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Create Your Own Personalized Name Art

Updated on December 29, 2012

Letter Art Done Cheap

I love the name plates that have the architectural letter art. I've seen them everywhere and have always wanted one with our family name on it. A few of our friends have them as well. That is until I looked at the price of them. That quelled my desire for a long time.

But, like I said, I see them everywhere and everytime I saw one I knew I wanted one. The last straw was when our friends (also coincidentally our neighbors) got a personalized letter art nameplate for a wedding present. This one was a bit different than some of the other ones I had seen though. And this got the wheels turning in my head...

Yes, I think I could do this. I just need to find the right supplies for the right price.

After some searching and digging I've found everything I need for a great price. And now everyone who sees it wants me to make them one as well. I now have quite a few of them made under my belt now and think I have a pretty good system going

So, I figured I'd share it with you!

Greatest Gift Idea Ever - Everybody loves them! And they are cheap (if you make your own)

Like I said, all of my family and friends love these. I'm willing to bet your family and friends will too. What better gift can you give than something you know they will love, is inexpensive and you make yourself?

Sure they take a little effort and time to make. But, if you know you're going to make a few then you can buy your supplies in bulk and build them in bulk as well. You won't have to spend a lot on gifts and as a bonus, it'll be a huge hit!

The hardest part will have been finding this lens on how to do it. Now lets get started shall we...

How I stumbled onto making them myself

After seeing the name plate our neighbors got as a wedding present I went right out to the artists' website and found out for my last name which is 8 letters long it would be close to $100.00!! Pretty steep and there was no way I would convince my husband we had to spend that much money just to have our last name hanging on the wall. So he convinced me that on our monthly date night we could set out downtown and take the pictures ourselves. Good idea right? Well, actually it was but we never followed thru and all along I still didn't have our last name hanging on our wall.

So on a trip to Hobby Lobby I was browsing their half off frames when I stumbled across 4x6 black and white architectural letters for only $1.99 each!!!! That's a steal compared to what I was seeing online. I immediately bought the necessary letters and was faced with yet another to frame them? I looked for a frame that was long enough to hold them luck! So I talked to someone at Hobby Lobby about having a custom frame made...low and behold that was going to be $100 too! No way was I going to pay that. I decided that I would frame each letter in it's own frame (specifically a clip frame) and attach them to a 1x4 piece of lumber. Well guess what? Hobby Lobby didn't have 4x6 clip frames, only 5x7 and up.

Next, I did what any person of the computer era would do, I turned to the internet. I found a woman who was a photographer who took photos of the architectural letters and sold them. She was also selling 4x6 clip frames on her site. I got 8 frames for $9.99 plus $5.00 shipping. Not too bad or so I thought. A week or so later when the frames arrived I noticed they came from IKEA. I quickly went to their site to find out they carry them here at our semi-local IKEA and for only.....$0.25 each!!! You mean I paid $1.25 each plus shipping and handling? Live and learn I guess.

A couple weeks later my mom and I took a road trip to IKEA and I bought a ton of these frames. I have since made 5 more of these name plates as gifts. So had I not paid the $15.00 for the frames I found online and went straight to IKEA in the first place my 8 letter name plate would have only cost me just under $20! Far cry from $100!!!

How to...

Now, that you know my secret as to where I bought my letters from I'll share with you the list of items needed and how easy it is to assemble.

You need the following...

Your letters

Frames (I like the clip frames)

1x4 Piece of wood (When measuring account for a 1/2 inch space between each letter as well as on each end). Example: if you have 8 letters each one is 4 inches wide giving you 32 inches and then factor in 1/2 inch between each letter and on each end giving you a total of 36 1/2 inches.

Black spray paint

Saw tooth picture hangers

Hot glue gun




Paint your 1x4 with the black spray paint.

Attach the picture hangers to the back of the 1x4.

Put letters into frames (I had to trim my letters just a bit for a perfect fit into the frame). Also, I only used the clips on the top and bottom of the frame for easier attachment to the 1x4.

Once you have all your letters put into your frames it's time to assemble.

Measure from the edge in 1/2 inch and glue that first letter down (I rested the edge of the top clip on the top of the board that way they were all even) and continue on with each letter.

Finished Product

This is the first one that I made. The ones that you can order that are matted and framed look great, but you can make one like this for a fifth of the cost or less. They look great and I've had many compliments on them.

I looked on Amazon to find some of the supplies needed (frames being the big one) and couldn't find anything. If you have any tips on where to find 4x6 clip frames other than IKEA please post your comments below. Thank you!

Do you have any crafty ideas to make this new trend your own?

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    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This looks neat and your handwork and persistence paid off in the form of a masterpiece. And now you've even made many more. Wonderful job...thanks for sharing this!

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 4 years ago

      I've also been interested in doing this! Our last name is 8 letters long as well so that is helpful to know! Thanks so much for your tips and tutorial!