“Twined” Ampersand Tutorial

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So, I’m liking the large single numbers and initials for decorative purposes, but I haven’t been able to decide which one to do. When I saw the ampersand done – I knew that was what I wanted!

I put together a tutorial describing how I made this “twined” ampersand.

The supplies needed include a piece of 1/2″ foam core, printed ampersand symbol, exacto or utility knife, hot glue gun and twine. Possibly duct tape – more on that later!

First I printed out an ampersand in a font and size I liked. I always try to remember to print it out in an outline so that I don’t waste so much ink!

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Then I used a pencil and scribbled all over the back of the lines.

Then I placed it right side up on a 1/2″ piece of foam core. I have lots of little pieces around because I use foam core to make cake boards quite often.

You could use layers of cardboard also depending on how thick you want your end product.

I usually tape my original on so that if I’m interrupted I don’t have to try to realign everything! I used an ink pen to trace over the outline of the ampersand. This is what the foam core looks like after tracing.

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Using a sharp – and I mean sharp! – blade in your exacto or utility knife, make multiple passes over your traced lines. I used a new blade and it definitely made life easier. Foam cuts rather chunky if your knife isn’t sharp. This is what my base ampersand looked like after cutting. (sorry – that was a really obvious observation!)  It does make quite a mess and it doesn’t come out perfectly smooth – but that will be covered up anyway.

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I started on the right serif wrapping and hot gluing as I went.  Where it attached I used short individual strands long enough that the ends would be covered when I started wrapping in the other direction. I also put 3 strands at the cross points. I should’ve done four maybe, but it worked okay. But if you are doing it – make sure you have covered the whole cross point! You also notice the duct tape – well, I had to use some on the back at one of the cross points because it broke! No big deal there either though because it will be covered.

I tried a few different methods of trying to wrap the twine and at first I pulled off quite a bit and rolled it up to make it easier to place through each wrap. This worked alright, but later I determined that a shorter piece that you could just pull through each time was easier.

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Here was the slow part – this took a little while, wrapping and gluing. Another thing about foam core – it is best to glue to the paper, not the foam. Hot glue just melts it. So when you start and end, do so on the paper side. I kept all my tails on the back.

Make sure that you are wrapping the inside curves tighter than the outside curves. When I got to the tight curve at the top I had to work it some to keep it from bunching up too much on the side.

And ta-da!

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I put it in my old window (still has the original paint!). I hung the basket by a ribbon and wrapped some old glass insulators that I found while doing the FJI Copy Me Challenge with some copper wire. I filled them with split peas and pine cones. I then added a twine tassel – and called it good – for now!

My husband was wondering what the peas “&” pine cones was supposed to mean?!?!??! That’s a guy for you!

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I really like how it turned out. And it was pretty much free!

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Linking to the following…
The DIY Show Off The Girl Creative Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden Show and Tell Green giveaways Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingFunky Junk's Saturday Nite Special The DIY Show Off


20 thoughts on ““Twined” Ampersand Tutorial

  1. This is a great idea, and with the huge interest in burlap lately, I think you will see a lot of people pick this idea up from you. Terrific! Great tutorial, too. I’m going to give this a try at some point, myself. Great idea!! ~Lori (found you through TCB)

  2. I love this idea! I think I’m going to make some numbers as well to put on my baskets! I’ve been looking for numbers in my shopping, but this is even better!! Thanks for the great idea!!

  3. Oh I am seeing big bold letters twined just like this saying EAT in my diningroom… My heart is beating so hard that I almost think I have to get to my craft table and get started as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing.

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