I wanted to make a wooden initial to hang on the wall of my niece's nursery. But it couldn't just be a boring painted letter...I wanted it to look vintage. And in the end, it did! I love how it turned out (and so did Jayme), and it was pretty easy, so I thought I'd share the steps with you.
I sketched the L-shape I wanted (There's a clue for all of you, readers! Baby's first initial!) on a piece of wood, and Q cut it out for me.***
***Disclaimer: I am thankful to have a pretty rad husband who knows how to do pretty much anything involving tools and woodworking, which made this DIY extremely personalized from its inception...but if you don't have a husband with a room full of every saw/router/ known to man, you can purchase a wooden letter (I've seen them in the craft sections of Target, Walmart, Michael's, etc.)
He edged it with a router to give it depth/interest.
Then he carved out/sanded any rough edges.
We were ready to go! (This is where you'll start if you have a pre-made wooden letter.)
1. I added a coat of white primer...
2....then a coat of the aqua blue after that dried.
3. (And a second coat of aqua after that one dried).
4. Then I went to work sanding down the paint a bit.
5. I focused on distressing the edges where the letter might naturally wear down more.
It looked pretty good at this point, but I still wasn't happy with it, so I decided to use a little throwback from middle school history projects: tea staining. I wasn't sure if it would work/last, but I figured it was worth a try.
6. I steeped two large bags of earl grey--though I'm pretty sure the flavor doesn't matter as long as it's black tea, I do love the fragrance--in boiling water until the water was cool enough for me to reach in and grab the bags. I then proceeded to squeeze out the tea bags and rub the leaves on the letter. (It's kind of messy, so you'll want something underneath as you work.) I left the tea grounds and drips on the letter overnight.
7. In the morning, I wiped the clumps of tea off and scrubbed at any places that were too dark. The letter had the perfect "vintage" tinge to it.
I used it as a centerpiece for Jayme's shower (post and MANY more photos coming soon!)...
And now it's hanging in their nursery, above a darling vintage print I found while thrifting.
Pretty simple and really pretty. I had so much fun surprising her with a gift that Q and I had made completely from scratch. Hope I've inspired you to do some of your own DIY's!