The idea came from my husband's sister. She found it on Pinterest. This is about as far back as I can trace this. We thought it was a great idea for people who don't live in the same city, but still wanted to be in a picture together. Paul's family lives two hours East of us. Although we see each other a decent amount during the year, there was no way we were going to pull together a picture quick enough for Christmas.
We had everyone make their own letters however they wanted. As you can see, Marc made his "T" out of pieces of regular 8.5x11 paper. I kind of love how his son, Caden, is holding the bottom piece a bit crooked :-) Monique and Caden's "Os" were made out of foam board. The rest of the letters I made out of poster board.
Once pictures were taken and sent to us, the hardest work was really cropping, cutting, and formatting the picture. We had a basic idea of the size we wanted, but it was really hard to get 8 pictures to fit the same height and still show off the person and the letter in each one. It took some finagling, but eventually we got it. Next we had to find someone that printed this size. FedEx Kinkos is always a GREAT option for things like this. They made it as big as we wanted on photo paper and cut it for us. I think it cost us $10 to get two of them printed off.
Our other dilemma was finding a frame that would fit the picture. I think in the end it ended up being a 5" x 22" picture. We knew that getting it professionally framed was going to be FAR over our budget, so I decided to head to Hobby Lobby and do my best to think outside of the box. Oddly enough, I found this wall shelf and thought that if I turned it on it's side the picture would fit nicely on the top portion, AND it would be able to be set on a table.
I took the shelf and painted it black. There was a funny lip on the bottom of the shelf that looked a little blank, and I felt something had to be written there. Thankfully, I have a friend who is an amazing calligrapher and asked if she could help us out. I have awful handwriting and knew that if I attempted to write anything on this I would either misspell it or totally ruin it. Jen, from Graceful Expressions, beautifully added the "Established 1977," on the bottom for us. This was the year that Paul's parents were married.
The final step was Mod Podging (Mod Podge CS11235 Mod Podge Paper Matte Finish (Google Affiliate Ad) the picture to the shelf. This part was easy. Slap on the Mod Podge, slap on the photo, cover it with more Mod Podge, let it dry, and voila!
Here is a picture of the final product. It looks huge on my in-laws' table, but I promise it isn't near as big as the picture makes it look. Again, it is about 6" high total and 24" wide:
Needless to say, it was a success!