When it comes to brainstorming ideas for party decor, if there are ways to incorporate them into my home or in future parties, the more fulfilling it is and the more I’m willing to put in work. It’s my little way of living green and adding memorable touches to our home. If you think of it this way, party accessories become an investment rather than a disposable one-time-use deal.
For Harper London’s Royal 1st Birthday, I did just that with her name sign. Penants and buntings weren’t fancy enough for the look I wanted. So, I decided to create a gold leaf sign inspired by the popular name necklaces that are all over Etsy. It took a few weekends to create – yes, hours per day! Knowing it was going to be used in my daughter’s nursery for years to come was my only saving grace. Since I didn’t have the right tools and had to improvise, it was a lot harder than it needed to be. That’s why I want to show you how I did it and how you can improve on the process and scale back the difficulty and time factor.
Materials (for 1 name):
- 2 gold chains from hardware store (I had them cut 10″ each)
- 4 gold washers
- gold leaf and/or kit (Michael’s)
- gold leaf adhesive
- paper for name (the thicker the better)
- toothpicks (optional)
- gold hanging hooks
- hot glue and gun
- rubber cement
- needle-nose pliers
- Use Microsoft Word or any design program to print a font of your liking. It should be cursive so the letters are all connected. Since I used my home printer, I couldn’t fit more than 1 or 2 letters per page. Your life will be so much easier with a Cricut or similar machine.
- Trace and cut out the letters on a thicker card stock. The thicker the better! Also keep in mind, you will be gluing each letter to each other at the thickest parts. You need to overlap when tracing and cutting out to make the connections as secure as possible. Since my connecting “swoops” were so thin, I had to reinforce them and it still isn’t sturdy. *Warning: without a Cricut or machine, this is the most time-intensive part. It took me a couple of weekends to hand-cut the letters and glue them together!
- Once your letters are completely dry and intact, gold leaf the front of the sign.
- Punch a couple of small holes just as large as the hole in your washers on both sides of the sign.
- Hot glue the washers to the front and back of sign where you punched the holes.
- Using needle-nose pliers or jewelry pliers, pry open an end of one of your chains and slip through the holes.
- Once you have secured both chains to your sign, test the integrity of it. Chances are you’ll have some weak “connectors” or portions of the name that sag or bend. If this is the case, mark those sections on the back. Hot glue toothpicks cut to size or cutouts of thick card stock to reinforce these weak areas.
- Use gold hanging hooks to secure to wall from ends of chains.
Thankfully, my sign lasted the duration of the party, but once it had been transported and mishandled, the weak spots became evident again. For the nursery wall, I am using double sided tape to secure some letters directly to the wall. Simple and easy quick-fix that no one has to know about! I can’t wait to share photos of it in situ.
I actually never owned one of these necklaces until my husband bought two for me this Christmas – one for Harper London and the second for our baby due any day now. He got them from Etsy and I absolutely love them.