Family monogram plaque

June 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Posted in crafts | 2 Comments

For Father’s Day, I made my Dad a plaque with a family crest / monogram on it.  I wanted to post it sooner, but decided to wait in the off chance that my Dad would somehow see it online before he received it in the mail.  I looked up the family crest online, but the one I found was ugly, and from what I have read, not really a family crest.  So, I  just looked at different things online and pieced them together to make something that I liked.  If you look around you can find tons of free images to use – especially if you don’t mind spending an hour or two manipulating them to be just what you want.

Here is a nice frame from the Graphics Fairy that won’t need any cleaning up.  The parchment background that I used is from photoshopstar, about halfway down the Indiana Jones tutorial you’ll find this link – the background is high quality and looked awesome when printed out.  The font that I used was from fontspace, I typed my initial in the customize box at the top to preview in each font.  I ended up using Cardinal, but you pick whatever you like.

I bought this 80’s plaque in the second hand store – sealed in its original plastic – for $0.75.  (Yeah cub, you’re cute, but I would never think about hanging you on the wall in my house!)  My first order of business was to measure the front, and create an image that would fit perfectly.  I played around in photoshop until I liked the results, combining several elements from various places.  I put the year my parents were married in the bottom.

I used a flat blade to remove the ugly print from my nice plaque.  You could, of course, purchase a new plaque, but where is the fun in that?  The thirty year old glue was easy enough to remove.  I sliced the print in long strips the width of my blade, and simply slid my craft knife along at an angle to peel the paper up.  The blade made small marks in the wood, that’s fine since it will be covered.  It only took 10 minutes to remove the print.

You can see where I first started – there are several small chunks of the dark wood missing since I was still figuring out the angle to hold my knife at.  I used a rough grain of sand paper to remove any left over adhesive, and to smooth out the dips so they wouldn’t show through the fabric.  I was going to sand the whole thing and refinish it, but I really liked the color against my print so I left it.

I printed a sample of my image on plain paper to make sure it was the right size, etc and then I printed it on a printable white fabric with and adhesive backing.  The image printed out nicely, and the fabric added a high quality look to the finished project.  I used scissors to do most of the trimming.  My exacto knife pulled at the fibers of the fabric, so I only used it on the tiny details my scissors were unable to trim.  I set aside the unprinted strips – they will come in handy later for another project. [crafty tip: keep all those scraps in a tin or shoe box for future use.  Next time you want to make something, check out your remnant stash and you might be able to avoid cutting into a new piece.)

All that’s left is to adhere the fabric to the plaque.  I picked up the fabric sheets on clearance so that it worked out to be about $0.50 per sheet – they can be purchased in a three pack at WalMart for $5 which would be about $1.60 per sheet.  The plaque was $0.75, bringing my project total to a whopping $1.25 – I can’t imagine that you would be able to find anything that is so nice, and personalized as this is for anywhere near that cost.  If you had to purchase a new plaque, they run around $3-5 depending on where you shop, which would make a non sale project cost around $6.  Still an inexpensive, yet very nice gift.



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  1. That turned out great!!!

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