Glittery (Evil) Ampersands and Felt Flowers, Oh My!

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.

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Personal photos

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Here it is with the yarn letters, in its kinda-splotchy glory.

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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:

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Trace a big circle onto your felt—I used this strangely dirty roll of masking tape.

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Draw little petals all around the circle. They can be round or triangular, whichever floats your boat.

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Cut it out…

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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.

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Ta-da! If you do the same thing but without adding petals, you’ll get something like this:

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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:

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Roll that up, and you get something like the bottom flower:

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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?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Dragon

Location:
Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012

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comments

  1. Member
    MrsN2Be 590 posts, Busy bee @ 6:13 am

    I think you are being too over critical!! Your ampersand looks great, if it were in my face I may say otherwise BUT from your pictures it looks fine.

    Your post did make me giggle because I’m the same!! I even re-spun pearls & beads for my bouquet because it wasn’t perfect & you won’t even see the wire!!!

    Where did you get your ampersand?

  2. Member
    Miss Beacon 266 posts, Helper bee @ 6:17 am

    it looks amazing. when looking at your ‘errors’ pictures, i couldn’t even notice them. the final letters looks terrific, with the cutest flower! great job!

  3. Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 6:24 am

    Oh hush, you, I hardly see any flaws at all! I think it looks awesome!!

  4. Member
    Saramina329 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 6:24 am

    These look great. Great final product. They will look awesome in your wedding. That personal pic looks flawless, don’t worry, nobody is going to cross examine them for flaws. Great Job! I bought my letters already and was just going to leave them as they are but you have inspired me and I may possibly try them because they look really nice.

  5. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:35 am

    It looks wonderful, I’m not seeing any of these ‘flaws’ you speak of :)

  6. Member
    castle 1191 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:58 am

    I think it looks great! We always see the flaws in our work that other people don’t notice :)

  7. Member
    Miss Feather 585 posts, Busy bee @ 7:01 am

    I love it! it makes me want to make one now, great job!

  8. Member
    hawk 1117 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:15 am

    I am in love! The sparkly ampersand looks so great and the flower adds the perfect touch.

  9. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:21 am

    Looks great to me! Where did you get the wood letters/ampersand, I may have just caught the DIY bug from this, hehe!

  10. Member
    MrsACarpenter 725 posts, Busy bee @ 7:38 am

    Super Cute. Still love the idea!

  11. Member
    alove31 218 posts, Helper bee @ 7:41 am

    So cute! Love this idea.

    Where did you get your letters/ampersand from?

  12. Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:44 am

    Ok, I am so not a monogram person, but I think you’ve convinced me! This is so adorable! And I am in live with the flower.

  13. Member
    KristenK 189 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:47 am

    it was def worth the work it looks great!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Margarita, Guest @ 7:51 am

    LOL. Good enough was my mantra the last month before the wedding as well.
    Good job!

  15. Member
    lechevalnoir 277 posts, Helper bee @ 7:55 am

    I love this! I’m seriously considering doing this now. It turned out so well! I’ll have to make a stop at Walmart to get some letters!

  16. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:04 am

    I like how it looks, you make the flower look so easy.

  17. Member
    alleycat 661 posts, Busy bee @ 8:39 am

    It looks amazing! I don’t even see any flaws! So freaking cute.

  18. Member
    Tostones 393 posts, Helper bee @ 8:39 am

    Wow thse look great

  19. Member
    Countrylover2012 18 posts, Newbee @ 8:39 am

    I love that it’s so cute!! Where did you get the letters from?

  20. Member
    scepter 333 posts, Helper bee @ 8:49 am

    I know it took you forever, but the ampersand looks great!!

  21. Member
    danib 3 posts, Wannabee @ 8:58 am

    Those look great! You did a great job!

  22. Member
    mstiara 92 posts, Worker bee @ 9:26 am

    LOVE IT! Anything that glitters or shimmers is awesome in my book. And in the photos, it doesn’t look splotchy at all!!!

  23. Member
    bridesmomma 440 posts, Helper bee @ 10:13 am

    I think it looks great!

  24. Member
    peachplum09 732 posts, Busy bee @ 10:15 am

    GLITTER!!! LOVE IT!!

  25. Member
    Almost Mrs.P 2056 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:27 am

    Your ampersand looks great! I love the glitter.

  26. Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 11:07 am

    I’m southern, so love me a good monogram- I’m trying not to overdo them, but they will be present and accounted for. And I think the glitter ampersand looks awesome!

  27. Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:15 am

    I think it came out really great – I love how it stands out and gives some contrast with the yellow yarn! I totally get how frustrating it can be when things don’t go smoothly and don’t turn out quite as well as you hoped. But have no fear, I count this as a total DIY success!

  28. Member
    gonnabeMrsHH 466 posts, Helper bee @ 12:13 pm

    The ampersand look great indeed..but i really love the yellow flowers you made for your mason jars…really got me inspired to try that :)

  29. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 1:14 pm

    I wish I could carry all of you and your wonderful, uplifting words around all day! Seriously, you guys know just what to say. I’m so happy it looks good to other people!

    To all who asked, the letters are from Walmart — not sure if they’re a special brand or anything but I’ll make sure to check next time I go there!

  30. Member
    PuzzleBee 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:25 pm

    Those are adorable! It looks even better this way than your original plan of all yarn wrapped. The yellow felt flower really ties it together too. Now I’m debating if I should make these! :)

  31. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:21 pm

    I love it! So cute.

  32. Member
    coyote 1544 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:09 am

    Oh my gosh, it’s so pretty and sparkly! I love the little felt flower too, it’s perfect!

  33. Member
    cicijapan 263 posts, Helper bee @ 9:04 pm

    It looks great!

  34. Member
    MarilynLeigh 3 posts, Wannabee @ 7:43 am

    Whoa. Those are our initials and my colors. When is your wedding? Mine is June 1st. Would you be willing to sell this to me after you’re done with it?

  35. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 8:35 am

    @MarilynLeigh: I’m getting married September 22 so I don’t know how that’d work, unfortunately! :)

  36. Member
    megn133 46 posts, Newbee @ 10:05 am

    What brand of paint did you use for the ampersand? It really turned out lovely!

  37. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 10:57 am

    @megn133: It’s FolkArt, I think. :)

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Megn133, Guest @ 10:03 am

    Another weird question, but what were the dimensions (height and width) of your letters? They look great and I’m trying to find something that will be big enough online, but its hard to get an idea without holding it in your hand.

  39. Member
    Mrs. Dragon 813 posts, Busy bee @ 3:48 pm

    @Megn133: Just measured ‘em — they’re each 9″ tall and 5″-6″ wide. :)

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