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Hey Kerri P » Stone Letters

Stone Letters

March 14th, 2013

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I’m in charge of decorating five different bulletin boards located at all of the entrances at my church. I’ve been doing it for several years and it has given me a creative outlet. I started out doing boards for the different holidays and seasons but found it was too hard to keep up. Of course my mother always tells me I could keep up just fine if I didn’t put so much work into them, but what’s the point of doing something if you don’t do it all the way?

I’ve been trying to keep them more generalized, year-round designs so they can stay up longer and so I can keep up, but I found this image a few years back when I Googled “Lent” and it stuck in my head and I always wanted to do something with it. Yes, you read right, that was two years ago. I wanted the word “Lent” to look like it was cut from stone like in the image but couldn’t figure out how to achieve it. The first year I just didn’t get to it and then last year I attempted to make the letters out of cut paper. I got as far as the “N” in “Lent” and decided I hated it, the whole concept just got shoved aside for yet another year.

While exploring the wonderful world of Pinterest earlier this year I saw a pin where they simply cut letters out of styrofoam and then Mod Podged tissue paper over them. Lightbulb! I love Pinterest so much. So here is how I achieved my stone letters.

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First off I needed to find some styrofoam. I could have bought a piece from Hobby Lobby (one of my favorite places in the world) but being somewhat cheap I decided to scrounge. Luck would have it my dad had a leftover piece of styrofoam. It was the kind he used to insulate an old window so it was pretty heavy-duty and quite thick. I remembered seeing spray paint that is supposed to look like stone so I ended up having to make a “Hobby Lobby” run after all. The only other tools required were a paring knife and some sandpaper.

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I started by tracing my old, ugly letters from my first attempt at this thing onto the styrofoam. I had to improvise on the “T” since if you remember, I gave up after the “N” previously.

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Since I wanted the letters to look like rough-cut stone I didn’t have to be to particular about keeping my lines straight.

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Next I went at the styrofoam with my paring knife. It was a bit tougher to cut than I thought it would be. The “Hobby Lobby” version of styrofoam I’m sure would have cut a lot easier. When I next attempt to cut something out of this piece of styrofoam I’m thinking I will head over to my dad’s shop and use his jigsaw.

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And miraculously my letter “E” has turned into the letter “L” (I forgot to take pictures of the “E” in it’s in-between phases). After cutting out the letters I trimmed notches out of the edges to make them look like they had been hand chiseled and then sanded down the edges to smooth them out and get rid of the excess trimmings.

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Next I just sprayed the letters with the stone-textured spray paint. That stuff is awesome. I had never used it before but was extremely happy with the results. Totally looks like stone.

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And there you go, a pile of stone letters. I also cut the stones for the fish shape on the finished bulletin board from my leftover pieces of styrofoam. I sprayed them with the stone-textured spray paint as well and then painted them with a mixture of additional colors and speckled them with watered down paint and a toothbrush.

Of course the project took longer than I planned and in the end the bulletin board will only be up for three weeks and Lent will be over but now I have a backup prepared for next year. And who am I kidding, I’m so slow at getting these things up it might be up there for another month.

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