(my photo is a little blurry, sorry about that)
Here are the How-To's for my Last Name and Established piece that hangs on my gallery wall. Below are the steps I used.
1) I opened Microsoft Office Publisher to create this. It works best if you know the frame size you want to use because you make the image customized to that size.
2) I found my frame in the sales section at Jo-Ann's Fabrics of all placed and was thrilled when I realized my image would turn out perfectly in my frame. I also know Ikea has great frames for not much that work well for this too. If that doesn't work, you can even get great frames at the dollar store and spray paint them any color you need or want.
3) If you use Office Publisher, you have to select the Blank Page option, then Create Custom Page Size and then enter the size the photo needs to be to fit inside your frame. Once the blank page is opened, select the tab on the top titled Arrange. In the drop down menu, select Layout Guides. This allows you to make as many rows and columns as you need and it creates a grid for you to fit your images into. Then select the tab titled, Grid Guides, and make this zero. I did this because I did not want any spacing between the letters. Play with it. You may decide to have space between your letters.
4) Then you can go to this site by Leo Reynolds and find letters and numbers you like. This man lets you use his images for free as long as you are only using these for personal use and not commercial. It use to be that you could drag the image directly from his site and add to your piece if Office Publisher, but that has changed. Now you have to save the images to your computer and download the image from your computer. Make sure you open the letter/number fully before saving or inserting it. When you are looking at the page of 100 or so small images, click on the image you like to make it larger, then right click on the image and select 'View Medium 640' or bigger. Once the new image opens you can drag and drop from this screen ..but if that doesn't work, right click on it again and select 'save image as'. Save the letter/number to a place on your computer where you can find it. Open the Publisher file and 'insert', 'picture', 'from file'. Find the letter/number on your computer and select it. Adjust the image size to fit. This should prevent the image from turning out blurry. Bummer that we cannot just drag and drop anymore!
5) You will have to size your images to the blocks in your grid. Once you are happy with your creation, save the image as a high resolution JPEG. You can do this in Publisher by following these instructions: Save as type, JPEG, Change (resolution), High Quality printing or commercial printing (meaning 300dpi). Then upload the JPEG to where ever you print your photos. I took mine to Kinko's and it only cost me under $2.00 to print it in color. I also know Costco does it for cheap and so does Office Depot and Office Max.
These are fun to make as gifts or cards for anything....Christmas gifts, Anniversary gifts, wedding gifts, teacher gifts, get well gifts, thank yous. You name it! Remember, these are great gifts at an awesome price. If you plan it right, you could get the frame and the image printed for less than $5.00!!! That is an amazing price for wedding gifts, don't you think?? Give these instructions a try and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know.