There are many options in getting personalized initials created for various occasions, but if you have many loved ones and different occasions, then it may get expensive. You can go to the Craft Stores or order them online, but the more you need the more expensive it gets, and you wont get the satisfaction that you created it yourself.
You not only can create them yourself, but might be able to start a small business to create for other people or communities.
I started this with the theme of Holiday initials, but them expanded it to some of the other items I have created.
You can expand this to creating items for Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Birthdays, Easter, etc.
Step 1: Raw Materials
The types of material you can use for this project can vary, but here is what I used;
- Wood – I got a 4’ x 8’ piece of lumber from a lumber yard. Soft wood is best as it is easier to cut. This cost me under $2. The thickness can vary but I use ½ inch thick. The thicker the harder to cut. So if you have scrap wood around this is one way of using it up.
- Stencils about 3-4 inches tall so you can outline the letters. I used freehand as I have been doing this for a while.
- Scroll Saw – this is available in most hardware stores. You can also use a small jigsaw with a small blade, but the scroll saw is best. If you plan to do a lot of these then the scroll saw may be best. Check at local pawn shops or tool rentals stores.
- Paint – you can use spray paint, hobby paint or any brightly colored paint.
- Glitter – any hobby or craft store will have this. You can also get hearts, bells and other attachments while you are there.
- Dremel tool and attachments for sanding and smoothing the edges.
Step 2: Start Drawing and Cutting
Trace or draw you desired initials on to the board with pencil so that you can easily make corrections. I also joined the letters, which is not easy to do if you buy them separately online or in stores.
Using the scroll saw, cut along the lines until you get the entire item finished. I worked with limited space, so I finished all cuttings before using the Dremel tool to complete the final sanding.
I used various sanding and refining bits to smooth all the rough edges and make holes in the letters "B & R".
Step 3: Putting It Together
Once you have sanded and removed all the rough edges, it is time to paint. You can spray or hand paint in your choice of colors. You will also need a can of Clear Poly paint to add gloss and fix spots. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle on the sparkles and let dry. You can only do one surface at a time to avoid the letters sticking or mistakes. Once one side is dry switch to another side and repeat. Once you have completed all sides, then you can use the clear spray and wet areas where you want to add more sparkle. Once complete with all the sparkling, add a final coat of clear spray to add a sheen and secure any loose sparkle.
Attach the eyelets by drilling tiny holes with the Dremel or pressing hard while screwing it in. Tie on a length of fishing line to the desired hanging length. I attached a heart to a few of the names to show a variation. If you use clear 6lb test or smaller, it may seem invisible on the tree or wherever you decide to hang it.
Step 4: Finished Products
This shows some of the products I have created. I have used a combination of different colors and paints.
I have created front license plates, with pirate and Yankee symbols, since we don't use the front plates in Florida. I have also attached the names to clear picture frames. I have collected a lot of seashells in Florida, so I have painted and added some of these to the names.
I challenge you to come up with variations. Feel free to use and improve on what I have created. Sorry for any one offended, but I only created the Yankee symbol.