Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5th Anniversary Theme DIY: Wood

Every year for our anniversary so far, J + I try to stick with the traditional anniversary gift themes; however, we try to do something unique each year. The gifts typically include something handmade. 
See past years' gifts hereherehere.

Since the 5th anniversary theme is wood, I figured I'd try to make something on one of the pieces of wood that was used as a centerpiece at our wedding:

What tools you'll need for this wood-burning project:
- Wood-burning tool
- Alphabet set
- Needle nose pliers
I chose a quote and then got to work. The hardest part was figuring out the spacing. Since I had to use the pliers to unscrew each letter, I thought I'd try to do all of the same letters in 1 run to reduce having to switch out the letters, but I don't recommend it. The "I" in the bottom row below ended up having to be a "R" so thankfully it worked out!
 Once the iron got hot (it took about 4 minutes), the letters would warm up very quickly so be very careful! Pliers really are your best friend.
I only made one mistake (besides the spacing on the 2nd row wording, but it ended up fine), because I was distracted. Nightmare, eh?
Thankfully, I was able to get out a small sander and sand out the mistake. It left a slight discoloration that I may try to use dirt on to darken, but it's not really noticeable. 
As I got into the areas where I was worried about space, I used the pieces to determine placement so I could use the same letter more than once to save time. A tip: I used 2 separate metal lids to place the hot letters in: one with letters that I was done with and another with letters I would need again. This saved me time looking through every letter for the right one!
 The finished product! 
This photo was taken with a flash so the sanded part stands out a bit more here than it does in normal lighting. I did this completely free-handed so next time I'll use a ruler to ensure straight lines, but I kind of like the fact that it isn't perfect. As long as it's made with love, right? :)
I will add a hanging bracket to the back in case we want to put it on the wall. My favorite part about this piece is on the back, because there is wax and water stains from the vases and candles from our wedding night 5 years ago...there's something really cool about making one of our centerpieces into a true keepsake!

If you'd like to commission a custom piece, let me know!

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