We Lived Happily Ever After: Hand Lettered By Hannah: DIY Boot Camp Love Letter Artwork

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hand Lettered By Hannah: DIY Boot Camp Love Letter Artwork

There is nothing like a long, miserable separation like boot camp or deployment to make the heart grow fonder... I literally felt sick with loneliness when my husband left for boot camp to become a US Marine. I had a wonderful support system at home, but he is the one my heart loves. 

The best thing that came from boot camp was the letters. Oh my, those precious, beautiful letters from him were like gold. I would write him every single day, but he only was able to fit it in late at night using a flashlight under a blanket when no DI's were around. He sent me a lot considering how scare his time was. To read more about my tips for boot camp from the home front you can go HERE, or read about my first letter from boot camp HERE. To this day I have them in a box.

Now, my amazing wonderful husband isn't the type of guy who says a lot... but he writes amazing letters! So when I considered putting our letters from boot camp up in our room as artwork, I decided to use one of my favorite letters from him & put it up in my room, so I can always look up and know how he truly feels about me every day- without bugging him to say it! LOL! ;) (Pss- Silas, when you read this just remember that I LOVE you just the way you are baby!!!)

I ended up having him choose a letter from me (one without the bank statements... or football draft picks... and sports articles I sent while he was in boot camp please! ;) and making two art canvases. 

I got a blank set of canvases from Hobby Lobby for $7, and painted them in a nice thick coat of pure white latex.

Then I took these homemade pallet frames that I roughly painted and traced out where the insides fell so I could know where to write. These frames are really lovely, and the best part about them is that you can't see the messy job I did stapling them together on the back! Lol! #keepingitreal (and no, I will not show you the back- it's embarrassing!!!) 

Then I super lightly wrote out the love letter onto it with a pencil.

Next, using a mix of watered down black acrylic paint and some black ink I had on hand, I painted over my penciled in words.

Some of you have asked on social media how I did the lettering... well, ever since opening my print shop (HERE) I've really been practicing a free hand, wild flowy type of cursive, and man am I loving how it looks!

The key to it is being imperfect, and lots of height variation. I love doing extreme S's, V's, M's, and Z's. Also, try to fill in the blank spaces of the lines above.

It can get a little messy looking, and I wasn't sure if I was going to even like it when it was done, but I'm so glad I kept going.

Ta-da! Ok, honestly, it's a little weird for me to post such a mushy, romantic, very personal letter (and I left out some of the best parts, lol!) on social media for everyone to see, but I absolutely love it, and it's a fun glimpse into my love story. So you are welcome. ;)

Lastly, I erased the visible pencil lines once it dried (you can always use a magic eraser on the stubborn spots- just don't rub it on your paint, or it will come off!!!), and then screwed it to the not so pretty backs of the frames... 

I have since then put them up on the walls, and they look fabulous! 

Such an awesome hand painted DIY artwork for any master bedroom!
Pretty cool, right?


  1. Thank you for posting this!! I would love to do this with my wedding vows, I just don't know if my handwriting is good enough. After reading this, I hopped over to your Pinterest page and then back to your blog because I love EVERY post I've seen tonight.

    1. Aww- thanks! Just do a trial run- the messiness is a part of the look, so just go for it! XO

  2. This is such an unique idea :) very creative indeed
    I like the quality of your pictures too.
    Have a great day!