"Other things may change us, but we start
and end with Family."
You have probably noticed by now that I like quotes and so I am starting my post for this week of Mothers' Day inspiration off with another one of my favorites. Family really is what it's all about and I'm sure many of you would agree, where would our families be without our moms? And so in honor of our moms and how much they put into making a family work, here is a simple gift you can make for the mom(s) in your life to show them your appreciation.
I found these letters at a very cool wood crafts store in Salt Lake City, Utah-- The Wood Connection and the unfinished letters are available to order from their website. Many craft and hobby stores also carry different types of unfinished wood and paper mache letters that would work for this project. Just make sure the bottoms of all your letters are flat so that they will stand up when you are finished.
I first painted the sides and back of my letters using a dark brown craft paint. After letting those dry thoroughly I was ready for the paper-- I chose the Basic Grey Origins lines because its colors just happen to be the exact colors I have used in my family room (the designers at Basic Grey must have really good taste! Ha-ha).
I chose the six patterns I wanted to use and then for each letter I turned the pattern paper face down, put the letter face down on it and traced around the letter. Then I cut out each letter from the paper by going just slightly inside my traced lines to make sure that the paper would not overlap the wood edges of the letters. This might sound like it took a long time but actually only took me about 15 minutes to trace and cut out all the letters (that, however, does not count how long it took me to decide which patterns to use and in which order! I sometimes analyze things much too long!)
After cutting out all my paper, I glued them to the wood using good old fashioned glue sticks. I prefer Scotch brand gluesticks and I put a layer of glue on both the back of the paper and the front of the wood to make sure and get a good bond. I know there are a lot of types of adhesives out there that would probably work for this but I have tried liquid glues and Modge Podge for paper onto wood and sometimes the paper will wrinkle, which is always frustrating. I have never had any wrinkling with glue sticks and so I stick to those for adhering paper to wood.
Once the paper was glued, I used a sanding stick to go carefully around some of the edges and filed back any paper edges that were overhanging the wood. Do this very carefully so the paper will not rip and tear off more than you want it to. Then I distressed all around the edges with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. I found that the ink pad and any ink daubers were still too big for some of the small corners of the letters so I used a small paintbrush and "painted" the ink on.
Finally, I added just a few embellishments because I just couldn't help adding a few fun things (though I tried not to overdo it!) I tied a little ribbon to match on two of the letters and added some Prima flowers on my "F." Then I used the Basic Grey Stitched Brads that match the Origins line (these are so yummy-- fabric and rhinestones, so cute!) to embellish the "m" and the "l." I simply cut the fasteners off the back of the brads with a old pair of scissors and then attached them with glue dots.
This really was a quick and fun project to make and I know any mom would be delighted with the thought and effort behind a handmade gift. Here is the finished project displayed in my family room with some family pictures-- guess I will have to call this one my Mothers' Day gift to myself and go get me some more sets of letters to make to give away. In honor of all you moms out there (and grandmas, aunts, sisters, cousins, neighbors and friends) and your tireless, loving efforts to take care of your families-- have a truly wonderful Mothers' Day!