Monday, December 14, 2009

A Simple Gift Idea

I had gifts for my nephew and niece, but thought that it would be fun to give them something a little extra. Something with some homemade love tossed in, so I decided to give them their initial with their name, the meaning of their name, and a verse on it so they would have something special to hang in their rooms. My mom made these for her grandchildren last year and it was a really special gift to them.

  • wooden Letter-I bought mine from Hobby Lobby, but other store have them I'm sure.
  • scrapbook paper- 8 1/2 x 11
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brush to apply Mod Podge
  • acrylic craft paint that matches the scrapbook paper
  • paint brush to apply paint
  • wallpaper roller or something similar to smooth out the paper onto the letter to help eliminate bubbles
  • computer/printer/scanner
  • sawtooth picture hanger
  • hot glue gun/hot glue sticks
  • a hunky, computer savvy hubby to help design everything (not necessary if you know how to do this, but I found him to be completely invaluable)
  • emery board or small piece of fine sandpaper

Okay, so as I mentioned I bought my letter for under $2 at Hobby Lobby. Remove all of those ridiculous stickers, bar codes, and whatever else they decided they had to slap onto these poor little defenseless letters.

I traced the letter on to a plain, white sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 computer paper. This was scanned into the computer so my hunky design helper had an idea of what the placement of the name and other stuff should be.

"S" is kind of a tricky letter so I labeled which side was the top. I was afraid that it would get turned on me after we scanned it and we would design it the wrong direction. For the letter "A" it was obvious what is the right direction so I didn't label it.

While Hubby worked on scanning the letters into the computer I painted the sides and the back of the letters with a similar shade to the scrapbook papers I was using.

Painting the back is not necessary, but I was having fun. I do suggest painting just a little bit over the sides onto the top just in case your cut letter isn't an exact fit in all spots. It helps to mask any slight cutting imperfections. (Not that I had any, mind you-HA!)

At my house, we are all about having the right equipment for the job so here are the letters drying on my professional drying racks with wax paper underneath ☺ (Why Yes! As a matter of fact the racks do look like tomato sauce cans . . .) I squirted the paint right onto the wax paper. The picture looks like I did it right onto the table, but I promise that I didn't.

Hubby was busy designing on the computer using the scanned in letters as a guide of his design. He used photo shop, but I'm sure other programs would work too.

After the design is complete, print it off on your 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook paper and cut it out. Spread a thin layer of mod podge using your foam brush over the letter and place the cut out paper letter over the top smoothing it with your wallpaper roller if you have one. If you don't, I'm sure you could find something else to smooth it with. (A short dowel rod maybe??? playdough rolling pin???) If you have a letter with serifs like the letter "A" you do have to piece the paper just a little. If you match up the scrapbook paper it is hardly noticeable.

Thinly coat the top and sides of the letter with the modge podge sealing the scrapbook paper to the wooden letter. Apply as many coats as you feel necessary. I think I did three coats.

To finish the letters, gently sand the edges with an emery board or small piece of sandpaper to make sure that everything looks seamless and smooth.

Apply the sawtooth picture hanger to the back of your letters with hot glue.

Kendra also made something similar and blogged about it here. Check it out because it was very cute too.

Happy crafting!!!


  1. Those are wonderful. I love making personalized gifts, they are always appreciated!

  2. Very cute gift idea! Love personalization -

  3. From someone who looked up name meanings before naming my kids...what an AWESOME idea!! I will definitely file this one away for later usuage!! Thanks!


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