Better Than Valentines


Better Than Valentines

Want a thoughtful message you can keep up all year? Take your pick from this trio of word art signs


By the Staff of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts


Houses take on a forlorn look once all the holiday gear is packed away. Spruce up a few drab corners with these simple messages of affection; you can cut them from thicker wood for a freestanding piece or use plywood to make a sturdy sign for the wall. Valentine’s Day, housewarming parties, an anniversary, you name it—word art is a great go-to gift, made all the more meaningful because you created it yourself.  

Getting Started

Choose a variety of wood; if you plan to paint the piece, we recommend plywood. If you plan to finish it naturally, a fine-figured hardwood is recommended. Adjust the thickness of the wood depending on whether it will be hung or freestanding. Pre-sand the blank to 220-grit, if necessary. Wipe off excess dust with a tack cloth and cover the surface with blue painter’s tape. Apply the pattern to the tape with spray adhesive, and then drill the blade-entry holes in the waste areas inside the letters. 


Cutting and Finishing

Cut the shapes on a scroll saw. Start with the interior cuts, and then move to the perimeters. Go slowly, letting the blade do the work. Once you’ve made all the cuts, carefully remove the patterns and sand away any fuzzies with 220-grit sandpaper. If needed, use needle files to remove dust and fuzzies in the smaller frets. Wipe off dust from the surface of the piece with the tack cloth. Finish as desired; for a natural look, use spray lacquer. If you prefer a more colorful look, we recommend a spray-paint-and-primer combo or thinned acrylic paints. Let dry. If you plan to hang the word art, add a hanger to the back.



• Wood, such as cherry or plywood, 3/8″ (1cm) to 1″ (2.5cm) thick: sized for patterns 

• Tack cloth

• Tape: blue painter’s 

• Spray adhesive

• Sandpaper: assorted grits to 220

• Finish, such as clear spray lacquer (optional) 

• Spray paint + primer combo, such as COLORSHOT®, or acrylic paints (optional)

• Hanger: sawtooth


• Scroll saw with blades: #3 to #9 reverse-tooth

• Drill press with bit: 1/16″ (2mm)-dia. 

• Needle files

• Paintbrush (optional) 

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