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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to make your own letter art

Yesterday I posted part of my "winter" decor. That is where I showed you my latest letter art "WINTER" sign that I made. I told you that I would share how I made it.

It is a lot easier than it looks. You just have to be creative. And sometimes, not even that creative.

This is the fourth letter art sign that I have made. And I just keep using the same frame. If you want to see the other three, you can find them by clicking here. It will take you to my "Give Thanks" sign and the links to my "Spooky" sign and my "Family" sign.

First you need to find a frame. I originally got my frame from Kohl's, for about $10.00. It was on sale for 50% off, plus I had an additional 15% off coupon. This particular frame has room for six photos.

Next you need to decide what word you want to make. This time I decided on "Winter". I already had some of my letters from my previous projects, so this time all I needed to find where the letters "W", "E" and "R".

This is where the fun or creative part comes in. I just go around my house and yard to see if anything looks like the letters I need. Sometimes you have to look sideways at stuff. Sometimes you just find something that has a letter you need already painted on it. I've done the latter more and more as I'm basically too lazy to be very creative.

For the letter "W", I couldn't find anything creative that I could find this letter in. So I just photographed one of my letter balls.
The hardest part was fishing this particular letter out of the jar & putting it towards the top and front in order to take the photo. This is the original photo above.

I use Picasa 3 for storing my photos. It's a program by Google. If you have not tried this photo program, it's great. You can do lots of things to your photos without much knowledge or know how. I just crop my photo to 4" x 6" in basic fixes. Then I click the tuning tab in case I need to add fill light, highlights and/or shadows. Sometimes I just click the "I'm feeling Lucky" button in basic fixes. Finally I click on the effects tab and choose black & white.

I do this to all my photos that I want to turn into letters. I save each one to my tray & then print them out in 4" x 6" size. And that is how I get my letters to use in my signs.

For my letter "I", I used this photo of my huge yard finial. I really didn't have to do much to this photo except to crop it down a little & make it black and white. I used this originally in my "family" sign.
When I made my "Give Thanks" sign I needed the letter "N". I couldn't find anything that looked like I could make into a letter "N", so I cheated a little. I used the "N" in this vacation memories frame. See the "N" in vacation? I just took a photo of the "N".
And it turned out like this when I cropped it & made it B&W. I thought it was kind of cool that it has a photo of hubby & I. I used this particular print again for my "winter" sign.

I had a letter "T" for my Give Thanks sign and I used it again in this "winter" sign when I posted about it yesterday. But then I noticed that the plate in the background was my turkey plate. Probably nobody would have noticed, but I did. So I used an older more generic photo of my plate rack.
Do you see the "T" in the railing? There are lots of T's in the railing. See what I mean about seeing letters in things?
Here the same photo cropped down and turned into B&W. The letter "T".

I had to get creative again for my letter "E". I used the back of this patio chair.

Can you see the "e"? Sorry that this is such a bad photo. I had to take the photo late at night, with a flash. Ugh!!! I took my original photo in the daylight a few months back, but forgot to save the chair photo.
And here is how the "e" turned out. I placed the chair back on the ground, on the concrete to take the photo. It was late in the day, that is why there is a shadow. But when cropped, the chair back becomes the letter "e".

I got lazy again when it came to the letter "R". I looked all around & I really liked the "r" used in this Merry Christmas sign.

Even though the writing is in cursive, I still think it works.

Here is the "r" all finished.

And the final result is:
I finally got smart (after four times) and took out the glass for photos.

After you have done this a few times, you start to build up a collection of letters. I keep all the letters I'm not using on the back side of the sign.

That way I'll know exactly where they are when I decide to make a different letter art sign.

Now you all need to go out & make your own letter art sign. If you need help with seeing letters, I sometimes cheat & let Google help me. There are companies out there who sell the individual letter art photos. They can be pretty expensive, but I look to see what they have used for a particular letter. Helps me in seeing letters in things.

I've yet to venture out into the world to take photos elsewhere. Right now I've just used stuff in my own household. That can be pretty limiting, but more personal to me.

Linking to:

DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land

Celebrate the Holidays at Its So Very Cheri

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special


  1. Oh how I love all your letter art! you have a great eye for finding beauty!

  2. Wow! You are so creative and innovative and have lots of imagination. That's pretty cool!...Christine

  3. You are amazing! You see things in a whole different way! I would be just standing there with my camera in my hand going "wha?"

    LOVE this!!

    Lou Cinda

  4. that is really creative! I don't think I would have had the patience to figure all that out. I love it!

  5. i have nothing this interesting in my house LOL :D

    yours is beautiful :D

  6. Wonderful! You are such an inspiration.

  7. You are sooo clever! You have really been getting things done. I hereby nominate you craft queen.

  8. Kim,
    I have really loved all of your letter signs. This is a great project and so easy to change out for all of the seasons. Thanks!

  9. This is really neat! Thanks for sharing how to do it! You are very creative!


  10. How cool! Love those great tips on finding letters, too. Mentally filing.... love it!

  11. Love 'em. I always say I am going to do something like this, but have yet to do it. Maybe someday soon, especially if i keep seeing great ideas!

  12. This is my first visit to your blog. Thanks for the lesson on making the word winter. What a great idea.

  13. I really appreciate your tutorial. I keep thinking I need to try this. Isn't amazing how changing photos to b&w is a great equalizer.

  14. Such an adorable idea, and inspiring - now I'm going to start looking for letters in everything I see! ;)

  15. Brilliant! I usually see food in everything I look at. Hahahaha...I love how you see things and then use them for your art! Great ideas!

  16. What fun! I love this idea and will have to get right on it! I like the thought of looking carefully at things to see something hidden.

  17. Kim, Your WINTER sign is just fabulous - how clever you are to think of this. Hope you don't mind by I will be trying it soon too!

  18. This is SUCH a great project! I love it! I want to make one of!!! Thanks for sharing it!

  19. That is so it! Great idea and good job!

  20. This is too cute. I'm so glad you posted pics of how you found the letters. Not sure I have the patience but I love how yours looks.

  21. You have motivated me to give the letter art another try. I have lots of photos of letters stored in Picasa and even tried a few in frames. I can't seem to get the size and color to look cohesive. I am probably over thinking it!

    I love yours!

  22. Pretty Darn Smart and cute!!! Thanks for all the tips. my daughter is a photo-taking crazy kid; she'd love to try this!

  23. So creative! I have the "bingo" balls too in my family room. Aren't they just adorable!?

  24. I love this idea!! Passed it on to some friends too!! Thanks so much!

  25. What an awesome looking piece of did a great job on it Kim! Happy Friday:)


  26. You are so creative, love it.

  27. Brilliant. Really. I've always loved the look but never thought to scout it out in my own home. You rock. :)

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!
    FJ Donna

  28. This is excellent! Thanks for sharing!!

  29. Love it! Thanks for the tutorial. I've featured your letter art in my "Blog Browsing Highlights" post. Check it out:

  30. LOVE it, you are SO clever ♥ Thanks for this idea.


  31. This has been a good help, many thanks, now to make our own letter art is simple with your suggestions. Thank you