Miss Mink’s First DIY Project

I mentioned my love of DIY in my introduction, and it’s about time I share my first wedding-related project. I noticed some very large, moss-covered letters on a wedding blog and went to Etsy to see if I could find a seller making them. My search led me to a listing for an item that was already sold with this picture:

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Photo via Choosing You on Etsy

The seller was on vacation at the time, and I was a bit impatient to start doing something crafty in the wedding department. By the way, she’s back now and I wound up working with her on another project that I’ll share soon. I went back to searching Etsy and noticed that some sellers had DIY kits for these letters listed for sale. That made me think I could make my own.

My process wasn’t quick or efficient, but here’s what I did:

1. I searched obsessively through fonts to find the one in which our initials looked best.

After a couple nights of searching, I settled on Bookman Old for our letters. That font starts with a B. It was probably one of the first 20 fonts I considered. But I checked all 100-plus fonts I have and a slew of free ones from dafont.com, too.

2. I printed our initials out a large as possible, then enlarged them on a copy machine.

I used 11″ x 17″ ledger paper in the copy machine. It left part of the edges cut off. I wound up measuring the sides that were complete to finish the parts that were missing. I could have simply gone to an office supply store to have the letters printed by a large printer, but I was going for the simplest route.

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One initial with part of the top cut off / Photo by Miss Mink

3. I transferred the letters to foam core.

I put the ledger paper over a large piece of foam core and traced the outline about ten times with a Sharpie. After the first few passes, the Sharpie ink started to bleed through the ledger paper onto the foam core.

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Sharpie ink seeping through the paper to the foam core / Photo by Miss Mink

4. I carefully cut the letters out with an X-Acto knife.

It took me a few passes to get the knife all the way through. Perfectly straight lines weren’t even necessary since the moss was going to smooth everything out.

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Cutting out my letter / Photo by Miss Mink

5. I then repeated steps 3 and 4 so I had two sets of each letter.

I was about to make a sandwich.

6. I built little stacks out of foam-core scraps.

I played with mine a bit and found that five layers of foam core between the letters looked best. The little stacks got glued together for stability. Perhaps there was a more elegant way to do this, but I had all the foam-core scraps around me and went for the simplest solution.

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Little foam towers / Photo by Miss Mink

7. Gluing the second letter on top of the stacks created a 3D letter.

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A foam-core sandwich! / Photo by Miss Mink

8. The letters now needed sides to give them more stability.

I cut strips of cardboard to use as the sides of the letters, making sure they were wide enough to attach to each letter. For the angles and corners, I bent and curled the cardboard into the right shapes before gluing them in place. I forgot to document this step when I was working on my first letter, so here’s how it looked on my second letter:

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Foam letter with cardboard sides / Photo by Miss Mink

9. This is when I realized I didn’t like how one part of the “M” was thinner than the others.

I realized that the Bookman Old font made the “M” with one line that was skinnier than the others. I decided to plump it up with an extra layer of cardboard on one side.

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Plump up the volume! / Photo by Miss Mink

10. With the letters done, it was time to add the moss!

This was the fun part. I cut strips of moss cloth to start, but wound up using bits and pieces to finish the edges and corners. I covered the entire letter, but some people might leave the back unfinished. Moss cloth sheds a lot and this is a good thing. All the fuzzy bits got glued onto cracks and corners that were missed by the sheets of moss cloth.

Here’s the final product:

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Finished moss letters! / Photo by Miss Mink

Now I need to figure out how to hang that “J” without it being lopsided.

What do you think? I was pretty darn proud of myself.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mink

Location:
Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012

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comments

  1. Member
    naturanat 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:28 pm

    love it!!!

  2. Member
    unicycle 476 posts, Helper bee @ 7:43 pm

    Lookin’ good, Mink!

  3. Member
    sugarbox 226 posts, Helper bee @ 1:08 am

    It’s so fun.I like it.

  4. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:33 am

    Wow these came out great!

  5. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:36 am

    Thanks, all!

  6. Member
    Miss Beacon 266 posts, Helper bee @ 9:54 am

    It looks amazing!!!
    Since following wedding bee for a couple months, I was pretty sure I would NOT be doing any DIY projects. Well, until now! Plus we share the same initials so i can see exactly how they would look.
    Thanks.

  7. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:02 am

    @Miss Beacon: It’s amazing how easy they start looking when someone will just show you step-by-step instructions. I’m a visual person, so I find pictures much more helpful than text. I hope this helps you make yours!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Ms Kit, Guest @ 11:43 am

    Pretty! And impressive. Great work!

  9. Member
    hisbahamamama 994 posts, Busy bee @ 10:44 am

    I’m pretty darn proud of you too! I can’t wait to attempt mine!

  10. Member
    kettle 926 posts, Busy bee @ 3:21 am

    This looks great! You should put two holes in the back of the J equidistant from the center, put a metal ring in it, and string the ribbon through that. Just a suggestion.

  11. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:19 am

    @Ms Kit: Thanks!

    @hisbahamamama: It’s not even that hard!

    @Miss Kettle: Thanks! I’ll try it!

  12. Member
    MsquareM 889 posts, Busy bee @ 11:29 am

    Very pretty!!

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