Gift Idea Week: Wooden Name Letters | Everyday Parties
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Gift Idea Week: Wooden Name Letters

I thought this week we would try something different and share some fun craft ideas that you can give as unique gifts for all the parties, baby showers, and events that you and your kids are invited to.  The end of the school year is coming too, and it might be a good idea to say Thank You to the teachers and staff at your child's school in a "non-apple" way!  So it's now officially "Gift Idea Week" here on our Blog...I hope you enjoy!

This is probably my FAVORITE new project idea.  I have made several different versions of this, saying many different names and words.  Our family name was my first attempt and I still LOVE to look at it on my mantel because the colors and different papers just make me happy.

To start, you need to purchase some wooden letters.  I found mine at Jo-Anns last week when they were on sale.  They go on sale every couple of months, so watch for them.  Or if you are patient, you can use the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and purchase one every time you go in.  That will probably save you money in the long run, especially if you are making a long name or word.

Unless you already have a HUGE stash of paper, you need to look for some cute pieces while you're buying your letters.  I do have a bit of a pile already, but I saw this cute paper stack at Jo-Anns and it was perfect for my kitchen.  Love the cupcakes, sweets, and chocolate colored papers in the stack.  (I justify it because it was on sale and I'm sure I'll find a few other uses for this Adorable paper!)

Picking out what paper you want and in what order is probably the HARDEST part of this entire project.  You want to try and make sure the colors and designs in the paper play off of each other.  Also, a note, if you're going to place this on a dark background, you might try starting with a light colored paper, or doing a dark letter if it will be on a light background.  That just helps the letter stand out a little more.

Once you have your paper picked out, turn it over and trace your letter onto the backside.  Make sure you turn your letter over too so the paper or letter won't be facing the wrong way when you get it all together.

If you want to make sure you get a certain design on the paper, you can outline it on the front, just be careful that you trace dark enough so you can see the lines.  You do want to make sure you trace pretty close to the letter so you don't have alot of excess paper around it.

When you cut out the letter, do it just on the inside of your trace line.  This way, you won't see the mark if you traced on the front of your paper and you'll also have less paper around the outside of the letter.

I guess this is a good time to mention that if you purchase your letters and you don't want the back and inside of your letters white or a wooden color, you need to spray paint them now.  You can go back and do it later, but it's much harder and a little more stressful.

Now that your letters are ready, paint the front of them with a good layer of Modge Podge.  Make especially sure that you get the edges of each letter, you don't want it peeling up later!

Now place your paper letter on top of the glue on the wood letter and smooth it down.  Use your fingers to arrange the letter so it's on straight and smooth out any air bubbles.  It's pretty easy to move it right now, so get it how you want it.  You may find you have a few air bubbles later, especially if you chose to use thinner paper, but don't worry, most of them time, you can't tell at all!

Once you have your paper on to your satisfaction, paint another thin layer of Modge Podge on top.  This does a few different things...it will keep the letter from getting ruined if you spill something, especially if you have this in your kitchen.  It will also make sure your edges won't peel up later.

At this point your letter will be coated pretty good in Modge Podge.  If you have extra paper on the edges, you can take your finger and smooth it over the edge and down the side.  Use the glue on the Modge Podge to hold it down by running your finger nail along the edge.  The result makes the letter look a little more "finished" and you don't have paper catching off the sides.

When you were messing with the edges, most likely you messed the Modge Podge on the front of the letter too.  I like my Podge to be straight and not have swirls in it.  So at this point, I usually run my brush over it again up and down so my lines are smooth.

Be careful as you do a last minute smooth of your letter, the paper is wet now and can easily rip.  I had that happen, but hid it by adding some paper craft flowers that I purchased.  It actually added a nice touch to the letter and I might consider adding some more as accents on purpose next time.

Add the paper to each letter by following the same steps.  Then let your letters dry good.  It really doesn't take long, but you don't want to mess them up by hurrying.



You can do this with almost any word or name.

My daughter wants her room to be blue and green when we move, so we did her name in coordinating colors.  (Right now it sits on her make-up table since it clashes with the little girl colors her room currently is in.)

This week we also did PRAY as a women's Enrichment Activity for our church.  It turned out so cool and will eventually sit beside my bed reminding me to Pray each morning.

There are so many different ideas you can use this for!

How about doing "READ" for a teacher's gift?
 Or "FOOTBALL" for a coach?
Or "DREAM" for a graduate?
You can even do "NOEL" or "BOO" at the holidays? (I can't wait to personally try that!)

So many different ideas!  What would you do?



















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