Design

DIY Huge Letter Art on the Cheap

January 28, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Even though the nursery has a long way to go and will be under construction while we install new floors in the coming weeks, continually collecting and adding pieces is still a priority. Furniture and fixtures are on their way! I recently added a huge DIYed typographic piece to the otherwise bare room that was easy and cheap to make and I’m pretty smitten with the 30 minute project outcome:

DIY Huge Letter Art on the Cheap

I was inspired by this framed giant letter, but put my own twist on it. I already had the largest 28×40 Ribba frame in an aluminum finish sitting in a closet. I refreshed it with a few layers of gold spray paint and left the mat behind so the letters would be a full bleed in the frame.

DIY Huge Letter Art on the Cheap

The print itself is actually an “engineer print”–which is a large format black and white print on butcher paper, basically. The best part about these prints is they are very cheap. Our local print place, Alphagraphics (I know that Staples and some Fed Ex locations do similar engineer prints) has three different sizes for engineer prints 18×24 ($1.25), 24×36 ($2.25), or a 30×42 ($3.25). Since my Ikea frame was just smaller than 30×42, I went for that size. Like I said, I wanted the letters to fill the entire frame width-wise, so I mocked up a comparable paper size in illustrator and played with some typography until I was happy with it. Since my frame was 2″ narrower in width, I made sure to account for that, too.

DIY Huge Letter Art on the Cheap

I ended up using classic Helvetica in bold and moved the letters a little closer together. I also changed the opacity of the black to 78% so it wouldn’t be too stark for the rest of the nursery.

DIY Huge Letter Art on the Cheap

Four dollars later, we have our first piece of personalized art on the walls–and it’s huge! I’m not sure where in the room it will actually end up, but over the crib is definitely a contender. If you don’t already have this large frame on hand (about $24) or the spray paint (about $6), this project would cost a little more, but I love the way it turned out. It’s chic and sweet for a nursery, but could definitely go anywhere in a home, don’t you think?

 

What do you think?

  1. […] it yourself: There are tons of tutorials for how to create abstract art, oversized prints, string art, or other custom art for your home. If you’re even slightly crafty, try your hand […]

  2. Erica G. says:

    OH I know why I sized down now – the 24×36 size in Illustrator won’t let me make the font any bigger than around 1200. And the 750 size you had here in your screenshot is small and doesn’t fit the whole area/paper. So I made a smaller work space to have the font fill the whole space. Obviously this didn’t work. Not sure why our projects aren’t turning out the same in Illustrator but I’m not expert in it.

    I’ll keep trying!

  3. Erica G. says:

    Hi there – saw this wonderful post online and decided to recreate it. I followed your instructions almost exactly and they didn’t turn out AT ALL. I uploaded them as a PDF to Staples online and the result was very different. The ink on the letters came out so sparse it looks like they’re plaid print. When you did your project, did you take a file directly to the print place in person? Were there any other instructions you gave them? I’m thinking its possible mine didn’t turn out because of the poor quality of the file and that it was done online. Any more details would be helpful because I’d like to try again!

    • Julia says:

      I did mine online, too! It could be your size wasn’t large enough. Did you make it AT LEAST as big as you wanted it printed?

      • Erica G. says:

        Thank you for your response! Size sounds like it could be the issue! I did as you did and made an area in Illustrator the size of the frame – opened up a new file and the size I made in inches (24 x 36 in my case) instead of points or pixels BUT I sized down to fit the screen size which now that I’m trying this again I don’t know why I did. Going back to start a new one in real 24×36 inches and trying again!

        Did you upload a PDF, JPG or something else?

  4. […] Print out some large letters for a modern and chic look. They’ll go in any room, even in the nursery, and instantly make the space look that much more contemporary and sleek. {found on chrislovesjulia} […]

  5. […] Print out some large letters for a modern and chic look. They’ll go in any room, even in the nursery, and instantly make the space look that much more contemporary and sleek.{found on chrislovesjulia}. […]

  6. […] Print out some large letters for a modern and chic look. They’ll go in any room, even in the nursery, and instantly make the space look that much more contemporary and sleek.{found on chrislovesjulia}. […]

  7. […] Print out some large letters for a modern and chic look. They’ll go in any room, even in the nursery, and instantly make the space look that much more contemporary and sleek.{found on chrislovesjulia}. […]

  8. […] Print out some large letters for a modern and chic look. They’ll go in any room, even in the nursery, and instantly make the space look that much more contemporary and sleek.{found on chrislovesjulia}. […]

  9. polly plum says:

    ILOVEthis idea!!!I could use our last initial and hang it in the foyer or living rm

  10. Do you know what, that has given me a really great idea of what to do with our new Grandson in his cot when he comes to stay with us.
    I think its a brillianht idea – thanks for sharing it with us :-)

  11. Krystal says:

    I love this idea! I’m not really tech or computer savey….when you say you did this in Illustrater – is that a program? Is it in Photoshop or something different?

    • Julia says:

      Illustrator is in the same Adobe suite as Photoshop, but they aren’t the same thing. You could use any program that will allow you to dictate the size of your final image (to avoid graininess).

  12. christie says:

    could you explain more how you designed this…is it in word? i’d like to do one with a quote, but am not sure how to set it up.

  13. Ashley Carmody says:

    Love the art! My guess is Fae, Fiona, or Finley!

  14. Love this! Such an awesome giant custom piece!

  15. Bethany R says:

    Frances! With cutie patootie nicknames: Frankie, Fran, Frannie… : )

    Love this art!

  16. Sarah says:

    Fiona!!!! It’s my girl’s name if I have a daughter, just one boy now. Don’t go making it all popular now! Her room is going to be very cool.

  17. Linda says:

    So happy that you’re able to be up and about! My guess is Felicia or Fleur. My grown daughter is guessing Florence.

  18. Oooh I love Farrah. #yourekillinmehomes

  19. Marie says:

    Ferrari. Fandango. Flagella. Fluoride. Stop me when I’ve got it! Fantasy. Freedom. Futurama?

  20. Lucy says:

    Love it!! And all of the guesses. My guesses are Frances (nn Francie), Faith, and Fae (my daughter’s middle name). My fave is Frances!!

  21. Tara S says:

    Love this! Love the hint. You are a teese. I have a girl and a boy, Grace and Jasper. If we decide to be crazy and have a third and it’s a girl I totally love the name “Fae”. So that is my guess!! Good luck the rest of the way. You have a lot of people praying for you and that precious baby.

  22. Alise says:

    Love the print!! My guesses for baby girl: Felicity or Farrah or Faith. Best wishes!!

  23. Ack, LOVE huge art! I was just about to print something this morning for the nook…

    We also have engineer prints on our to-do list for something in the living room (or dining room?), and it’s been on our minds for a year now, just need to execute it and get them printed. They’re so inexpensive, but have a fun vintage feel to them.

  24. Frida?? Ooooooooooo the suspense! Wishes of good health to you and the baby.

  25. This is lovely! And yes, I’m so intrigued!

  26. I am so honored to know the name of this baby! Muahaha!!!

    and I love this art! So neat.

  27. Emily says:

    SUCH a tease! But since you knew it’d happen, I’ll throw my guesses into the ring: Faith, Faye, Felicity, Fiona.

    The nursery is looking adorable so far!

  28. Lisa says:

    My guess is Freya…

  29. Amanda G says:

    Faith? or Farrah? :) Cant wait to see more progress!

  30. Beth says:

    or fiona? :))

  31. Beth says:

    baby girl f?!?!?!? you tease! i really really really hope it’s francesca!! or francine!! xoxo

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