Are you looking for a personal handmade gift idea? One of my favorite things to do is create hand painted plaques that my family and friends can display. This month, a family friend is graduating from high school and I wanted to make a special piece of art for her to commemorate that milestone. This lettered plaque is something that she can enjoy now, then take with her to college in the fall to decorate her dorm. Here’s how I made it and you can too…
Walnut Hollow Basswood Country Round, Large
Pencil and Eraser
White Chalk Paint
Acrylic or Multi-Surface Paint, Assorted Colors
Step 1: Paint the surface of your Basswood Country Round with white chalk paint.
I like to leave about 1/2″ of the wood showing to preserve the natural effect. Let the paint dry completely before moving on.
Step 2: Sketch your design in pencil.
I like to do this on paper first, which is a great thing to keep you occupied while you wait for the paint to dry. Then, lightly sketch on the painted surface of the wood. For this particular plaque, I chose a quote from the Dr. Seuss book, Oh! The Places You’ll Go! I lettered the quote in a mixture of print and script as well as a mixture of sizes to help emphasize the most important words. At the bottom, I sketched a few balloons and clouds in the iconic style of Dr. Seuss’ illustrations.
Step 3: Trace your words with a permanent black marker.
To create the brush lettering look with a regular marker, you’ll need to do a faux calligraphy technique. It’s actually quite simple; just write your words in script leaving a little bit of extra space between letters, then go back and thicken each downstroke. A downstroke is anywhere your pen would naturally move downward when writing the letter. For more detailed, step-by-step photo instructions on this technique, check out my Basic Hand Lettering post!
Step 4: Paint, then trace your illustration.
For this particular image, I used small detail brushes to color in the clouds and balloons. I also added some glitter to the clouds, just for fun! Then, I went back and outlined the illustration with the fine end of my marker.
That’s all there is to it! Once all the paint is dry, your plaque is ready to gift or display in your own home. If you like, you can drill a nail hole in the back, making sure it doesn’t go all the way through the wood, or you can attach a piece of hanging hardware.
I can’t wait to give this graduation gift and help Kaylee celebrate her special day! Who in your life would love to receive a pretty hand lettered plaque? Walnut Hollow Basswood products are so easy to customize with paint, wood burning, stain, mixed media techniques and more to create unique home decor, craft, and art pieces that your friends and family will love. These products are also made in the USA with a focus on the environment. To learn more about Walnut Hollow and their full product line, be sure to visit the website.
Right now, be sure to take advantage of the special Father’s Day Sale on the Walnut Hollow Wood Burning line. Save 20% through June 16th!
Amy Latta, aka One Artsy Mama, is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her blog, you can find craft and home decor projects that are Honestly Doable, kids’ projects that are Honestly Teachable, style tips and DIY jewelry that are Honestly Wearable, and much more! Amy is happiest when crafting, and when she’s not covered in paint, you can find her working on professional design collaborations. She is the recipient of the 2015 “Best Craft Blog” from The Craftys awards, and recently published her third e-book, A Hand Lettered New Year.