Friday, December 30, 2011

DIY Letter Art on the Cheap!

I totally love the art where objects spell out letters.

You know, this stuff

But with an average price of $7 a letter unframed- it gets a little pricey when your last name has 9 letters (thanks hubs!).

We have one that I received as a present for our wedding in our entryway, and the hub's grandparents admire it every time they come over. So for Christmas this year I knew that is what I wanted to get them- but I wasn't about to pay $70. I was determined to DIY it.

Well first I thought I could go out and take pictures myself, but with being massively preggers, then a newborn and dicey weather that was out.

This man is awweesomee! He has thousands of pictures of letters and numbers and allows you to use them for free.

So using that and Microsoft Publisher I came up with this:
If you go under Page Design in Publisher and click on Margins then Custom Margins at the bottom. Once the window pops up, click on the Grid Guidelines tab and add as many rows and columns as you need. This gives you nice even squares to fit your images in. Once you find the letter you want, right click and change the size to Medium 640. Then make the window smaller, and leave it open over the blank Publisher document. Then you can click and drag the letter and drop it into your Publisher page and re size it to fit the blue grid lines.

Once you get your art the way you like it, you need to save it as a jpeg.  To do this click Save As, then at the bottom it says Save As a. Click the drop down menu and choose JPEG File Interchange Format.  Then change the resolution from standard to High Quality (300 dpi).  Then all you have to do is upload it to your favorite photo printing website and have it printed. Buy yourself a frame (bonus points if you have a coupon!) and you're good to go.

Total cost- $4.99 for the 11x13 Print at Ritz on Sale and $9.99 for the frame (50% off at Michaels) makes this custom gift less than $15.  Much better than the $70 without a frame (and I'm sure a 9 opening photo frame would cost an arm and a leg as well!)

So have fun playing around, lovelies, and show me what you made!


  1. I love this idea! I made some using this site for Christmas, but never thought of using it for a great meaningful gift like yours! Thanks for posting....coming from FJI!

  2. Once you find the letter you like, how do you save or uploade it?

  3. Erin, you have to drag it into the document you're making. Then you can save it from there. Just make the internet window smaller over the publisher doc. Then open the image as medium 640. Once that opens, click and drag onto the publisher file and it will appear in there. Hope this helps!

  4. What a great, simple tute and an awesome gift idea!

    LOVE it!

    Would also love it if you stopped by for a visit!

    P.S. I'm your newest follower. : )

    ~Abbie (

  5. Love this...I, too, thought I'd just go take the pics of the letters I needed...that was several years(and kids) ago. This is perfect! Thanks!

  6. I'm blog hopping from Just Something I Whipped Up. This is a great idea! I love those pictures too but don't want to pay the price for them either. This is a great solution. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Very cute idea. I love this kind of art also. Stopping by from Crafty Soiree would love for you to come check me out.

  8. I have seen that a lot of people have used this site for letters. When I did this the pictures looked blurry. I uploaded them to Kodak and they say the pictures may appear blurry when printed. Am I doing something wrong or do they turn out OK once printed? THanks

  9. Mine were blurry until I changed the size- right click on the letter and click on Medium 640. Then when you go to save it make sure you change it to high resolution and hopefully that fixes the problem!!

  10. Thank you for sharing this fantastic idea !! Just made a house warming gift for my daughter and my future son in law :-)

  11. Does anyone know how to do this in Photoshop elements?

  12. Where did you find the numbers? The link you shared only has letters?

  13. Any ideas on what other documents I can use to create the design? I unfortunately do not have access to Publisher. Thanks!

  14. This is so awesome! I looked so hard trying to find a website that did them for cheap but this is even better!


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