Saturday, November 27, 2010

Letters Made From Twine

I have been loving all the burlap and twine and jute used in home decorating this year and having been itching to make something with them.  The other day inspiration struck - I would make twine letters for the mantel to spell the word JOY. 

So I did!  Then I had to decorate the rest of the mantel for Christmas so the new twine word had an appropriate backdrop.  

It was very simple to make and involved using cardboard, glue and twine.  That's it - how hard could that be.

First I drew the letters on a cardboard box I had lying around.  The letters needed to be big and chunky and the ends of the letters needed to be rounded for my idea to work.

Here's the 'J'.

and the 'YO'.

Then I cut the letters out,

and made holes near the ends of the straight parts of the letters.  The hole in the picture below was actually too small and I had to keep enlarging it as I went along so there was enough room for the twine.

Then I wound tape around the end of the twine so that it was stiff enough to sew with.

Then I sewed the twine through the hole in a radiating fashion around the curved ends of the letters to give them a finished look.  I'm afraid I missed taking a picture of the end of the letter before I started winding twine down the arm, so I hope you understand what I mean.  It was all very exciting and hard to stop and take photos.  I applied white glue to the cardboard so that the twine would stay in place and glued and tucked the twine ends under another row of twine.  I pressed the twine into the glue with my thumb as I went along.  

Once I had finished the ends I slowly wound the twine along the arm of the letters.

I did both the "Y" and the "J" the same way.  The "O" involved winding the twine through the opening in the centre of the "O". 

There you have it - some lovely jute letters!  I have them on my mantel and am loving the simplicity of the the word and the texture of the twine. 

A few tips I learned along the way:

1)  Do not ask your husband and 16 year old son if they think you should undertake the project.    When I asked them what word they wanted me to spell my husband thought none as he wasn't convinced the project would look any good and William said any word as long as it was in Russian so he couldn't read it.  Sigh!  Now I have to say both of the naysayers have complimented me on how well the finished project turned out (although William maintains a Russian word would have been cooler). 

2)  Make sure the opening at the centre of a closed letter, like "O" is large enough to put the whole twine roll through - otherwise you will have a mess of twine everywhere.

3)  A little dot of sticky tack holds rolly letters, like "J" upright.  If you look closely at the right hand side of the base of the "J", in the photo above, you can see a white dot of sticky tack.

4)  Choose a short word.  It takes a lot of winding to make each letter and who wants a project that takes more than a couple of hours to complete.  I'm just saying ... 

Linked to Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Make it 4 Monday at Cottage Instincts
Just Something I Whipped Up at Cottage Instincts
Craftomaniac Monday Link Party at Craft-O-Maniac
Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter
Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Friday Remodelaholic at Remodelaholic
Best of 2010 Blog Party - Crafts at House of Grace


  1. Great job! I will try to remember this for next year. I am so distracted right now with my reno.

  2. WoW!You did a fabulous job!! I think you could give those as Christmas presents! They look incredible....and they would worth $60 in the Pottery Barn catalogue!! Angie xo

  3. A wonderful project. I love how you wrapped the ends of the letters.

  4. This is such a great project!

    Thanks for your comment at my blog! I love to meet new people!

  5. Very well done! It's a lovely project! Enjoy the beautiful day, Kellie xx

  6. So clever! You'd never know it was an old cardboard box hiding in there...

  7. Wow, what a neat project and it came out so nicely. I love it. Thanks for sharing this here.

    Have a wonderful Christmas season.


  8. They're fantastic! I love how you finished the ends, it makes this project special. Thanks for your visit!:))
    Cheers, Andrea

  9. Such a simple yet lovely idea. Thanks for sharing.

  10. These are fabulous!!!
    simple & cheap to make yet beautiful!! I love it!

  11. Excellent Grace!
    I went to a Christmas craft show this disappointing! Something like this would be such a big hit!

  12. This is such a cute idea! Simple and easy. You did good!

  13. Hi Grace. What a great project! I love them!! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today - stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Hope you have a fabulous week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  14. Super cute! I cannot believe you made the letters themselves, too. I thought for sure they were gonna be wooden ones.

    I made a PB knockoff Christmas wreath..come check it out.

  15. This is great! I have to say that I'm definitely going to make some twine letters of my own...soon! I featured this great idea on my blog today!

  16. This is absolutely fantastic!! I love a rustic look, so I may have to try this! :)

    I'm a new follower of yours! :)

  17. cute! I made some of these last night!

  18. That looks fantastic! I am going to show this to my daughter and have her decide what word to do. Easy project- Thanks for sharing!

  19. Just dropping by to let you know that I linked to this post in a round up today from the Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. :) This will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

    If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one here!

  20. thank your for the idea! It's great

  21. I featured this cute thing on my blog today

  22. Very clever idea. I really love the turnout!

  23. I been wanting to do something like this with yarn. Thanks for the inspiring, easy-to-follow tutorial! I saw your project on The Crafty Crow today.

  24. LOVE THIS! I have so many boxes lying around and I love letters. Thanks for this! I will be making one or two tomorrow!

  25. I featured you on my site, I love this idea!