I wanted to share this project in The DIY Show-off's project parade!!
Back in my "I'm going to be a artist!" phase (i.e. college) I was into Typography. I've always had a appreciating for type and the way it curves, specifically Ampersands. I love the way they look in any font.
How can you not like that?
I've seen a lot of Ampersands lately. From just hanging out on a shelf, to actually hanging on a wall.
I decided to poke around online and see what sort of large ampersands I could find. Unfortunately, I couldn't find many that I liked. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Plus I've got a unopened Jig Saw in my garage that needed to be broken in.
I perused through my fonts and found a Ampersand that was overall traditional but had a little more curve to it and blew it up in Photoshop.
I'm sure you're like me and don't have access to a gigantic printer that prints on gigantic paper. So I had to make due. Just trim to fit and tape it together. Easy peasy.
Now we're going to trace like we did here but without the carbon paper. Just use a good 'ole No. 2 pencil instead. Just start scribbling where the lines are on the
BACK of the printed side. I held it up to the light now and then to make sure I was following the right lines.
Here's my board
After you've "traced" the printed side's lines, flip it over and stick it onto the board. You can secure the paper if you'd like with some masking tape if you feel like it'll slide around.
I used a ballpoint pen, but you can anything with a solid point to trace the outline of the Ampersand to transfer it onto your board.
Make sure you use something like saw horses when you're cutting it out. You wouldn't want to cut through your trusty workbench or
Brand spankin' new! It's never been touched and I've never touched a Jig Saw before. Let's see how this goes.....
I just started cutting from the sides and sliding into the curves of the letter. Just be super careful where your fingers are and where the blade is going. It's easy to forget you're working with a blade here and I would be so devastated if I found out you cut something off.
As for getting to the center, get the biggest drill bit you can find in your tool box and drill a hold right in the middle of the gap. If the drill bit wasn't big enough like mine, I sort of had to carve out a big enough hole for the blade to fit in with the bit.Once you've got the blade in you can cut the center out!
And there you have it! Not bad for my first time eh?
I used some fine grit sandpaper to even out the rough spots along the edges, but I also used some files I had to touch up the tight spots that sandpaper wouldn't really get.
I gave it a good coat of primer just so the paint would go on smoother. I didn't feel like the sandpaper gave me a smooth enough surface.
I wanted it to be distressed so I have it a coat of white paint first...
I let it set overnight and then took some handy fine grit sandpaper and distressed it just a tad on the edges.
And here you have it! I absolutely love how it turned out!
If you'd like to try this for yourself, here is a great post about Ampersands at The Design Cubicle Huge list of fonts and their ampersands. He even is so kind as to link to the font download if you find *the* one.