Create a Better Life
Designer: Bethany Peterson, sales promotion manager
Bethany designed the word "create" on the Silhouette software program. She covered the Silhouette's cutting mat in painter's tape, cut the word with the die-cutting machine, and positioned the word on the canvas. She used three colors of paint to color block the canvas. Then, she mixed white with the three colors and used the lighter colors to add an ombre effect. Once the paint was dry, she removed the painter's tape to reveal the word.
Tip: A stencil will achieve a similar effect if you don't have a die-cutter handy!
Tip: Paint the entire canvas white (or the color you'd like your word) before starting. It gives the word a crisper and brighter look.
Designer: Jill Mead, editor
Materials: 22" square fabric, 16" square prestretched artist's canvas, 2 yards ribbon, assorted buttons, water-soluble marking pen, staple gun and staples, and fabric glue.
How-to: Using water-soluble pen, draw or trace "create" letters to center of right side of fabric square. (Jill used a simple script font, enlarged to desired size.) Place marked fabric square right-side down on a flat surface. Center prestretched canvas on fabric. Wrap excess fabric to back side of prestretched canvas. Keeping fabric taut and smooth, staple excess to canvas frame, mitering corners. Secure ribbon to outer edge of canvas frame with fabric glue. Draw a line of fabric glue atop lettering on fabric and press buttons in place. When dry, glue additional buttons atop adjoining buttons to create a layered look.
Tip: Use a heavy-bodied fabric glue to secure buttons in place. Be patient…wait for glue to dry before hanging.
Button Collage Detail
Jill layered her buttons with glue for a three-dimensional look. It adds texture and interest to the design.
License to Create
Designer: Jennifer Keltner, executive editorOn a junk-finding trip, Jennifer and a friend found license plate letters. She nailed them in place on a salvaged piece of wood, added eye hooks to the top corners, and a ribbon hanger. It makes a perfect and create-ive sign to hang in a sewing room.
Designer: Lindsay Fullington, assistant multimedia editorLindsay used precut triangles of kraft paper and punched holes in the top center of each. She added squares of burlap with glue to each triangle. Using a stencil, she traced the letters for the word "create" on patterned cardstock and cut each out. Using a glue dot, she attached the letter to each triangle. To hang, she ran a piece of twine through the holes.
Designer: Kayli Kunkel, contributing graphic designerKayli created a template with a fun font on the computer and printed it out at full size. She laid the end of 22-gauge wire at one end of the word, taping it in place. Bending the length of the wire along the letter lines, she made a wire word. She wrapped different colors of bakers' twine around each letter, securing the ends under the wraps.
Designer: Alison Gamm, contributing graphic designerAlison cut letters for the word "create" from bright polka dot fabric. Using fusible web, she adhered the letters to a solid fabric, then displayed it in an embroidery hoop.
Designer: Meredith Jinks, advertising sales directorMeredith folded double-sided cardstock in half and cut to make a 4x6" card. She used glue to attach the word "create" with Scrabble letters (you can find them at your local crafts store if you don't want to steal from your game).
Chalk It Out
Designer: Kayli Kunkel, contributing graphic designerKayli painted a piece of cardboard with black chalkboard paint. She printed the word "create" on a piece of paper and cut out each letter. She traced each letter on the cardboard with a white colored pencil. She filled in the letters with a white chalkboard paint pen for a crisp finish!
Mug of Creativity
Designer: Lindsay Fullington, assistant multimedia editor
Lindsay decorated a store-bought coffee cup with paint pens. She freehanded the letters and filled them in with different designs for a colorful design.
Tip: Want perfect letters? Print letters from your computer, tape them to your mug with double-sided tape, and trace around them.
Designer: Elizabeth Beese, senior editor
Elizabeth bought and stained a two-foot-square piece of wood. She used her word processing software to print out the word "create" in a large font she liked. She taped the letters to the wood. Then she hammered skinny 3/4"-tall nails along the edges of the letters, making sure to put a nail at each inner and outer point. She tied six strands of embroidery floss to a nail, then started wrapping it around randomly, going around each nail several times to create a random, filled-in look. She started with dark aqua floss and moved to lighter and lighter floss with each letter. When she was done with each letter, she tied the floss around another knot. She used clear nail polish to secure the knots and hide the thread end.
Tip: Make sure your nail heads are larger so the wrapped embroidery floss stays in place.
String Art Detail
Don't hammer the nails down too far. Leaving 1/2" above the wood will let the letters stand out against the background.
Designer: Kayli Kunkel, contributing graphic designerKayli printed the tiny triangles and the wedge shape from her computer. Then she placed them over different colors of polymer clay and used an X-Acto knife to cut the shapes out. Using a toothpick, she poked holes in the corners of the wedge. She hot glued the triangles to the wedge to form a banner shape. Using an acrylic alphabet stamp set and a red ink pad, she stamped the word "create" to the clay. She attached silver jewelry rings to the holes and strung a long jewelry chain through to make a necklace.
Framed Word Art
Designer: Bethany Peterson, sales promotion managerBethany refreshed an old frame she found in her basement. It didn't have any glass or a backing, so she cut a piece of cardboard to the frame size and hot glued the gray velvet to it. Then, she used hot glue to attach chipboard glitter letters to the velvet, and popped the cardboard into the frame for instant art.
Designer: Alison Gamm, contributing graphic designerAlison spelled out her passion with a string of white yarn and freehanded cursive.
Designer: Jennifer Keltner, executive editor
Jennifer machine-embroidered the word "create" on a strip of colorful fabric. She then used that fabric to piece a gray and yellow pillow with the word displayed in the center.
Designer: Amy Gates, advertising sales directorAmy took photos of the letters for the word "create" that she found in signs and art around town. She cropped them and arranged them in her photo editing software, leaving a little white space between each letter to look like photo matting. She printed the image out and framed it for creative art.
Designer: Jennifer Keltner, executive editorJennifer printed the word "create" on her computer, reversing the letters. Then she traced the letters onto lightweight fusible web. She pressed the fusible web on the wrong side of a piece of purple wool and carefully cut around each letter. She peeled away the paper backing, then carefully positioned the wool (fusible web side down) atop the right side of a slighty larger piece of orange cotton fabric and fused the two pieces together with a warm iron. She added a running stitch to outline each letter.
Peek-a-Boo Word Details
Jennifer used variegated embroidery floss to get an interesting look without the extra work.
Although this display is store-bought, you can get a similar look by cutting patterned cardstock to fit cardboard or wooden letters found at a local crafts store. Decoupage the paper to the letters, wait for it to dry, and then sandpaper the edges for a smooth finish.
Large Cross Stitch
Designer: Alison Gamm, contributing graphic designerUpgrade your cross-stitch design to a large framed pegboard. Paint the pegboard a favorite color. Then cross-stitch the word "create" using coordinating yarn.
Large Cross Stitch Detail
If you're having trouble visualizing how the word will fit on the pegboard, try drawing it out on graph paper first.