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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Little foam towers / Photo by Miss Mink
7. Gluing the second letter on top of the stacks created a 3D letter.
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:
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.
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:
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.
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- College Administrator
- Wedding Date:
- June 2012
- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards