Thursday, July 12, 2012

Decorating for a Party on a Dime - Personalized Name Crosses -DIY

When I was planning our daughter's first communion party, I knew I wanted some photos and art on the table as decorations. So, I frames some of her baptism photos from when she was a baby and made this beautiful cross out of her name. I found the idea on Pinterest and knew it would take no time to make. If you are not interested in making it yourself, you can buy these from many different Etsy shops. But if you are like me and want to save the $15 plus shipping they are sold for, here is how I did it.

I started with a blank 8x10 Publisher file. Insert a text box and type the first name, middle name and phrase.  When I was making this I used 'In God We Trust' but changed it to 'God's Precious Gift' right before I printed it. So you will see both phrases alternating on this tutorial. 

Select the font and size you like.
 Then save the text box as an image. To do this select File, Save As
 Enter a file name and then change the "Save as Type" to JPEG File.
 Click on the 'Change' box and select 'High Quality Printing'
 Back to your Publisher file, delete the original text box and insert the picture of the text box. This way you can mirror, flip and manipulate the text without Publisher doing funny formatting things.
You will need to insert the image three times and then crop each of the three so that you have each row of text by itself.
 Once you have all three lines, you need to rotate the first name and the phrase. You can do this by clicking on the little green circle on the box surrounding the text and dragging it around.
 If you would like to have the middle name mirrored, select the middle name image and copy and paste it. Then select 'Rotate' and 'Flip Horizontally'. Line everything up.

Save the image again as a JPEG using the same method as earlier.
 Insert the new jpeg and Flip it vertically.
You will notice the new half is smaller than the original, so what I do to get them perfectly matched is insert the image twice and delete the original.
Save the image as a new JPEG and test print it. I printed mine on canvas paper I purchased at the Dollar Store so it had texture. I used a cheap frame also from the Dollar Store and I think it looked amazing. You could also print it on scrapbook paper for a patterned background. Really this could be made for almost any occasion, so the possibilities are really unlimited.
My daughter loved this and has requested we have hang it in her bedroom.

The total for this decoration, if I had to go out and buy the materials right now, would be $4. $2 for the frame and $2 for the canvas paper (really only $0.25 because there were 4 sheets in the package).
That fit into my very frugal budget for the First Communion.

What do you think? Can you use this idea for gifts or for decoration in your own home?



  1. love this! I think I'll be doing this project very soon!

  2. how could I contact you to make one for me (I'll pay you)?
    My son and fiance marry on Nov 3rd 2012. I would like to give it to them as a wedding gift. I am not able to do all the steps you describe on the computer. I very much like the God's precious Gift addition. thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this comment.

  3. love this .... I will be doing this soon,,thank you

  4. I love this! I just made one for a friend's baby in PSE! Thanks for the inspiration!!! Barb D.

  5. I love this idea! My daughter's first communion is fast approaching and I wanted something simple for a table decoration. Thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I have used it to make a couple gifts now, and like you said, the possibilities are endless. Thank you for taking the time to do makes a beautiful "one of a kind" gift!

  7. Would you mind letting me know which font you selected?

    1. Thinkin that got left out on purpose

  8. I love this idea but I cannot do it on my PC. We have Windows 7 and do not have an 8x10 Publisher file or option to save our Word doc as a jpeg. Any suggestions?

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