It must be graduation season again! I was recently asked to do some lettering on a graduation cap. No problem at all! I do love a new project!
The senior had a very specific design in mind, which she'd found somewhere online:
She loved the font, and just wanted the lettering to be bigger so it could be seen from afar in pictures. Okay! No big deal! I swung by her house and grabbed the cap one sunny afternoon, and when I had some time I sat down to task.
The cap was covered in a very inexpensive cotton-like fabric, so I was a little worried that whatever I used to write would bleed. On a fold of fabric that was appropriately tucked away, I tested every black ink/paint I had, from dip pen ink and Sharpie to acrylic paint and gel pens. Because the fabric was so lightweight and thin, I could only make tiny marks to test for bleeding - otherwise it would show through even the folded layers. I settled on a brush pen I had, then set to work designing the lettering based off the photo my client had sent me.
All set and ready to go! I began lettering with my fine-tipped brush pen. It didn't take long to see that the ink was in fact bleeding and distorting the letters. I gave it a second chance in the hopes that the larger letters would look better, but no such luck. Grrrr!
Well, I guess it's on to Plan B of this phase: I described the problem to my client and suggested that I write onto paper, which could then be hot-glued to the cap. (Before suggesting this I had contacted a friend who'd just decorated her own cap, and she gave me some tips.) My client was easy-going and agreed, so I grabbed and cut to size a 12x12" piece of white paper I knew I had on the bottom of my drawer. (Actually, I cut it to 1/4" smaller than size, so it would center nicely and not be an issue for gluing. Also, since I knew my customer wanted to decorate the edges with pearls, I figured she could place them on top of where the paper and hat joined, to reinforce the glued seam.)
Finding the center of the paper, I measured the size of the button atop the hat, used a trusty compass set from my dad (he's a machinist) to create the right size circle on the paper, and then cut it out with an x-Acto knife.
I then wrote the words onto a separate piece of paper in the size I'd decided upon. That would help me center each line onto the paper, and I used some vellum between the papers so the newly-laid ink wouldn't smear onto the bottom of the final piece.
Using my favorite parallel ruler, I lightly drew in a 1/2" border which I didn't want the letters to cross. This left plenty of room for the pearls my client would use for decorating, because I wasn't sure how big they'd be.
(As you can see, it's all about the prep work!) And now for the ink, which, now that it was happening on paper instead of fabric, was a very quick task:
My client was delighted. After I delivered it to her she hot glued it to her cap, decorated with the supplies she'd gotten, and shortly thereafter had a graduation photoshoot! Best of luck to this lovely young woman! I hope she can truly live out the wonderful words of Proverbs 31 as she embarks upon a new chapter of life!