Just kidding! No, we are not having a baby. However, a couple of our good friends just became proud new parents of a baby boy (three weeks ahead of schedule). I knew I wanted to do some sort of DIY project for their gift, and I had been thinking along the lines of a personalized photo frame.
Then, I came upon the perfect idea while visiting Hennessy House. I wish I could take credit for myself, but I have to give Sarah all the props; this girl has creativity oozing out of every pore! Seriously, you should see her artwork. Normally I am both impressed and intimidated by her talents, but this letter art actually seemed like something I could attempt to re-create myself.
Basically, the idea is to trace a bunch of different stencils to create the shape of a letter. For a good, detailed tutorial, just check out Sarah's post. In her case (below), she used it as a wedding gift.
I, however, was visualizing it in a nursery. Since my friend's nursery has what I would call a sophisticated/modern jungle theme (it's really adorable), that made it pretty easy. I had no trouble finding various elephant, giraffe, and hippo silhouettes on Google Images. I also used a photo of the wall in the nursery to get the silhouette of the simple tree that also matches the tree in her fabrics. Then I printed off all the silhouettes in a variety of sizes.
The baby's name is Elijah, so I found a nice chunky font (Berlin Sans) for my letter "E"and blew it up to about 700 point size for an 8x10 frame. After tracing the outline of the E onto tracing paper, I proceeded to trace my silhouettes inside the letter. It was kind of like putting a puzzle together, trying to decide where they fit best. And although it was time-consuming, I thought it was pretty fun.
I wanted to make a couple different versions to see which one I liked best, but ran out of time and just went with my first attempt. Here's what it looked like as outlines only:
Then, I scanned in the tracing paper, printed it off on regular white paper, and colored in the silhouettes with a black Sharpie. (You could also just use the fill tool in Photoshop to color in the outlined shapes, but this way felt more "handmade.") Here's what it looked like when I scanned it in again:
In Photoshop, I erased the outline of the E, darkened the silhouettes by adjusting the levels, and just cleaned up the image in general. There was also a little blank hole that needed filling, so I added the date of Elijah's birth.I found this silvery frame at Walmart, which I spray painted with Rustoleum American Accents satin finish in Iris Blue.
Then I just printed out my letter art on matte photo paper, and voila!
I think Sarah's version looks better, but overall I'm pretty happy with mine. This is such a great gift idea -- inexpensive, yet it still requires effort and creativity. With that said, you don't have to be an artistic genius, just have a little bit of patience.
And the season of giving continues...
Linking up to....
Motivate Me Monday
Anything Related Tuesday
Amaze Me August
Look What I Made! (Creations by Kara)
Whatever Goes Wednesday
What I Made Wednesday (Sweet Peas and Bumblebees)