Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's Craft Time - Architectural Letter Name

My friend was talking about her friend and how she received her last name in framed architectural letters as a gift. Both friends just loved it and thought it was the neatest thing. I told friend 1 (OK, It's Alison. Again. My Creative Cohort.) that I could easily make one for her. You see, she was going to spend big $$ and order one from where the other friend had received hers. I can create that project in under $10 dollars, Bob. And off I went. (In case you can't tell, the letters spell out BOWMAN).

I first started at my store of choice, Dollar Tree. There I picked up 6 carved bronze-ish 4"x6" frames for yes, you guessed it $6. The bronze-ish color coordinates beautifully with other accents in Alison's bedroom where these are to be hung. No need to even paint them! And unless you look really hard, you can't tell these are cheap plastic frames. Nobody will be looking that closely at the frames, they will be awestruck by the architectural letters inside.

Next I scoured the interweb for architectural letters. They were easy to find, but watch for copyrights. Larger file sizes were better for increasing in size to 4"x6" than small images which became out of focus and blurry. So in Photoshop I cropped and enlarged the letter to 4"x6".

At first I had them in black and white. I thought the graphic nature of the letter would look good that way. It was also a way to make them all look more cohesive. They looked awful in the bronze-ish frame. I was crushed. What to do, what to do. After a little Google action I had the answer. Change the letter from black and white to a sepia tone. I had no idea how to do this (I was please I managed to get them black and white). This is where my friend Google came in with this awesome tutorial here. Well "here" should be a clickable link to the wonderful, simple tutorial I used. But I can no longer find my link so you will also have to Google it.

Here you can see the difference. The black and white is on the left and the sepia toned one is on the right. The difference is kind of subtle but made a world of difference in the frames.

So the project was easy and fairly quick. Find the letter (took the longest - I couldn't find an "N" that I liked), open the file in Photoshop (I'm sure you could use some other software, this is just what I had) and size and crop to 4"x6". Why 4"x6"? Because that is the size of the large stash of photo paper I had on hand. (Watch Staples for wonderful deals. I think I paid $1 (after rebate) for each package of 100 sheets). Change to sepia tone, print, insert in frame. I think it probably took 2 hours total, including my Google time.

Project cost was $6.60 for the frames and $.06 for the paper. So for $6.66 I was able to create a personalized gift for a dear friend and save her big $$. If any of my other dear friends (Valerie) wants one just let me know.

Linking up to these great party's.


  1. My name is Valerie and I too am a fabricaholic. It has been 7 days since my last fabric purchase. :0(

  2. OoOOoooh- I love those!! What did you search for through Google? Just the letters one at a time? I might have to try to do my own with my little girly's names for over their dressers!

  3. I searched for Architectural Letter. Some were individual letters and others were part of an entire picture of the alphabet. I used Photoshop to crop out the rest of the picture and keep just the letter I wanted. Hope this helps.

  4. I've always wanted to do this!

  5. Aw I love this idea and had no idea you could just find the pictures on the internet! Thanks for the great idea!