Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 27, 2015

Wooden holiday yard letters

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

Every year we make a list as a family of the activities we want to do for the month of December; and of course, this always includes many trips around the city to see all the beautifully decorated yards. 

A couple of years ago we came across a home that had the words ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ in large wooden letters in the yard. The words had been painted with a spotlight shining on them. My husband and I could not help but stop and talk about the possibility of making our own letters.

Three years later, we finally made the letters, funny how time goes so quickly! 

Items needed:

– Whole piece of plywood (thickness is preference, but we like ¾inch)

– Jigsaw

– Outdoors paint 

– Sandpaper

– Rebar

– Pallet wood slats

– Shoebox*

– Magnifying glass*

– Electrical tape*

*If you do not have access to a projector, which I did not, then one can be made using a shoebox, magnifying glass, electrical tape, and smartphone. I followed directions at www.instructables.com and it worked like a charm; just search for DIY projector.

For starters, we knew that the first word we wanted to make was JOY. We choose this word to start with because of all the joy our home has brought us over the years and how much joy we get from decorating for the holidays.

Once we decided on the word we cut the wood into even pieces, specifically, we used one piece of plywood and cut into three even pieces.

After we cut the wood, I made the projector to trace the letters onto the wood so they would all match and be even. I went online and found the font I liked, typed in one letter at a time and using a pencil, traced each letter onto each piece of wood.

When all of the letters are traced onto the wood, they are ready to be cut out. Using the jigsaw slowly cut out the letters. The slower you move the jigsaw the better your cuts will be. Once, the letters are cut, finish them out with the paint of your choice. I always like to purchase the $2.99 jars of sample paint at Lowes for projects like this because it is always enough without being too much!

At this point, we had to figure out how to get the letters to stand up properly in the yard. I scoured the Internet for days to try to find a tutorial on this and have yet to find anything at all. So, what we attached all the letters together using scrap pieces of wood. The scraps ran horizontally and came together in one large piece. Afterwards, we attached rebar running vertically down the letters using ½ electrical conduit fasteners. This worked like a charm and made it to where the rebar just slid into the ground! 

Now, I cannot wait to decorate the outside of our home this weekend. We finally splurged (using many coupons of course) and purchased new outdoor lights. The lights were fifteen years old, and it has become next to impossible to find replacement bulbs! 

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.