As some of you know, I work at Bing as a designer. Specifically, I work on a feature called Bing Boards that brings boutique blog content to the front page of search results. For many reasons it’s been a rewarding project – wonderful team members, well-informed design and the opportunity to get to know our content community through Alt Summit, a lifestyle blogging conference. Attending Alt and getting to know some many talented and inspiring women inspired me to finally start tinsel + trim.
With Alt’s flagship conference in Salt Lake City just two days away, I find myself having come full circle as I present you with a DIY craft that will be featured as part of Bing’s booth at Alt. In the breaks between presentations, Bing will invite attendees to drop by our booth and unwind with some creative crafting. The following are just three examples of how you can take your favorite letter and transform it into a personal expression through mixed media.
It takes between 5 and 15 minutes to create these letters. Use them to spruce up a wall or desk, as a centerpiece for a special meal or to round out a themed party.
DIY decorative letter #1 – string art
- Wood letter (optionally cover with washi tape)
- Small nails
- String or twine
Line up your letter with a ruler and measure 1/2″ increments. At each increment place a nail an 1/8″ from the edge. Be sure not to hammer the nail through the back of your letter.
Continue along the outer and inner edges of the letter.
Tie a knot with your string around one of the nails. Wrap the string around other nails to create a pattern you like. When you are finished, tie a knot around a nail and trim the excess string.
For my example, I used more than one string to get the desired pattern but you can easily complete the look with a single strand.
Straight A! You just made a string art letter!
DIY decorative letter #2 – scalloped paper
- Wood letter
- Decorative paper
- 1″ or 2″ circle punch
- X-acto knife
- Cutting board
Punch circles from several decorative papers.
Tip: Thicker, more fibrous papers can jam up your circle punch so look for lightweight options.
Before gluing, place some of your circles on the letter form to get a sense of how they will appear together as well as how many will be needed for each row.
Begin gluing your first row of circles. Start at the bottom of your shape and place circles side-by-side. Position them so that their bottom half hangs off of the letter (this makes sure that no wood shows through).
Create a second row with a different paper. Place circles half way over the first row.
To make sure the wood is covered, stagger circles from the first row. Your first and last circles should hang over the edge of your letter.
Continue step 4 until your entire letter shape is covered.
Flip your letter over and with an X-acto knife trim along the edge of your letter to remove the excess circles.
Tip: Be careful to not pull too hard with your knife or you may tear your paper. If you do, you can layer a new circle over the torn one as a patch.
Bam! You just created a scalloped paper letter.
DIY decorative letters #3 – washi tape
- Wooden letter
- Assorted washi tape
- X-acto knife
- Cutting board
Line up your wooden letter with the grid on your cutting board. This will help you keep the washi tape straight.
Apply your first row of washi tape in a straight line at the bottom of your letter. Tack the excess tape to your cutting board to keep the letter from moving.
Lightly burnish the washi tape into the wood letter to secure it.
Continue adding rows of washi tape in alternating patterns and colors up the height of your letter until it’s completely covered.
Gently lift the letter from the cutting board and flip it over.
With an X-acto knife cut along the edge of your letter. Press down on your letter to prevent it from moving.
Do not apply much pressure to the knife as you cut or you may tear the washi tape.
Kaplow! You just made a washi tape letter in no time at all.
If you’ll be at Alt Summit, I hope you’ll drop by the Bing craft station to create your own decorative letter. I look forward to meeting you!