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:

mink1

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.

mink2

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.

mink3

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.

mink4

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.

mink5

Little foam towers / Photo by Miss Mink

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

mink6

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:

mink7

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.

mink8

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:

mink9

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

Related Posts

Add a comment

comments

  1. Member
    Elolith 915 posts, Busy bee @ 1:11 pm

    It looks great! Nice ;)

  2. Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 1:14 pm

    These look great! I didn’t know moss cloth existed… this could be a fun decor project for around the house =)

  3. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:17 pm

    @Elolith: Thanks!

    @Mrs. Thimble: It’s messy stuff to work with, but it’s a lot of fun!

  4. Member
    kmnowlan 207 posts, Helper bee @ 1:23 pm

    These look AMAZING!!! Congrats!

  5. Member
    amw511s 552 posts, Busy bee @ 1:25 pm

    Oh my goodness! Beautiful!

  6. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:27 pm

    @kmnowlan: Thanks!

  7. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:28 pm

    @amw511s: Aw, thank you so much!

  8. Member
    candy apple 1877 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:28 pm

    They turned out great, M!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Lexy, Guest @ 1:32 pm

    Where do you purchase moss cloth Miss M? Like I need another DIY project…

  10. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:35 pm

    @Mrs. Candy Apple: I’m so happy! I wasn’t sure since I was working without a tutorial.

    @Lexy: I’ve seen it at Jo-Ann’s and Hobby Lobby (not a huge fan of that place, but they always have it). It comes in a clear package with a purple label at the top.

    There are different kinds. I bought some cheaper stuff in the form of a table runner at Michael’s and it shed a lot more than the moss cloth. The shedding is good because you need the bits to cover corners and tight spots, but you don’t want the stuff to shed too, too much!

  11. Member
    alleycat 661 posts, Busy bee @ 2:02 pm

    I love them!! I always want to do projects like this with our initials…but it doesn’t work out so well. I’m an “A” and he’s a “T.” In one scenario, people would think we were spelling “AT” and in the other….well…….lol.

  12. Member
    daisyacg 8 posts, Newbee @ 2:47 pm

    Looks great!! I might try this out!

    As for keeping the ‘J’ straight- maybe try to glue small fishing weights on the back on the straight part of the ‘J’

  13. Member
    SugerPlum 672 posts, Busy bee @ 2:50 pm

    I’m totally inspired to try this now! I don’t know how heavy they are, but maybe you can cut two slits out on the back towards the top of the J and thread it through there?

  14. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:16 pm

    @Alleycat: You can TOTALLY do them! We aren’t going to hang ours together. You don’t have to, either!

  15. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:17 pm

    @daisyacg: I was thinking of using nuts (as in hardware), but fishing weights make more sense. Thanks for the idea!

    @SugerPlum: If the fishing weights don’t work, I’ll use some invisible wire and the ribbon will just be for looks. :)

  16. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:28 pm

    These look great, a very successful first DIY!

  17. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:35 pm

    @Mrs. Pony: Thanks! I have miles to go! I just hit the six month mark. EEk!

  18. Member
    bRooklynRocks 4048 posts, Honey bee @ 5:44 pm

    This looks nice. Now I wish I had thought about doing it for my wedding :)

  19. Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:55 pm

    @bRooklynRocks: I made small, test versions before I went for the large ones. I have them hanging on a “gallery wall” in my place. :) Make some! They’d look great on a desk or bookshelf.

  20. Member
    Mrs. aMAYSing 231 posts, Helper bee @ 6:19 pm

    These look really good

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

    love it!!!

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

    Lookin’ good, Mink!

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

    It’s so fun.I like it.

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

    Wow these came out great!

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

    Thanks, all!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

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

    Pretty! And impressive. Great work!

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

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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!

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

    Very pretty!!

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors