Beaded Board Letters

For my last baby shower, I had a really hard time coming up with a good idea for a hostess gift.  Obviously I wanted to give something that my lovely hostesses would like, and hopefully it'd be something they didn't already have.  I figured the easiest way to guarantee that I was giving them something they didn't already have was to give them something I made myself. With about a week to go before the shower, Operation: Homemade Hostess Gifts was launched.  The craft project I decided on was to make personalized door hangers, just like the one I made a while ago for my own door.

The first step of this process was by far the hardest: draw the templates for the letters.  I drew them out on newspaper and had a pretty hard time getting them to look right.  For some reason, the larger a drawing is, the harder it is for me to get it all proportionate and to scale.  Anyone else have that problem?

I finally got them all drawn and cut out of newspaper and was able to trace them on scrap pieces of beaded board we already had in the shop.   We used our scroll saw to cut them out, but you could also use a jigsaw if that's all you had.  Here's the G about halfway through getting cut out.

After cutting out all eight letters and sanding the edges down smooth, the next step was to paint them.  I started with a coat of dark chocolate brown on both the fronts and backs of each one.  (I didn't take a picture of this step but you can see them in the background of the picture below.)

For the colors on the front, my mom and I tried to pick the best color for each hostess's house.  We ended up doing 2 each of four different colors.  I did the two turquoise ones first (the backs stayed plain brown).  I brushed the the front color on lightly, being careful not to paint in all the beaded grooves so that they'd still show up.

After the turquoise, I moved on to a fall-ish orange.

The last two colors I used were bright green and red.

I applied a quick coat of polyurethane before the last step - adding a wire hanger.  The letter I made for my door just has a simple wire hanger, but for these I decided to dress it up a little with some colorful beads.  I also gave the wires a few twists and curly-ques.

Here are some of the finished projects.  Super easy, but I think they turned out pretty cute!

Of course, I'm sure they'd look even cuter actually hanging on a front door (or a wall!) instead of a plywood wall in a woodshop, but I don't have those pictures.

So there ya go, an easy project that makes a good personalized gift.  Perfect for those friends that already have everything!