Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Letter Art Inspired by a Groupon

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

Dear Girls,

Have either of you seen the letter art signs that have become popular at art shows / craft fairs?  The photographers find subjects that resemble letters and then artfully piece together a word.  Most often, the signs are customized with last names or sayings:

Recently my mother-in-law mentioned how she saw a sign and thought it was really cool.  I filed that away and weeks later when there was a Groupon for a letter sign I thought the stars were in alignment.  The Groupon was $59.00  for a 159.00 value.  Score!

The problem came when I tried to cash in the Groupon.  For whatever reason this Groupon had a quick expiration date--like two weeks quick. Whaa?!  I wasn't prepared to spend 159 dollars on a letter sign and felt super bummed.  The Groupon people were very understanding and refunded our money.  But still, I was left without a sign.

Then I decided--what the heck--I'll do it myself (a dangerous thought at times).

So the kids and I started driving around town looking for things that resembled letters.  It was fun and not half as boring as it sounds.  I thought this sign would have special meaning for their grandparents too.  The letters were all objects found in the town where they raised their family and even cooler, the letters were picked out by their grandchildren.  These two factors, in my mind, made up for the inadequacies in photography.  Truthfully, you don't have to be a master to capture a letter picture.

Here are the letters (of my real last name, gasp!) we ultimately chose:

A - road sign in Pittsford where my in-laws used to live.

R - light by the Coal Tower, a favorite restaurant on the canal.

C - park bench in the village.

H - fence at the bank in the village.

E - Grill side in Powder Mills Park

R - rocks the kids collected and placed in our backyard.

Then I cropped the pictures and made them all black and white.  (You can do this in Microsoft or Flickr or most photo services.  For black and white photos in Microsoft Office Picture Manager, open the picture and click "edit pictures" on the top.  Then on the right there will be a color option.  Click that.  And finally, where it says "saturation" drag the bar all the way to the left.  Black and white!)

Meanwhile, I ordered a frame.  I ordered it from  It cost me $39.  You can google arttoframes for coupon codes.  The first frame that arrived was warped (being honest!) but the company did right by me and immediately shipped a new one.  When that one arrived it looked like this:

Here's the finished result...excuse the glare:

alphabet art sign
Add caption

It's not perfect but it has heart.  And hopefully every time my children's grandparents look at the sign, they will think of the town they hold dear and their beloved grandkids.  

Say cheese,

Mrs. Gosling comment:  I think that this is perfect and it warms my heart to think about the response your in laws will have.  What a great idea, great letter seeking and EXCELLENT execution.  You amaze me with your creativity Mrs. Kelly.  Actually, now that I am thinking about it ... I have a little spot on the wall that could use some black & white photography.  No rush!  Just make sure I have it in time for the Holidays :)

Mrs. Williams comment:  I'm nuts about that "E" and curvy "R," if only my real last name was Er or Re.  I really like how your art/gift turned out.  I think it's sweet that it has hometown images - super personal.  Well done!


Anonymous said...

Love this! Christmas gift?...hint hint ;)

Naptime Notebook said...


Moe said...

This came out so well! My favorite letter is the "A" because it also incorporates your hometown. What a fun project to do with kids of all ages, and what a lovely, personalized gift!

alyssa said...

Love this! I've seen similar projects floating around, and I've thought about making my own somehow, but it never occurred to me to take the photos myself! That little step makes the whole project much more personalized and special, thank you for the inspiration!

Naptime Notebook said...

Tx Moe!

Naptime Notebook said...

Definitely try it yourself! Good luck. :)

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