Driftwood Escort Cards

Phenix Paper Co. is part of a Boho Beach styled shoot later this month with Pacific Engagements. Alyssa Ayala, owner and lead planner, asked if I would be willing to hand letter some escort cards on little pieces of driftwood. Excited at the opportunity to practice my hand lettering skills on something other than paper, I said, "YES!" and quickly devised a plan. 

 

STEP ONE: FIND DRIFTWOOD

I wanted the driftwood to be authentic and not just purchased at the craft store, so a couple weeks ago, I hiked down to the beachy shore at Discovery Park to see what I could find. 

Maggie had fun, too. 

Maggie had fun, too. 

There wasn't a ton to choose from, I really had to look. Plus, it was wet and raining so it was hard to tell if they were actually pieces of driftwood or if they were pieces of bark. But all in all, I was able to find enough pieces to work with. 

 

STEP TWO: THOROUGHLY DRY THE DRIFTWOOD

Like I said, the wood was soaked through, so it needed to be dried before I could work with it. Plus, once it was dry, it was easy to see what was actually driftwood and what was bark and it turns out I only grabbed one piece of bark - not bad! To dry it, I simply laid the pieces out on a table that I moved in front of the heating vent. When one side was dry, I flipped the pieces over so the other side could dry. I left them in front of the heat for about two days.

I really loved all the different sizes and shapes. So organic!

I really loved all the different sizes and shapes. So organic!

 

STEP THREE: SAND THE DRIFTWOOD

I figured a smooth surface would make it easier for the paint brush to glide over. Plus, the sanding added a bit more of a "weathered" look to the driftwood which was nice. I just used a 3M Fine Block sander. 

 

STEP FOUR: WRITE THE NAMES ON THE DRIFTWOOD

I did this using a white pencil. This made is easier for me to know how the name was going to lay out. I chose pieces of would that would coordinate well with each name in terms of spacing that I needed. The longer the name, the longer the piece of wood I used and vice versa. I used a General's® brand pencil in Charcoal White.

 

STEP FIVE: BEGIN HANDLETTERING

I used folkArt® Acrylic paint in 480 Titanium White. I had to switch out paint brushes after my first attempt. The bristles on the brush I was using were too long and soft and didn't give me the sturdiness I needed for a clean line. I ended up using a Master's Touch™ 1/8" FLAT brush.   

Here you can see the original brush. See how long the bristles are? No good.

Here you can see the original brush. See how long the bristles are? No good.

And here is the brush I switched to. See how the bristles are a lot shorter and more sturdy?

And here is the brush I switched to. See how the bristles are a lot shorter and more sturdy?

I did all of the down strokes first. And then went back and added the thinner upward strokes.

I couldn't be happier with the way these little driftwood escort cards turned out! And it was my first time doing hand lettering on something other than paper. Yay me! With a bit of trial and error it all came together. 

I'm so excited for this styled shoot. So many photo ops with these little babies! 

More soon!

PS If I had to do them all over again, I would have soaked them in the sink to get all of the sand from the beach off/out of them. But other than that, I'm very pleased with how it all turned out.