OK, so that’s a dramatic title, but my ampersand struggle didn’t end after I threw in the towel on wrapping it in yarn. I figured I’d buy some sparkle paint, slap on a few coats, and have a shiny, glittery ampersand to join together our initials, no sweat.
It was a little worse for wear after having layers of yarn pulled off of it, but I set it up on a spare piece of cardboard, foam brush in hand. I thought I could paint it silver with acrylic craft paint then layer on some silver glitter. If you look closely at the above photo you’ll realize, much as I did, that the silver paint was definitely not high coverage, even though the bottle said it was.
The glitter paint was not much better, but my plan was to just keep layering it on, one coat at a time, until it was sparkled to my liking. I made a few mistakes here that you should not repeat—I used a brush that was too big to get into the twists and curves of the letter, and I attempted to paint both the front and the edges at the same time. One or the other!
Because of those mistakes I ended up accidentally building up a few bumps and ridges of thick, globby glitter paint, as you can see above, but I pressed on. I went through an entire bottle of paint, leaving the ampersand set up on the kitchen table and throwing a coat on every time I walked by and it was dry.
White balance shift—sorry!
Then I bought another bottle of paint and a bunch of spouncers. What is a spouncer, you might ask? People use them for filling in stencils, but I figured the round edges and smaller size would help me to fill in the edges of the ampersand.
After two bottles of paint and endless cursing, this is how it turned out. I took this photo so you can see where some of the faults are—note the patchy interior, sort of bald front area, and the spot where the paper ripped off with the hot glue and yarn.
A few more big ol’ globs can be seen on the left side particularly. But, everyone who has seen it has told me it’s damn well sparkly enough, and I’m not willing to spackle another bottle of paint on it. It’s good enough (which is becoming another wedding mantra of mine).
Here it is with the yarn letters, in its kinda-splotchy glory.
In the right light, though, it’s like a disco ball!
I made that little flower out of felt and a button scavenged from a pair of pajamas destined for the garbage bin. It was really easy—I just traced out various circles onto the felt using different household objects, cut ‘em out, attached them all together with a blob of hot glue, glued the button on top, and glued the whole flower right onto the ampersand.
I experimented with a few other felt-flower designs, too, which I’m going to hang on to for decorating our guests’ Mason-jar glasses. Here’s how to make one version:
Trace a big circle onto your felt—I used this strangely dirty roll of masking tape.
Draw little petals all around the circle. They can be round or triangular, whichever floats your boat.
Cut it out…
Then cut it into a spiral. I kind of think I’ve been cutting more loops into mine than most people do but, whatever, it works. It’s good enough!
Then, all you do is roll it up along one edge—the flower shape will change depending on if you start with the inner or outer edge, so try both—and secure the loose end with a touch of hot glue.
Ta-da! If you do the same thing but without adding petals, you’ll get something like this:
Another method is to take a long, thin strip of felt, fold it in half, and secure the corners with glue. Then, cut a fringe into it like so:
Roll that up, and you get something like the bottom flower:
The longer the felt strip, the bigger the flower. The more cuts into the fringe, the more petals!
I have yet to lock down how I’m going to display our monogram, but I’m thinking of something involving a piece of wood and nails driven from the bottom of the wood into the base of the letters. I’m going to let Mr. Dragon handle it because if I attempt it and mess up the ampersand, after all that painting, I’m liable to throw a fit.
Are you including a monogram anywhere in your wedding?