Monday, June 13, 2011

Personalized Nursery Letter Art

You may be wondering why I would be doing a project for a nursery. Well..... I have some news to share......

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...

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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)


     Weekend Bloggy Reading


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Super cute! I think yours looks just as good! Love the animals and that it's personalized. Great gift.

Shawnee said...

What a wonderful gift!! I love the animals. So creative and just beautiful.

Sarah @ Hennessey House said...

i cannot get over how amazing this turned out. really, when you do give it to your friend, let me know what she says - I'm dying to hear about her reaction! it's just perfect :)

Lori Comeau said...

That's very cool.

Marleah said...

Aww, sweet! I love the outlines and silhouettes, I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

Rachel said...

Thanks for following! I love this idea, it's so different and cute. I'm following now, too :)


Stacy CUrran said...


Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Oh, Amanda! You jokester, you. I love that artwork, well done!

Jessica Buffa said...

Wow, Amanda, this is beautiful! Thanks for sharing all the step by step how to's! Stopped over from YHM@C MIMM.

Oona Johnson said...

That is such a great present! You're such a thoughtful friend. It turned out really cute and I love how you added the DOB.

Kate said...

So cute! I love the animals. :)

D+B said...

Love your blog!! Its so cute!!! I am your newest follower!!! i would love to feature you on my blog. so let me know!! :) So if you would like to go and check out my blog and follow me too! That would make my day!!! :) I am so excited to start blogging and share my ideas on food, crafts, and mineral make-up. I will also be doing giveaways on stuff, like mineral make-up. So look out for it!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

That is brilliant! What a unique and creative idea for nursery decor. Very, very cute. :)

Thank you for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back--I appreciate that!). Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon. :)

Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs said...

LOVE this, what a great idea!

Rachel said...

What a great idea! Looks great:)

Paula@SweetPea said...

What a unique gift! Your friend is sure to be thrilled with this!

Susan said...

Well done! I'm sure your friends will love this. Thanks for sharing it with us! Photoshop is amazing, isn't it?

Sweet Peas and Bumblebees said...

How cute! Love the animals in the letter! I would also LOVE if you would link up your project to our {{What I Made Wednesday}} linky's going on now! And, I'm your newest follower! =)


AsylumTanya said...

This project is so much neater once you read the whole post! Thanks for sharing this totally AWESOME craft!

Meg said...

Oh girl, I LOVE this!! Looks fantastic. I also love that you didn't take any shortcuts so that it added a more personal element.

Bella @ Bella before and after said...


Your letter turned out so cute with all those adorable animals. You did a great job with that. I'm sure your nursery is amazing!!

Thanks so much for linking up to my party :)
I loved this so much, I featured you girl!
Come grab a button girl, and display it proudly!

Hugs, Bella **Features from week #41 & 42** @ Bella Before and After
**PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. Party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome to link up.

xlpharmacy said...

oh that project is so nice, especially to make it with your kids who always like to do these kind of things! thanks!!


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