If your kid plays sports and has since he was 4 and is about to turn 18, you know how hard it is to come up with new ideas for the end-of-season coaches’ gifts. The cheer coach a couple of years ago made a gift for the Athletic Director. She found this huge letter “P” papier mâché. She painted it black and Mod Podged various black and white cheerleading photos all over it. I thought that would make a great gift the baseball coaches. So the captains of each team collected a little bit of money from the players to purchase the supplies. Problem was I looked everywhere for the large papier mâché letters. I found one at Hobby Lobby but it was only maybe 8″ tall. I wouldn’t be getting that many photos on something so small, lol.
Hobby Lobby is such a wonderful place full of very unique home decor items that are at face value way too expensive however Hobby Lobby always has many of their items 30%-50% off! They have the widest assortment of wooden letters in every font you can think of in sizes from a few inches to over two feet! I found the letter “M” clearanced for only $6.80. It was painted a mauve color and had some metal embellishments on it. The hubby pulled the embellishments off for me and spray painted the letter black. The “B” I found in the unfinished wood area that is originally $12.99 but it was 30% off! The hubby also spray painted it black for me. Both letters were approximately two feet tall! I also made a letter “E” and letter “S” so that all the coaches got a gift (Freshmen, JV, Varsity & Assistant Varsity). They all loved their gift!
When it comes to Mod Podge, it’s best to use pictures printed on regular to thin paper. Using regular to thin paper makes it easier to smooth out with an old credit card and easier to push any bubbles to the edge. So the hubby printed off various pictures I sized between 2-4 inches all in black and white on regular ol’ copy paper. Then I carefully Mod Podged the photos randomly on the large letters. I had to work in sections because the photos overlapped. So sometimes the Mod Podge went on the wood and sometimes on part of the picture I was slightly covering. It was tedious but with patience, completely doable! My husband used a razor blade to slice the edges of any pictures flush to the edge of the letters leaving the edges a solid black. On the back I wrote the team’s name and the year. I also had bought these awesome Felt Sticky-back Baseballs that I randomly put around the photos to cover any large black areas on the letter. They turned out really awesome. I used glossy Mod Podge and the pictures really don’t do these gifts justice. The letters were shiny and very pretty. Something their wives probably wouldn’t mind have hanging in their homes, lol. Something different and definitely awesome to give to a coach! For specifics on my Mod Podge technique, check out my post for these photo wood blocks HERE that I had made for the senior football players. The senior baseball players received their own photo wood blocks as a gift along with their senior banners, a copy of the team DVD and a Baseball Cake Pop. Their photo wood blocks turned out awesome also.