Today is a knock off day. I have seen these things everywhere.
Those big Initials that people hang on the wall. In a collage of pictures, or in the landing of a stair case. Or this one from House On Hill Road that just blows my mind.
Let’s just imagine the real thing is probably from Pottery Barn, or Ballard’s, maybe Home Decorators…. it is rather large, made of heavy wood, and probably a nice neutral color. And probably pretty expensive.
With foam I can imagine it how I want to…. for a LOT less. I mean a LOT less.
First, we are going to make the letter on the computer – so find a font you like. If you haven’t been collecting them for years, try some good free sites such as dafont, Simply the best fonts, or my favorite place (to BUY fonts) is Signfonts. No addict is complete without a font or two from there. If you don’t want to be quite so wacky, Windows has some great type style fonts too.
Now, using your handy dandy photo-editor (remember the free one, Gimp, right?) open a new document. Type your chosen letter in your chosen font. Stretch it out as big as you can. Save it as a .jpg.
You will have a simple image like this.
(The font I am using is)……
And I have used it a billion times since I spent the $20 on it (it’s even my post title font!) so I don’t have to count this in the cost, LOL. Click the name above to go to the signfonts.com site to purchase if you like.
With your letter saved as a .jpg, go to blockposters.com. We are going to take that small jpg, and turn it into a large image that will print on several 8 1/2” x 11 sheets of paper – normal size printer.
This site walks you through resizing your image to big huge poster like proportions. For free. I love free. It actually lets you choose your size if HUGE isn’t to your liking.
Step one: Upload the .jpg of your letter
Step two: Slice your image according to what size you want the final outcome to be (so it will print on several sheets of regular paper)
My N above would be printed on 16 sheets of paper, and when they are all connected, the PAPER is 2.8’ wide x 3.5 feet tall. (The N itself doesn't go to all edges, so it will be a bit smaller.)
There are 2 red arrows on each side of the 4 above, which allow you to increase or decrease the # of pages it prints on. I ultimately chose 2 pages wide: (which made it 4 pages total, and a good size for my final letter)
Step 3: Download your image – which is free. It gives you a .pdf file that you can easily save to your hard drive for future letter making sessions if you wish, and is super easy to print from.
Seems like it took forever to get to this point, but it honestly takes longer to explain than it does to just do it. So please, don’t let my complex instructions deter you!
Here are my letter sheets laid out on the foam. I see I need to trim the edges of the sheets of paper to make them match up.
Trimmed and taped together.
Secured to the foam with push pins. Make sure not to push pin into any of the shaded area, or it will put a hole in your final letter.
Now we get into Foam Carving. My ultimate favorite past time. It’s a Halloween thing, I guess ;)
With your Xacto, slowly and carefully cut around the outline of your letter. You don’t have to go all the way through the foam at this point, just enough to transfer the pattern.
Please, please be careful doing this. It is easy to get going too fast, and slice your finger. I have many friends in the foam carving hobby with the scars to prove it.
Once you have cut the outline, you can remove your pins and paper, and have a perfect outline of your letter.
Can you see it? Now you can go back with your Xacto and cut all the way through the foam, releasing your letter.
As you can see above, it will be rough. Just try to go slow enough not to take chunks out of the foam. (You can use a brand new blade to decrease that possibility – dull blades drag alot and cause the missing chunks)
Where my blade was dulling, I started causing drag here.
Now to straighten the edges. Where’s that nail file? Just go all the way around it. Foam “sands” really easily and it you can do too much before you know it. Oh, and do this in a ventilated area – OUTSIDE. If you have a dust mask, wear it.
The edges really clean up nicely.
So now it’s cleaned up, and ready for paint.
Neutrals? Not for me!
And just because I never know when to end the polka dots…
Really, I promise – it’s not complicated. By reading the entire post, you have made it through the hardest part, LOL!
Now let’s start monogramming our walls!
Oh, and thank you for NOT noticing that I linked yesterdays post to Power of Paint WEDNESDAYS. That just shows how bad I want this week over with already, LOL.