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An Original Take on an Unoriginal Idea

I've officially entered the "nesting" stage of my pregnancy.  Actually, with all that's been going on around our house I feel like I've been nesting for months, but now things are in high gear.  My latest project has been creating letters to spell out our son's name somewhere in the room.  Everyone does this, and although I'm not sure what the reason is (the baby can't read), I love the look of bold graphics and lettering, so I wanted to do it too :)  I found these letters, and although I liked them, I thought I could do a better job and make them more personal.  So an unoriginal but interesting idea was born.

I thought it would be neat to create letters out of maps that show where both myself and Mr.CottageModern are from--me from Canada, and him from Minnesota.  I found these maps of various Canada/U.S. regions in a perfect array of turquoise and orange to complement the room.

The maps came from a place called Hunt and Gather.  If you live in the Minneapolis area, this is the most terrific antique/"vintage stuff" store, and definitely worth the visit.  Its quirky, always changing, and off the wall in all sorts of ways.  I go there every couple of weeks and always find something that makes me smile.

After I figured out which maps would go on which letters, I got to work piecing it all together.

The letters I used are those simple, inexpensive cardboard ones you can find at any craft store.  I also used my favorite product for gluing paper to paper:

And after the initial panic of the "do not use while pregnant" warnings splattered all over the back of the bottle (discovered after I'd completed a couple of letters), Google calmed me down and I realized that I probably hadn't used the product long enough or in a way that was harmful to the baby.  This stuff is great--you apply it to the surface you're going to glue on--in my case, the face of the cardboard letter, as well as the back of the item you're gluing (the map).  Let both surfaces dry, then carefully adhere them together and it creates a tight bond.  The best part is, if you get glue on any surface you don't intend to, it rubs right off once it dries.

As a finishing touch, I added canvas around the edge of all the letters (also an unoriginal idea).  I started by cutting strips of natural canvas slightly larger than I needed, then using Stitch Witchery and a hot iron to bond and finish the edges.

And here's the finished product:

I used craft glue to adhere the canvas to the letter, and the result is a nice clean edge.  The color of the natural canvas also complements the tone of the vintage maps.

Well, there's a little sneak peek--I love how these are turning out.  We are keeping the name a secret, and I've probably already given away too much by revealing two of the letters.  Any guesses? :)  Check back in about five weeks and we should have the name (and the baby!) ready to introduce to the world!


Designing Domesticity said...

Cute idea. Funny, because you are right, they can't read, but it's still always used. I've been looking for initials, but we can't decide on a name so it's making it very difficult! ha! Good luck. liz

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Kristen- So happy to have found your blog!

The letters look great - let me guess the name.