Hey Daddy Here Comes Mommy! Tutorial
One month into a new job, I heard a co-worker talking about her upcoming wedding. She said her son was going to be her ring-bearer, and she had seen a cute idea she wanted to recreate for him to use as a prop while walking down the aisle, but she didn’t have the time to make it herself.
She showed me a picture of a ring-bearer holding a sign that read “Daddy, Here Comes Mommy”. I told her, “I can make one for you!” She was pretty shocked, but I told her I loved to do things like this, and I thought I could make her a really nice one. She agreed, so I started researching her options.
First, I did a Google Image search using the wording ring-bearer sign picture ideas.
So many cute ideas popped up, here are a few:
I wrote down some ideas to run past the bride the next day at work. She liked “Hey Mommy Here Comes Daddy!” for the front of the sign, this side would show when her son walked down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony.
I thought it would be a cute idea to have another saying on the back of the sign so they could flip it around after the ceremony and would show when her son exited down the aisle. I loved the saying I saw pictured above “Don’t Worry Ladies, I’m Still Single” and so did the bride.
That weekend I took a trip to my local Michael’s Craft Store and took pictures of the different frames for her to select from. Here are a few sitting next to their posted cost:
This last one is the one she selected!
Now it was time to gather my supplies. I purchased the wooden plaque she chose. The bride told me her wedding colors were cream and purple so I purchased a cream-colored Acrylic paint as the background color, 2 colors of purple to paint around the edges of the plaque, red & green for a rose I wanted to paint on the back-side of the plaque, and black for the lettering.
1 Wooden Plaque of choice – various sizes and shapes are available, pick something lightweight if a small child will be carrying your sign
Sandpaper – you’ll want to use a 150 to 220 Grit sandpaper, which is a finer grit and perfect for sanding the edges of this plaque before painting. I used a 150 fine 3M General Purpose sandpaper for this project, since I already had some in my supply closet.
Acrylic Paints – in your color choices
Mod Podge – Or other clear acrylic sealer. I purchased a spray-on type, which was easy to apply
2 Paint Brushes – one large enough to use to paint the full board, front and back, as the background color, and one small enough to use for the lettering
Jute Rope – or other type of cording to attach to your finished sign. Decide if you want this to hang around the neck of the ring bearer (younger child) or the rope will be handheld (older child). If this will be a hand-held sign you could use a thicker cord, but if it will hang around a child’s neck then use a thinner cord). I used some Jute Rope that I already had, and then wrapped it with a golden, wired ribbon to fancy it up
2 Eye-Hooks – to insert at the top of the finished plaque, this is what you’ll lace your rope or cording through, so make sure the eye of the hooks are wide enough for the cording you selected
Scissors – to cut your rope/cording
Cup of Water – for rinsing your paint brush (paper cups are great, use and throw away)
Paper Towels – to protect your work area, placed under your plaque, while painting. Also use to dry your paint brush, after rinsing.
FIRST & EASIEST LETTERING OPTION:
Use your computer to create the exact wording, size, style and font that you will use for your sign. I prefer Microsoft Publisher, but there are many cheaper options. You can also use Microsoft Word, but you don’t have as many creative options. Create your lettering, print and use as a stencil, easy-peasy!
SECOND LETTERING OPTION – USE Letter Stencils – If you have stencils, they are a great option, but will take much longer to create. But stencils are awesome, I love them, probably because they are old school. This is the method that I used for this tutorial.
Whatever LETTERING OPTION you use there are many different lettering font styles & sizes to choose from. For this project you will need to use a letter size that is big enough, and the font type simple enough, that the wording can be read from far away. If you already have a set that you can use, fabulous! I used the Martha Stewart Monogrammed Flourish Stencil Set that I own, and they were the perfect size! I’d never had the chance to use them, and it really did make the stenciling process easy. You can purchase letter stencils at your local craft supply store.
Tracing Paper – to create a Template for your specific wording. It can be regular 8 ½ x 11 size printer paper, light colored construction paper, or nice tracing paper. Use what you have on hand, before buying, is always my moto.
A straight-edged ruler – for measuring your lay-out, your stencils, etc. Sorry, but there is math involved in this method!
Pencil & Eraser – to trace your lettering stencil onto your template paper
Tape – to hold down your paper Template on the plaque. I like to use painter’s tape, because it holds nicely, but won’t rip my paper when I remove it. Then I can easily save my stencil and reuse it, if I want.
Scrap paper – to calculate your lay-out 😊
NOW, Let’s Get Started!
Remove the plastic from your wooden plaque, and sand down any rough edges or spots. Then lightly sand the entire front, back and edges of the plaque. When you are done sanding, wipe the dust off the plaque with a clean cloth before painting.
Get your painting area set up, making sure to cover your table with paper towels to protect it from the paint. Accidents happen.
Gather your painting supplies, and a cup of clean water to rinse your paint brush with between colors.
Paint the entire front of your plaque in your desired background color, and let dry completely (acrylic paint dries quickly). Turn the plaque over, paint the entire back side, and edges of the plaque in the same background color. Or you may have chosen to paint the back side a different color. Just make sure and clean you paint brush thoroughly between colors so you don’t get color smears you don’t want.
You can see by the picture below, that my 1st coat of paint was a little thin, and the wood color was still showing through. I painted a 2nd coat, but you may prefer the rustic look.
Once the background color is completely dry, paint the edges in your color of choice. There were 2 edges on this plaque, so to keep with the wedding theme, I painted the upper edge in a dark purple color, and the lower edge a lighter, opaque purple color. The opaque color gave it a fancier look, I thought.
This next part is probably the trickiest part of the whole project, laying out your lettering. This is where my college drafting courses came in handy. I always say, an education is never a waste of time! Time spent learning a new skill is time well spent. Learning how to center your wording onto a board does take a certain skill. But, it’s an easy one to learn, and one you will use often in your life.
Here’s how I do it:
First, you have to define your work space, where do you want to center your wording? Let’s look at the picture below again. Since this board is shaped oddly, I chose my work space in the area covered by the white paper below. You see that the top of my work space is horizontal from the arc at the top of the plaque, and lines up with a curve in the upper left of the plaque (the top left corner of my paper). This curve is duplicated at the upper right side of the plaque, as well as at the bottom left and right side of the plaque. This, to me, was the perfect spot to center my wording, and it left some extra space on the right and left sides of my wording to add a design.
Next you have to center your wording into your work space. Here is where the math comes in 😊. These are the things you need to consider:
- What size is your work space – my work space was 11 ½” Height x 19 ½” Width.
- What size are your letters – my capital letters were 1 ½” x 1 ½”, my lower-case letters were ¾” x ¾”, and my explanation point was 1 ½” x ½”.
What is the wording that you want to paint on the plaque? Write it down:
Hey Daddy Here Comes Mommy!
The first thing you need to determine is how you are going to lay out your wording. In a single line, two lines, three?
Count your letters and spaces. For my wording, I have 27 letters & spaces. In my wording there are 5 Capital letters (5 x 1 ½” = 7.5”), 16 lower-case letters (17 x ¾” = 12”), 1 explanation point = ½”, and 4 spaces (½” x 4 = 2”). All of that lettering, and the spaces equaled 22”. That told me I wouldn’t have enough Width space to have the wording in one line, because I only had 19 ½” width in my work space.
So, I decided by the Width calculation that it made sense to line my wording up this way:
FOR THE HEIGHT – You need to determine how much space you’ll need between your lines of words, so they are centered into your work space:
Since the Height of my work space was 11 ½” and my capital letters were 1 ½” then 3 lines of wording x 1 ½” = 4 ½ “, there was plenty of room for me to have 3 lines of wording.
11 ½” work space – minus – 4 ½” (3 lines of lettering) = 7” of space that I had remaining in my height, to use as space at the top of my work space, between each line of wording, and at the bottom of my work space. That is 4 areas that I needed to divide the remaining 7”, if I wanted it evenly spaced, which I did. 7 divided by 4 = 1 ¾”. So I would leave a 1 ¾” space at the top of my work space, between each line of wording, and at the bottom of my work space.
Now that you’ve determined how you are going to lay out your wording, it’s time to create your paper template.
DO NOT do this next part over the wooden plaque, or if you have to for a better visual, then trace lightly, because you don’t want to imprint anything into the wood, until later.
I took the paper that I had laid out on my work space and measured down with a dot 1 ¾” from the top on both the left and the right of my work space. With the straight-edged ruler, I lined up the 2 dots, and drew the first horizontal line across the paper. This would be the top of the lettering for my first 2 words “Hey Daddy”.
From this line, I measured down another 1 ½” and placed a dot in that spot, on both the right and left side of the work space. Then used these 2 points to draw my second horizontal line. This would be the bottom of my lettering for the first 2 words.
From this 2nd line of wording I measured down 1 ¾” and placed a dot in that spot, on both the right and left side of the work space. This 3rd line would be the top of the lettering for the words “Here Comes”
From this 3rd line, I measured down another 1 ½” and placed a dot in that spot, on both the right and left side of the work space. Then used these 2 points to draw my 4th horizontal line. This would be the bottom of my lettering for the 3rd and 4th words.
From this 4th line I measured down 1 ¾” and placed a dot in that spot, on both the right and left side of the work space. This 4th line would be the top of the lettering for my last word “Mommy”
From this 5th line, I measured down another 1 ½” and placed a dot in that spot, on both the right and left side of the work space. Then used these 2 points to draw my 6th and final horizontal line. This would be the bottom of my lettering for the last word.
FOR THE WIDTH – You need to determine how much space you’ll need for your words, so they’ll fit and be centered in your work space
You use the same method above of measuring each letter size, but this time for the width of your paper. My Capital letters were 1 ½” in width, my lower-case letters were ¾” in width.
For my first line of wording “Hey Daddy” there are:
2 capital letters = 1 ½” X 2 = 3”
6 lower-case letters = ¾” X 6 = 4 ½”
3” + 4 ½” = 7 ½” of lettering
Next, I had to consider the space between each letter, and the space between the 2 words. I thought a ½” space between words would be sufficient.
7 ½” + ½” = 8”
I decided since I was going to put ½” space between the words, I would use ¼” space between the letters.
¼” x 7 letter spaces = 1 ¾”
8” + 1 ¾” = 9 ¾”
Remember, the Width of my work space was 19 ½”
19 ½” – 9 ¾” = 9 ¾”
So, I had 9 ¾” space left for the work space at the beginning and end of my lettering, so I considered a space of a smidgen above 4 ½” on either side of my lettering.
This is how my completed template looked after all that measuring, and taped to my plaque. Notice the extra space I left between the e and the y in the word “Hey”. I accidentally measured the space between the letters at ½”, instead of ¼”, and you can see the difference this made. I fixed this when I started drawing the lettering onto my board. That’s what’s great about crafting, you can make mistakes and fix them along the way!
The next step is to draw the lettering onto your wooden plaque using a pen. Since I had letter stencils, I just laid the letter stencil back over the letter I wanted imprinted on the board and carefully printed over the letter outline again with a pen, pushing hard enough to leave an imprint on the board:
Remove the template, and you can see the imprint of my letters, I was ready to start painting!
Using the black paint, and a very fine paint brush, I filled in each of the letters.
Don’t worry too much about going out the lines of your letters with the black paint, you can fix this by using your background color to paint over the areas of your lettering that you think need to be fixed:
Next, I wanted to paint a decoration of some sort on each side of the wording. In my Martha Stewart stencil kit, I found the one I wanted to use. This time, instead of drawing in the shape, I just placed the stencil where I wanted it and painted over the stencil. Then I cleaned up any areas with background color, if I didn’t like the shape.
Then I followed the same steps above to stencil in the lettering on the back-side of my plaque “It’s Ok Ladies I’m Still Single”.
I didn’t get a picture of the painted rose, but there are pictures below of the finished project, that show the rose.
Once I finished painting both sides, and the paint was completely dry, I sealed each side with some Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer. Apply per Mod Podge instructions, and let dry completely on the front side, before flipping it over and spraying the back side. I laid my plaque on wax paper for this part, because I didn’t want anything to stick to my project.
Once this was completely dried, I needed to add the lanyard at the top of the plaque. Since the ring-bearer was young, I thought it would be easier for him to wear it around his neck, instead of having to carrying it.
I took the spool of Jute Rope and wrapped it with a wired ribbon using tacky glue. The tacky glue is great for bonding the 2 together, so I wasn’t worried about it coming apart later. Add the glue to the flat ribbon, as you wind it around the jute rope. Keep wrapping to your desired length.
Then cut and let the glue dry completely. Add your eye hooks to the top of the plaque, equally spaced so it hangs correctly. Tie each side of your jute rope onto the eye hooks.
THIS PROJECT IS NOW COMPLETE!!
I was very happy with the finished results. Unfortunately, I was never able to get pictures from the bride of her son coming down the aisle with the sign. But, luckily, I took a few pictures of my husband holding the completed project, on each side.
I hope this tutorial helps you to create your own special plaque as a Keepsake Wedding Craft!