This post could also be titled "How to spoil your niece." That is, after all, one of my new goals in life.
I made these for my niece over the weekend and figured I would take pictures along the way so I could show you how I did it. Not that it was hard, but sometimes even the easiest projects can be a little overwhelming if you don't know where to begin. So here we go.
Supplies you will need:
- Glue (I like fabric glue, white glue will work too, are they the same thing?)
- Letters (I am using cardboard/paper mache, but just about anything will do)
- A paper towel on which to wipe your glue covered fingers
I picked these letters up at Hobby Lobby. I usually can't stand to go into Hobby Lobby, theres just so much STUFF in that place, but I was on a mission to buy pillow forms on sale and found these by accident. They were probably about $2 a piece. Not bad. So here we go.
Step 1: Pick out your fabrics. This is the most important part and perhaps the most stressful if you are one of those people who worries about getting the colors and patterns just right. I'm one of those people. I feel your pain. Get past this step and you are pretty much home free.
Step 2: Apply glue to the front of the letter. This is the part everyone will see, so we want it to look pretty and smooth. Don't go overboard with the glue, just a very light coating will do. And don't worry about getting the entire thing covered. You only want enough glue so that your fabric will smoothly stick to the letter. (I use a toothpick to smooth out my glue, but you can use a sponge brush, a "craft stick" aka popscicle stick, your finger, whatever, just make sure to keep those fingers clean!)
Step 3: Place your fabric wrong side up on a flat surface and gently smoosh the glue-covered front of the letter onto the fabric.
Step 4: Flip your letter over and use your *clean* fingers (this is where the paper towel comes in hand,y we don't want any smudges on our pretty fabric) to lightly rub the fabric covered face of the letter to make sure the fabric is smooth and in full contact with the letter.
Step 5: You can either make all of your cuts now or cut as you go, but you will need to cut at every corner of the letter so you can fold the fabric over. You can decide how you want to do this, there really is no wrong way. It's kind of like wrapping a present. You can see more in the pictures below.
Step 6: Start folding the fabric up around the edges. I apply a little glue on the side first, fold the fabric up and press to adhere, then apply a little glue to the back and press.
Step 7: Some of your pieces will have overhangs, you can cut these flush with the letter or, as I have done, fold them over and glue them down. If you are using thicker fabric, cutting flush might be a good idea, otherwise folding doesn't add any bulk.
Step 8: If you have inside corners, as in the inside coners of this E, or the inside of an A or a P (or if you have a curved letter), you might not have enough fabric to cover the side of the letter (if it is 3D, as mine is). In this case, just cut a strip of your fabric and glue it to the inside before folding the edges of your main fabric over. Don't worry about cutting the strip perfectly, you can trim it down after it is glued.
Step 9: Once you have your fabric all cut and folded and glued, and your letter is covered, use a little bit of glue to finish any raw edges or any corners that don't lie totally flat or might unravel. It's an extra step, but it really makes the letter look polished and complete.
Step 10: Repeat steps 1-9 until all of you've covered all of your letters. And don't worry if they aren't perfect! That's the beauty of handmade things. If you wanted them to be perfect you would have forked up $40 a letter at a store or in a magazine. But not you, crafty lady (or lad), you went and made your own! Good for you :)
These will be hung on the wall in my niece's bedroom. My sister has plaster walls so we'll be using some 3M sticky hanging things (the letters are very lightweight, no worries about them falling). It would be really easy to attach a hanging bracket to the back of each letter, or just line them up on a shelf.
Some other great ideas you might want to try:
- make patchwork panels instead of using a single piece of fabric.
- add embroidery to your fabric before gluing it down.
- use different sizes and styles of letters
I'm sure you guys can come up with your own brilliant ideas. Hope this has been helpful. Let me know if you make some fabric covered letters so I can see!