangle in step 2. Start at the top left of your rectangle and drag to the bottom right. It doesn’t have to be exact.
- Now you can create your text. Use as many text boxes as needed for different words or rows. This makes them easier to move around and overlap as needed. In my example, I used 2 different text boxes – one for “loving” and one for “life”.
- In order to print out your pattern, we need to first set the print area. To do this, click your mouse in the cell just above and to the left of the top left corner of your workpiece box. Hold and drag to the cell just to the right and below the bottom right corner of your workpiece box.
- Next, view page break preview, which will show you how the pages will print onto your paper.
- If you wish to save ink, outline your text, and remove the fill. To do this, highlight your text, then on the format menu, go to Text Outline > Automatic. Next, go to Text Outline> No fill.
- Now you can print the pages. Tape your pages together and you have your template! Lay them onto wood or poster board and trace over the letters with a ball point pen. The pressure will create an indentation in the wood and you can then paint in your letters or design.