Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Decorate a Youth Room with No Money, Part Two: Lettering

After Christmas we got an exciting new addition to our youth room.... a ping pong table! It was a big pain to put together but now that it's all set, we have a blast before and after our worship services playing floor pong. Anyway, the table came in a gigantic cardboard box. So, to recycle the box, I decided to cut out the name of our meeting space and our ministry to post on the wall. We have a lot of wall space so I thought this would be a great way to fill some of it.
So first I traced my letters on the cardboard and then I carefully used my utility knife to cut it out. If you attempt this, be very careful! I found it easiest to pull the blade toward myself (not directly of course, I'm not that dumb). But whenever I was holding the box tightly to have maximum control of the knife, I ended up with several cardboard cuts, which are way more intense than paper cuts. Ugh.

So, finally I ended up with this:

Because it's difficult to make accurate curves with the utility knife sometimes you have to kind of just stab the cardboard until you've made the curve. Consequently, some of the letters came out a little rough or had weird sharp or misshapen edges. I used scissors to clean all the edges up and round it all out.

Then I took all the letters outside to spray paint a sage green color. I found some leftover spray paint in the office from some Welcome signs.

I set up the letters against a tree one at a time (down wind after the first try) and sprayed them green.

Now, I started off with what was leftover in the cabinet. But after 7 letters and two coats each, that can was totally empty. So at Lowe's, I picked up this stuff-

It's really made for things like outdoor furniture, but it cost the same as the Krylon and worked soooo much better. With one can, I finished all of the rest of the letters with one coat. It covered all my outlines which I missed and was actually more the color I wanted. But it did take a little longer to dry. Even when I hung the letters, it was still a little sticky.

I hung each letter with an adhesive foam poster hanger, easily removable but strong enough to hold way more than a piece of cardboard.

So for not using a level and pretty much freehanding everything, I'm pretty pleased. I really like the whole imperfect look :)

Stay tuned for more budget decorating ideas!

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