How Do Woodworkers Sign Their Work?

If you purchase a product through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Details

Signing your woodworking projects is a great way for you to take credit for your work. It also serves as an ideal means of marketing your woodworking skills and letting people know of your capacity to create beautiful objects in wood.

How do woodworkers sign their woodworking projects? If you look closely at several woodworking creations, you will see many of them signed by the creator. If you sign your woodworking projects, you take full credit for your creation. Also, it serves to publicize your work. There are several ways of signing woodworking, ranging from simple to highly sophisticated.

Different Ways of Signing Woodworking Projects

Woodcarving logotype Illustration with a chisel

When you first start woodworking, you might not think of signing a project. But as you get better at your craft, you will see the sense in signing them. You can sign your woodworking projects in multiple ways. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways woodworkers sign their work:

Paper Labels

Using paper labels to sign woodworking projects has been around for hundreds of years. It was very popular in the colonial era when furniture makers would paste a printed paper label underneath their creations.

The advantage of a paper label is that you can include your contact details, making it easy to contact you at a later date. You can even add a logo or a message to mark a special occasion.

However, you need to take a few precautions. First, locate your label where it won’t get damaged. Second, as colors may fade over time, black is the best choice. Then, you need to use good quality glue, and finally, add clear varnish to protect the label.

Branding Irons

Several branding irons

A branding iron is among the most popular choices for adding a signature to a woodworking project. It’s a great means of personalizing your work and projecting your brand and what it stands for on your work.

You can order customized electric branding irons that will include your initial or last name. You can also add additional information and add something like “Hand Crafted By:” at the top with your name, brand, or both at the bottom.

Branding irons are easily online today. And what is more, they come in various sizes, so if you need to add a longer signature you can do that as well.

Once you get your branding iron, practice on a scrap piece of wood, to begin with. It will prevent you from damaging a perfect, newly-completed project. Once you have perfected the technique of adding your signature to the wood you are ready to apply the branding iron to the newly-finished project.


You can get wood or metallic medallions with your signature engraved on them. You can order engraved medallions online and have them customized to add your signature.

Different shapes and sizes of medallions are available. In case you are not sure of the size to order, a medallion of an inch in diameter and 1/8” inch thick is a good size. You would probably do well to add only your initials because there might not be enough space to add your full name, though you could probably add your logo.

You can fix a medallion onto the inside or underside of a project with nails, screws, or glue.


Dremel 4200 power tool
Image Credit: Tsungam via Creative Commons

An engraving tool is another popular means of adding a signature to a completed woodworking project. The main advantage is that you can add as much information as you want like your name, date, where the project was created, and for whom it was created.

Unlike the limitations of a branding iron, you can vary the content on each project that you engrave.

The main downside to using an engraving tool is that it isn’t easy to use, especially for first-timers. So, when you first get your engraving tool, try practicing with it on some scrap pieces of wood to perfect your technique before you sign your project.

A Dremel tool is the best form of engraver, but you can also use a rotary, ball-nosed tool that has a carving bit. Another issue you might observe with an engraving tool is that it tends to follow the wood grain, and tends to bury itself in the ridges in the wood.

Wood Burning

Handcrafted Tatting Shuttles with Pyrography
Image Credit: grizzlymountainarts via Creative Commons

Wood burning is one of the oldest techniques of marking wood. It is a prominent branch of art in woodworking. Wood burning comes in very handy for adding a signature and any other information on completed woodworking projects. If you feel confident that your artistic skills can extend to wood burning, then you can procure a woodburning tool.

You have the option of either burning a freehand signature into the wood or using a stencil. If you use a stencil, you would have to add your logo or signature onto the stencil and then apply it to the wood when you burn it.

As with engraving and using branding irons, you need a bit of practice before you use your woodburning tool on an actual finished project. Wood burning is a reliable way to make a lasting impression on your woodworking projects for all to see.


Close up of sign indicating storage of old files
Image Credit: Cindy Murray via Creative Commons


Using a nameplate is a somewhat rigid but effective way of leaving your mark on your creations in wood. You can get convenient-sized nameplates for a few dollars apiece. They come in different finishes, styles, and metals from which you can choose.

While ordering nameplates, like medallions, you can get them personalized with specific information that you provide. Once you send out an order for nameplates, ensure to proofread the information provided by the manufacturer to ensure they get all the spellings and other details right. It will not be possible to change them later.

Permanent Markers

closeup of big black marker on white

Using a permanent marker is a quick and easy way to sign your project. However, it may not have the finesse of the other techniques mentioned here. If you use a permanent marker, the best color is black against any other colors, which can fade over time.

You get permanent markers with different tip sizes. So, try out the different tips on scrap pieces of wood to get the desired results. As we mentioned above, it may not look as elegant as, say, engraving, wood-burning, or perhaps a medallion.

However, a permanent marker is a convenient means of signing your work.  But permanent markers also tend to smudge or blotch. Adding a coating of clear varnish before signing your project is a good idea. You can add another coat over your writing after finishing.

A great advantage of using permanent markers is the degree of personalization that you can add to your completed project. If you have created a project for a particular individual, you can name the person when you sign your project.


How do woodworkers sign their work? They do it in many ways. Now you know the different ways that woodworkers sign their work, it’s time for you to start doing the same thing. As you get better at the job and you will, you can sign your work proudly, in your own style and character for the world to see and recognize the excellence in your woodworking projects.