“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