Custom Name Cutouts

07 May 2015

A baby's nursery is one of the most fun rooms in the house to decorate.  But if you are stuck for ideas, it can be the toughest.  You will sit in this room for hours, cuddling your sweet pea, and looking around...sometimes in the light, but often with the dimmer switch set as low as it will go.  Your little bundle will lay in this room, learning to focus those precious blue eyes on the items you place in the room.  It is an important room.  

So when I was trying to find things to go into this room for Baby #2, I got stuck.  I don't generally like themes in nurseries, but I needed some direction to go in.  The baby was already here, and we still had blank walls.  So in a rush decision, I went with his name.  We spent hours trying to pick the perfect name before he was born, so why not celebrate it, and carve it into paper!

The first step was to lay out the image in on the computer.  You can use Word, Publisher, PicMonkey, whatever you are used to.  


  • Choose a wide font, so there will be some weight to the letters and they won't tear apart as you cut around them.  
  • Measure the frame size, then make the image fit those dimensions, allowing for a border that the letters will touch on all sides (to keep it stable).  So if your frame is an 8" x 10", then set your image to fill 7.75" x 9.75", and leave a ¼" border that the letters will touch.
Notice how the letters run into the border.  You will leave the letters attached to the border at these points.
Don't go looking for your glasses...unfortunately, I took progress photos on my old phone, and now I only have blurry Instagram copies to show.  But I made the same project again for my nieces, so you can see the progress a more clearly.

Once you have the image how you like it, flip it horizontally.  If you don't do this, you will be cutting on the front side, and see pencil marks on the front.  You don't want to do that, like I did.  With the image reversed, you can cut from the back side and any not-perfectly-on-the-line-cuts will not be visible.  

Next, I printed out my letters and then used carbon paper to transfer them onto the thicker card stock that I wanted to be the finished product.  But now that I am thinking about it, I would just print it directly onto the card stock next time. (Now I am adding up how much time it took me to do the carbon paper transfer...ugh.) Just make sure that you print it onto the backside of the paper (if there is a difference).

Then use your handy dandy X-acto knife to cut out the negative space...don't cut out your letters.  Follow this up with complaining to anyone who will listen about how sore your finger tips are from all the cutting, and pour yourself a glass of iced tea to feel better.  Ta-dah!  Isn't she beautiful!

After it is cut out, use whatever paper you want as a backer in the frame. I used solid color scrapbook papers that I hoard had on hand. I think the beauty of this little project is that you can change out the paper backing and the artwork can grow with the kiddos.  Pale blue for baby can become dark navy and orange stripes for an older boy.  Kids usually don't get sick of their name though, so it can hang in their room until you turn it into your new yoga retreat when the kids go to college.

And the best part is that I never get tired of looking at it hanging above his crib as I rock him to sleep.  The handmade things are always the best things.

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