Although I’ve been working on several DIY projects for the nursery (which will all get posted here sooner or later), this typography art has been one of the cheapest yet most tedious to date. But don’t let that deter you from making your own (although you may want to choose a shorter phrase or saying!).
Inspired by this artwork (and quote from Prince Caspian), but with no way of buying one, I decided to figure out how to make my own. And the best part is the whole thing cost less than $25!
First, I bought a blank 22 x 28 canvas from Hobby Lobby ($9.00 after my 50% off coupon), a roll of contact paper from Lowes (less than $3), two cans of spray paint (about $4 each; mine were pink and gold), and an Exacto knife (also about $4; I lost the receipt so I’m estimating).
Spray paint the entire canvas the color you want your letters to be. Let this dry for at least 24 hours (don’t worry, it will have plenty of time to dry while you’re spending the next week on the next few steps…).
Next, type up the words in the font you’d like to use (I used Steelplate Gothic in 125pt font), and print. I spaced my letters one space apart to make them easier to trace and cut out. Just be sure to check that Word (or whatever word processing software you’re using) doesn’t capitalize any letters because it thinks it is a new sentence (I only had this problem with the letter “i”).
Then, trace your letters onto the contact paper. I taped mine to the window so that I could see through it easier. A small straight edge will save your life in tracing the straight lines of the letters. Most people would use a ruler, but we don’t have one (that I know of) so I used a small piece of cardboard. It would probably be easier to use something small like this anyways, for maneuverability.
After all the letters have been traced (and your hand now looks like a claw), cut out each letter. I started cutting them out with the Exacto knife, but found the scissors were easier to maneuver, and only ended up using the Exacto knife on the insides of some letters (like the middle of the “o” and “a”). If you’re lucky enough to own a Cricut, you could skip all these steps and the days of hand cramping. But I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy one.
Next I laid out my letters and measured how many lines I wanted based on how the words fit onto the canvas. Then I drew lines on the canvas to make sure the words would be level and to guide placement of each letter. I eyeballed the spacing between each letter and word.
After peeling off the backing from each contact paper letter, adhere them to the canvas.
Then, spray paint the entire canvas with your top color (the color you want the entire canvas, minus the words, to be).
After allowing the spray paint to dry (I was anxious to see the final product after spending almost a week on it, so I only waited about 30 minutes), peel off the letters. Touch up any spots with a small paint brush or Q-tip, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!