With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, I wanted to share quite possibly my favorite DIY project yet – turning something handwritten into decor.  I lost my dad when I was 16 and have talked about it on my blog before, but I’ve never crafted anything related to that.  I’ve seen a few projects where someone took a handwritten letter or signature and turned it into something else and fell in love with the idea.  One hot Saturday I decided to figure out the process before heading to the pool!

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Handwritten Canvas

What you’ll need:

Before you begin, I’m giving full warning that as you look for a special signature or note that you want to create into decor, you’re going to laugh, cry, smile & sob as you go through cards.  Or at least that’s what I did, haha. I’ve kept certain notes throughout the years and I went through all of them as I tried to find something I had that my dad signed.

This was also harder than I realized because I didn’t really keep many cards or notes until I was older, so I ended up finding 1 note from my parents on my confirmation that my dad signed and 1 typed letter from him, which happened to be 3 months before he was diagnosed with cancer.  Cue the waterworks.

Once you have a signature, then take a picture of it on your phone and save that file to your computer.  Open a new canvas in Design Space and go to upload the image.  Select the image from your computer, choose complex and you’ll be taken to the step to clean up the image.

The goal for me was to just have the handwritten ‘Dad’ part, so I clicked a few places to clear out the background.  Then I used the eraser and slowly removed more and more of the image.  I cropped it to just be focused on the ‘Dad’ part and zoomed in to make sure I was getting everything.  I used the eraser around some of the letters to make them smoother for cutting, while keeping the handwriting there.  Eventually I had what I wanted and continued to save it as a cut image and insert it on my canvas.

I added “I love you” in a serif typeface and put the ‘Dad’ below it to the right.  I attached the 2 pieces and resized them to be 5″ wide to go on my canvas.  Then I cut them on some white htv with my Maker (shiny side down on the mat).

I cut the design from the rest of the htv and used my weeder tool to get the excess out.

Since I was putting this on a burlap canvas, I checked out Cricut’s recommended EasyPress settings to see what the temperature & timer should be set to.  I set my EasyPress, put the canvas & design on my EasyPress mat, then ironed!  Slowly remove the EasyPress after the timer finishes and check the canvas / design.  Some areas were harder to get, so I repeated as needed until everything was attached and removed the clear piece.

Just like that, you’re done!  This was the first time I had taken something handwritten and turned it into a sign or any type of decor and it will not be my last!  I’ve already been thinking of other projects I can do with this technique…

As I was sitting on our screened porch writing this post a cardinal flew down to the Japanese maple by the porch and started singing.  Cardinals are our god wink from Dad and always seem to pop up when you need one, letting you know he’s there with you.  He most definitely is with me right now on the porch, on the wall in my office, in our home and in our lives.

I wanted to end this post with the last part of the typed note that my dad gave me in 2002, because I think we can all use this advice.

“Thanks for the special uniqueness that is yours. Hold onto it. Cherish it.”

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