Don't you love to get mail? I mean real mail, not junk mail, the kind that is a card or a letter with personal messages written in someone's real handwriting? I am not just saying this because my husband is a postal worker. The letters above are letters I have received from my mother in recent years. I have mentioned in previous posts that she is 93 years old, so her letters and handwriting are becoming more and more precious to me. I have always thought that descendants of famous actors and singers of the past are very blessed to have recordings and movies of their deceased parents or grandparents. With today's technology, it is easier for all of us to save moments like that, but there is something so beautiful and special to me about a person's handwriting. Personality comes out in their words and thoughts and in the way they form their letters. Perhaps I feel this way because I tend to be able to express myself better through writing than by simply talking. I take time to think before I write and not necessarily so much before I speak. (Place chagrined emoji here.) Some of the things I read from my mother make me believe that it is the same for her, even though now arthritis sometimes makes writing difficult for her.
These feelings about handwriting and my mom's letters are what has sparked an idea I have been working on and I am excited to share it with you. I saw something on Pinterest that was a technique using wood burning to transfer old recipes onto bread boards. I thought, what a great idea for preserving my mom's handwriting from old recipes she has written me. But, I don't have a lot of room for hanging things in my kitchen, so I pondered this idea further. Then, I thought, what if I copied old handwriting off of the backs of pictures and and wood burned them onto the front of the wooden frame, thus showing the handwriting and who was in the photo at the same time. I even bought a wood burner and started to practice. It is a lot of work copying someone's handwriting precisely, which makes me glad that I didn't try an entire recipe! Then I saw this idea and that is when it all came together! I decided that I can take my mom's letters and use the printing on wax paper transfer method to put her words onto my frames.
As I said, this is a new technique for me, but I have learned a few things so far and I couldn't wait any longer to share them with you. Click the read more link below to learn how I did it.
I started this process with my mom's letters, some waxed paper and inexpensive wooden frames from either Walmart or Michael's.
I found that the waxed paper technique will print on bare wood or paint just as well. I painted or stained my frames. ( I stained by using very watered down acrylic paint, washing it on the wood and then rubbing it off.) While they dried, I worked on printing my letters.
When I say "worked", I do not use the word lightly! Hopefully I can save you some time here.
1. First, scan your letters onto your computer.
2. Use Picmonkey or some other program to turn your image 180 degrees, or mirror image.
3. Save this image to your computer.
4. Cut wax paper to the size of your printer paper. Tape the wax paper at the top edge, the edge that will feed into your computer first, of a piece of regular computer paper. This will help it feed and not bunch in your computer. Think of it like printing on fabric and attaching it to freezer paper.
5. Feed the paper into your printer. My printer takes the paper in upside down, so be mindful of how your paper prints. As it comes out, do not touch the ink or it will smear. It stays wet on the wax, so that is why this works,
Next, I cut the white paper off at the tape, very carefully and then I cut the wax paper into manageable sections, WITHOUT TOUCHING THE INK! Then, turn the waxed paper over onto your frame, where ever you want to place it, and rub it with an old credit card, being careful not to smear. Luckily, if you do make a mistake, I found that you can rub it off pretty easily with a damp cloth.
When you are all finished, be sure to spray your frame with an acrylic spray to set the ink. Then, put in a beautiful portrait of the person you love.
Doesn't she look great for 93? (She was 91 here, but who's counting?)
I can think of a million more ideas using this technique and I am sure that I will perfect it more as I go, but so far this idea is my favorite. What ideas do you have for using this technique? I would love to hear them.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!