Monday, August 26, 2013

She's Crafty! - DIY Personalized Name Art

Today I'm sharing a simple, personalized art project that makes a great gift for friends and family. I made my first one about 10 years ago and over the years made them as the "inspiration" struck. About a year ago my friend Joy insisted that you would all love this idea as much as she did and that I should do a blog entry to share. So nearly a year later I'm finally doing it! This project doesn't really have a name so we'll call it "DIY Personalized Name Art."

So the heck is DIY Personalized Name Art you may ask? Here are some samples of some of my past projects.

Ben, Whitney & their Wedding Date - I originally created the "Ben" for my brother for Christmas. His fiance (now wife) liked it so much that she had her sister create the other two pieces to match. They displayed them at their wedding reception and now have them hanging in their dining room.
Gina - I created this for Gina's birthday last year. Gina is actually an Emmy nominated hair stylist so the "Gina's Beauty Salon" was a perfect fit! The first "Gina" was actually from another salon called "Gina's of Beverly Hills" which is located on Crenshaw - so very far from Beverly Hills!

Megan - When Megan saw the "Ben" piece she had to have one too. Megan isn't the easiest name to find naturally. I drove across town to find the "Megan" at the top of the piece - it was on a realtor's sign. "Pic-a-nic" was on the Yogi Bear movie sign and is one of Megan's nicknames so it was a perfect addition to the piece.

How to Make Personalized Name Art

1. Find signage with the names you are looking to use. It's actually quite simple to make these pieces - finding the names themselves is the most difficult part! When I see names of friends or family, I generally take photos of them regardless if I plan to make them a piece in the near future. You never know when the inspiration or occasion will strike! When I traveled to Australia last year, I took a ton of photos "just in case" since some names are more common there than here.

2. Take the photos. I always take photos of each sign from a variety of angles to give me the most options when laying out the piece. As you can see, I favor "Dutch" angles but like to include one that is straight on when I can. Usually the structure of the sign dictates which photos ultimately look best.

3. Choose your frame. All of the frames above are RIBBA frames from IKEA however you can utilize any frame design or size you desire. I like these frames as they are inexpensive but are also clean lined to not distract from the piece itself. Please note that the openings in this frame are not standard 4x6" in size. I usually purchase 5x7" photos with the white border and they fit perfectly.

4. Edit the photos. I usually end up editing multiple photos of each name to find the best combination. While your preferences might be different, I make the photos black & white and generally crop in tight on the person's name. Sometimes I leave more of the sign in the photo but it has to fit properly and add something to the piece. "Gina's Beauty Salon" is a great example of this. I also really liked that there was a Ben Avenue so I left that one too.

5. Print photos & assemble. This part is pretty self explanatory and is the best part because you can see your vision come to life!

I hope this will inspire you to create simple yet impactful personalized art for your friends and family! If you make a piece, please share with me below. I would love to see your interpretations!