Joy: A Tutorial

I thought a good long time about what to title this post.  I settled on this one.... though, you may wonder why when you are finished reading.  Have you guys seen the lovely, sparkly Christmasy words that you can use all over the house?  The really pretty vintagy glittery ones?  I decided that I would make one... I had a space near the tree that needed something.  So, I asked Mr. Hughes to print out "joy" really large in a flourishy font (Mr. Hughes knows his fonts!)  He went one step further and printed out registration marks so it would be easy to put all the pages together.

I decided to put it on the back of the cardboard from a watercolor paper book.  I thought that cardboard from a box would be jagged and rough.  I applied rubber cement to the back of the word and applied it to the board.  I decided that a X-Acto  knife wouldn't cut through the board, but a Dremel would.  I then went outside to use the  Dremel since Baby Hughes was taking a late nap.  It was cold!

I then cut off the majority of the board as close to the word as possible with the really big scissors ( they may be metal shears, I am not sure.)

I then used the Dremel with the same bit that Mr. Hughes used to carve MDF with a few days prior.
  I want to stop here to let you know that I have used a Dremel every day for about 5 years.  Every. Day.  (I use one at work to trim acrylic for retainers and to cut metal for orthodontic appliances.)  So, I was pretty excited when we got ours recently.  I thought I would show Mr. Hughes a thing or to about THIS power tool.  I was pretty confident that cutting through cardboard would be a lot easier than metal or acrylic.  So, I started cutting... it was cold.  It was messy... I had on some reading glasses for eye protection, but I didn't have a mask on... it was dusty.  It was taking a lot longer than I imagined.  Then it happened.

Once.... I went inside to wash it off... no biggie...

Twice... what is going on?

Three times.... why does this Dremel hate me?!?  After the third cut across my knuckles, I decided to try a different bur that almost caused the paper to catch on fire.  In five years, I have never, ever gotten cut. But,  I kept going, I wasn't going to stop now...

Here is the rough cut... I took a break here to take a shower and get a blood transfusion.  I was dusty and my hand looked terrible... much worse than in the photos.  I went inside the house and Mr. Hughes said a few words about my injuries that I will not repeat since I know that my mother reads my blog.

After the shower, I sanded the edges of the devil board with some sand paper to get it smooth.

Next, I coated the front with a thin layer of tacky glue.

I then transfered it to a box where I could contain the German Glass Glitter in all of its glory.

I didn't take photos of the glitter process, but you can probably figure that part out.

Here is the finished project:

I hung it in a chippy vintage frame.  I simply attached a little bias tape to the back of the sign and then hung it in the frame from this:

A cute little vintage tack that was used for storm windows or screens.

I wish I could've gotten a better photo, but it has been grey outside.

All things considered, I think it turned out pretty well (I have 5 bandages across my knuckles as I type.)

I have refused to look for a photo to compare mine to since the Dremel debacle... mine is PERFECT!  Please don't tell me any different.  And, please don't tell me that I could have just bought one for the price of a box of bandages and some Neosporin.  Oh, and please don't tell me an easier way or how you would have done it... it would take away my JOY!

**if you happen to want a PDF of the letters so you can try this, just let me know!**


  1. That is so stinkin cute. And hilarious post! haha your poor knuckles. I think it would be funny if it was hanging on the tree with like, dried blood on it. hahaha just kidding... but It would be a conversation piece..... BUT seriously, that is so adorable! When I get some time, I'll be requesting some PDF letters. And maybe a quick run through on how NOT to jack up my hands ;)

  2. Aw, I hope your hand feels better! Don't you hate it when those dremels zip away from you?
    This is a beautiful decoration- one that will look great over and over! Good job, so glad you shared it!

  3. you poor thing! but i have to say, what a funny post! your "joy" turned out perfect! so, what are you making next with that dremel? heehee! xo

  4. Oh, your poor hands! I have a Dremel, still new in the box, that I bought about three or four years ago. I have no idea how to even use the thing. Now I'm afraid too! I can't wait to see what projects you use your for...I think!

  5. I love it! But I won't try it, I injure myself with far less dangerous tools.
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    Charmed giveaway!

  6. I love it! It's way better than anything one could purchase. Looks great in your frame. Sorry about the cuts, hope they heal quickly!

  7. You are too funny.

    Just think of the memories you created with this project.

    I think it came out really, really cute.


  8. We've got a bleeder! :( Be careful lady! What a freakin' cute project! :)

  9. You cracked me up!!! I almost spit my coffee out while reading your tale! Sounds JUST like my life! Loved your project! Keep up the great work!

  10. So CUTE!! Love it!! You totally sound like me. The hubs will often say, "How in the world did you manage to do that?!" Hope your digits are feeling much better today! :) Happy weekend!


  11. I don't think that your knuckles will thank me but, I think it was well worth the pain !! It looks fantastic and so professional. I was going to say that it looks so good, you should do another one with a different word, but I doubt if you would want to. Have fun. XXXX

  12. Just remember, it's not blood on the finished product, it's *patina*.
    Hey, nice rings, girlfriend! ;-)

  13. *snort* this is just too much! i love that you were able to so efficiently shower and get a blood transfusion, without missing a beat:) real life is far stranger than fiction, no?!?


  14. I love it (especially since Joy is my middle name). I have had the occasional blood spot on a few sewing projects (back when I was a rookie ;) War wounds

  15. It looks great! You are truly dedicated to risk life and limb :)

  16. Oh my heavens!! I am sorry that all that JOY nearly killed you!! Good job you chose a 3 letter word. Anymore letters and you could be in the ER!!

  17. Michelle,
    It's truly gorgeous! Next time just come see me, we'll cut you out some letters with my new Cricut (which I am STILL tickled pink about). They may be cardboard, but they'll be boo-boo free!

  18. Eeek, it's a good thing it turned out so your injuries weren't for nothing!!! I just love it!

    :) T

  19. My goodness, girlie! Better put 911 on standby before your next project. It sure came out nicely though, didn't it.

  20. it turned out perfect! Battle scars and all...

  21. Very pretty! I love the German glass glitter.

  22. Blood transfusions and causing fires -- what we women won't do in the name of being creative! I love your joy almost as much as your tale. Thank goodness you stuck with a three letter word -- imagine Merry Christmas would have CSI agents baffled.

    Your Friend,


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