My classroom is in need of some serious TLC. I mean, it has plenty of nerd paraphernalia littering every available shelf, bulletin board, boring cinder block, and musty corner, but most of the decor is store-bought and not very unique. The transformation toward one-of-a-kind decorations began with a Han Solo art piece created by one of my students. . . and the rest is history.
So, here is one of my latest creations – READ and WRITE signs using two different techniques from the same fabric.
I started by buying a few “fat quarters” of my favorite Star Wars and Star Trek fabric from Craft Warehouse – this is easier than buying 1/4 yards of each design. Trust me. I coordinated around the blue tones since my classroom is mostly blues and greens.
Next, I bought 8 x 10 stretched canvas for the WRITE sign and MDF letters for the READ sign. I already had a big ol’ tub of Mod Podge hiding in my closet, so I was good to go!
My real list of needed supplies for the WRITE sign…
- 5 “fat quarters” of fabric cut down to approximately 10 x 14 (to wrap 8 x 10 canvas edges and staple to the back)
- 1 staple gun
- computer paper (you will print from a Word document)
- paint (I used yellow I had on-hand)
I like to use the least-directional fabric I can because then there is less need for centering the fabric. Turn your cut fabric with the wrong side up. Place your canvas on this with the face down. Wrap the edges like a present, stapling to the back of the canvas frame.
Voila! Step one done.
Go to your computer (unless you have beautiful handwriting and can freehand your lettering… P.S. If this is you, I hate you), and open a Word document. Or use PowerPoint or whatever program you like for manipulating fonts. Type in your letters. Size them to fit the page as best you can. Keep in mind that all of your letters need to be the same height – keep them the same font size. There are a ton of free, downloadable fonts online! I can’t remember the name of the one I used, but it looks fabulous. Print off your letters. There should be one per sheet. Cut them out. This is where you use a lot of patience.
Once the letters are cut out, lay them on your fabric-covered canvas. You may want to use a little scotch tape to secure one edge as you work. Trace each letter with a pencil on its corresponding fabric canvas.
Break out the paint! Paint the outline of your traced letters and paint to fill in.
Let it dry.
Spray with some kind of matte clear acrylic coating spray.
Hang as desired.
Phew. Finally finished explaining that one.
On to the READ sign.
Supplies needed for the READ signage…
- 4 fat quarters (can use the leftovers from the WRITE sign project) of different fabrics
- Mod Podge (I use the matte)
- 1″ paint brush (or whatever size you have that won’t drive you nuts)
- Cutting mat (the kind quilters/crafters use with a rotary cutter)
- Exacto knife
- MDF letters from local craft store (can also use wood ones – as long as they’re flat on the front surface)
Pick out fabric to use for each letter. Duh.
Use a vinyl/plastic tablecloth under your working surface. Trust me! I used newspaper and my Modge Podge soaked through the fabric and started sticking to the newspaper. My project and life were almost ruined that day. So, I am merely speculating that using a vinyl tablecloth would remedy the situation.
Lay fabric with good side down (I think quilters may call this the “right” side).
Paint the “good side” of the LETTER with Mod Podge. Don’t overdo it!
Place the letter down on the fabric. Press on it to get out any wrinkles.
This is important! FLIP OVER THE letter and fabric for drying! Remember the newspaper incident? Yeah.
Allow fabric-covered letters to completely dry – that’s about 20 minutes. Check to make sure that the face of the letter is completely covered with fabric. I noticed on one of mine that I missed a corner when painting with the Mod Podge (I don’t know how that happened either, so don’t ask). If there are any loose edges, fix them now and wait for the dry time!
Is your project sufficiently dried? Good.
Flip the letter onto your cutting mat. You should be looking at the butt end of your project. Pretty, huh?
Use the Exacto knife to cut the fabric along the edges of the letter. Keep in mind that your edges will look a little frayed – they are supposed to be this way, you perfectionist! Cut off any obnoxiously long, stray strands of string.
Boom! You’re done!
You can go ahead and figure out how to hang them on your wall, but you could also modify these bad boys into classy book ends. Or use craft dots (little adhesive dots on paper) to stick them anywhere!