Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Project: DIY Nursery Letters

When I was a kid, I was always super disappointed whenever I perused personalized souvenirs. You know the ones; keychains, license plates, and shotglasses that come already emblazoned with common names. I could never find my name.

So now, I love the chance to personalize anything I can. That's carrying over to purchases for my son, too. So even though nursery letters are becoming pretty cliched, I still wanted to make some. In fact, since his first name is so short, I decided to plow forward into his middle moniker as well.

They're pretty straightforward, so I'm not going to insult your intelligence with a tutorial. I wanted the "cobbled together and collected from various sources" look, so they intentionally have different fonts and paint designs.

UPDATE: I've had lots of people landing here looking for ideas to DIY their own, so even though I didn't photograph a tutorial, here's a list of what I did (see below the new picture for a list of tools and materials):
  1. Shopped at local craft and hobby stores (and one big box chain!) for mismatched letters.
  2. Sketched out the letters on paper (see the new picture below), and drew designs on the letters so that I wouldn't have the same patterns too near each other.
  3. Came up with a color scheme, and just like the patterns, sketched it on paper so I wouldn't have too much of the same color too near each other.
  4. Lightly sanded the letter with a fine-grit sandpaper. I was mostly looking to smooth out the manufacturing imperfections.
  5. I considered priming them, but didn't! I got right to painting the base coat on each letter. Some took more than one to get the base as dark as I wanted it.
  6. Once they'd dried, either free-handed the next design layer, or started applying painter's tape. (TIP: paint the base coat over the painter's tape before changing colors. This'll keep the second color from seeping under the tape).
  7. Finished each one off with a layer of clear spraypaint! DUNZO.
DIY Nursery Letters
Acrylic craft paint on wood
Letters: From Richard's and WalMart, $1.99 - $2.49 each, approximately $18 total
Paints: On sale for 50 cents each at JoAnn (Purchased in Navy, Cobalt, Orange, White, Black, Yellow, Red, then mixed)
Foam brushes: $1.99 at JoAnn
Crackle medium: $2.49 (Used on letters "T" and "L")
Clear spray paint finish: About $3.69 at WalMart, KRYLON in Satin
Total project cost: Approximately $29
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