Posted by Katie Gambone
My son Matteo recently turned 1 year old. It’s hard to believe that a little over a year ago Carlo and I were rushing around to get everything ready for Matteo’s arrival. My nesting instinct was pretty strong. Some (Carlo) would probably say I could be a little overwhelming at times with the preparations. I blame the hormones.
Anyway, I had a fantastic time decorating Matteo’s nursery, which I thought I would share with you today because I just collected a few new decorations to add to it. My favorite addition is a fabric covered letter “M” that I made for his door with the help of my talented mom, Sarah (step-by-step instructions follow). But before I get into that, I’ll give you a quick tour of the nursery. It’s a little room (but ironically one of the bigger spaces in our house) so it’s kind of hard to capture. Bear with me.
A few things in the nursery are worth pointing out because they are special to me. Carlo painted the space and assembled all the furniture when I was away on a business trip to surprise me. I’ll never forget it because when I came home and saw it painted and the furniture in place, it made me feel for the first time like we were really going to have a baby. It was really sweet – he’s a pretty good guy.
Matteo’s Aunt Abby and Aunt Alicia made these adorable paper bunting decorations for my baby shower. I thought they were so cute that I used them to decorate Matteo’s bookshelf.
Another decoration from our baby shower was this tree, water colored by my mom to serve as our baby shower “guest book.” All of our guests were asked to leave their thumbprints as the leaves of the tree and sign their name. We framed it along with these other two adorable prints by Sarah Ryan, which I found at a local Farmer’s Market.
The last thing I want to point out are the curtains, which I found at West Elm. I like them a lot but I have to say it took me FOREVER to pick them. In fact, I ordered three or four other pairs of curtains before deciding on these. I bet they will get switched out down the road, but for now they work.
Now that Matteo’s personality is starting to shine through I’ve been wanting to add a few more decorations to update his room. He LOVES the beach, so I found these two cool and inexpensive prints at Exit 0 Store and Gallery in Cape May, New Jersey. I am going to buy some IKEA frames this week and hang them in the corner by his crib, which currently looks pretty bare.
I also wanted to put something personal on his door. One night I was trolling around Pinterest for ideas, and I saw a fabric covered letter. It was colorful. It could be personalized. I thought, “I bet I can make that myself.” So I did. Here is the result.
Honestly, this project was not as easy as I had anticipated, but I think it turned out pretty cute. It could be that the letter “M” was tough because of all the sharp corners. A “C” or “O” or letter with mostly rounded edges is probably a little easier. Anyway, it was fun to make. Read on for the tools and step-by-step instructions.
DIY: Fabric Letter Tools
- Fabric. I got my fabric from Jo Ann Fabrics, but you can get cute fabrics online as well. I purchased a yard of fabric, which left me with extra fabric in case I messed up. I messed up twice so I was glad I had extra.
- Cardbord Letter. I picked my letter up at Jo Ann Fabrics, but you can find these at any craft store. They come in lots of different sizes and font styles.
- Pencil or chalk for tracing your letter on the fabric.
- Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive. This stuff is amazing and I will use it for many other projects. It’s a good tool to have in your crafting tool belt.
- Cardboard for underneath your fabric and letter when you are using the spray adhesive because it gets everywhere.
- Double sided sticky-tape for hanging the letter.
DIY: Fabric Letter Instructions
Step 1: Lay your fabric out on a flat surface with the patterned side facing down. Lay the cardboard letter on top of the fabric and roughly trace the shape of the letter on the fabric, leaving about about an inch border all the way around the letter.
Step 2: Cut the fabric along the lines that you have created. If you have sharp corners like I did with Matteo’s “M,” you will need to cut a line directly into each corner to create a clean crease.
Step 3: Place the letter that you have just cut with the patterned side up on top of your remaining fabric, so that you can see the letter clearly. Cut along the edges to create an identical shape.
Step 4: Take your fabric, the cardboard letter, spray adhesive and cardboard outdoors and place the cardboard on a flat surface. The spray adhesive gets a little messy and is sticky, which is why I suggest you do this step outside. Lay the fabric flat on the cardboard with the pattern side down and spray it evenly with the adhesive. Lay the cardboard letter centered on top of the fabric. Fold the edges of the fabric up around the letter, tucking in the corners and edges like you are wrapping a present. Keep the fabric as smooth and taut as possible. The spray adhesive is really sticky, but you can still move the fabric a bit before it dries if you need to adjust where the fabric is on your letter.
Step 5: Lay the second piece of fabric on the cardboard with the pattern side down and spray it with the adhesive. Place the letter that is now covered with fabric on one side on the fabric that you just sprayed and again fold the fabric around the edges, making sure it is taut and that you patterns on the front and back line up as much as possible.
Step 6: Once you have covered both sides of the letter with fabric, you will see that the outer edges of the letter are covered but the interior edges may still be exposed as in the picture above. Take some of your scrap fabric and cut it to the length that you will need to cover the interior edges. I eyeballed it, but if you want to be exact, you can measure. To make sure that the interior edges look tailored, gently fold the outer edges in and iron them.
Step 7: Spray the fabric strip you have just created. Gently press it in place, using the edge of the scissors to push in any sharp corners and to create a clean edge.
Step 8: Use the spray adhesive to tack down any corners that still seem a little loose and carefully cut away any frayed pieces of fabric. Let the fabric covered letter dry for a few hours.
Step 9: The letter is really light so I decided to use double sided sticky tape to hang it on Matteo’s door. You could also adhere a pretty piece of ribbon to the back of the letter if you want to hang the letter on a nail or hook.
I hope you enjoy this project if you try it. Another thank you to my mom for her help! We had a lot of fun picking out the fabric and I think the “M” adds just a bit more personalty to Matteo’s room, which will continue to evolve as he does.
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