Peace Out…and In

I’ve always had a plan in my noggin’ to have the words “Pax Tecum” somewhere in our entry way.  The phrase means “Peace be with you” in Latin.  I like the idea of wishing our visitors peace as they enter and leave the main entrance of our home and so a-brainstormin’ I went to figure out how to get those words somewhere around there – a wooden plaque over the door, a framed printable… 

On the other side of my brain, I’ve been trying to think of something out of the ordinary that could fill the empty space above the hook system in the entry.
My first thought was to whip up some colorful abstract art but the roman shade has all the abstract that space needs.  More picture frames just seems too normal and another mirror or two would just be too much since there’s a mirror on the opposite wall.  Two issues; one simple solution.  Words + empty space = words in empty space. 

You might’ve already guessed that if you saw this picture when I wrote about painting the front door:   
IMG_4675Those letters are simply cut out of computer paper and sticky-tacked up.  I wasn’t sure about the size and layout I wanted so we sat around with those hanging for a good month. 

The end result looks a tad different:
I saw these paper mache letters at JoAnn Fabrics a while ago and thought they’d be perfect for this project only I didn’t know if I should just buy them or attempt to make my own.  At $2.99 each they’re not quite as cheap as some DIYed versions could be, but in the end I weighed the number of hours it would take me to DIY them vs. throwing them in a shopping bag and, well, you know, kids, very little free time…buying them won out.  But, I waited for a sale ($1 off) and used coupons so in the end I ended up only paying about $1.70 a letter.  They also have some huge letters of the same sort that would be amazing monograms anywhere in a home.  They’re around $10 ($5 if you can get your fingers on a 50% off coupon!) and I’m thinking maybe the girls’ room could use some.  :)

The letters are the color of cardboard (an obvious note) and I actually didn’t mind them sans any sort of paint or paper addition but up against the tan wall in the entry, they were blah.  So I pulled out some white primer and spruced them up a bit. 

First I painted the edges of each letter.  I had to do two coats for full coverage.
photo 1 (1)

I wanted a thin border around front edges of each letter so I used some painters’ tape to get straight edges.  This could definitely be free-handed and parts of the letters, like the curve in the P, had to be free-handed no matter what.
photo 2 (1)

To attach them to the wall I used these Command mounting strips.  They’re like velcro.
photo 3
I didn’t realize until I was unpacking these things that there were only four strips vs. the eight I had thought (says it right on the package…face palm).  So, I improvised by cutting them in half (vs. running to Walmart with three kids for one little thing).

I did a lot of thinking about how to use these strips in the days before I hung the letters, over-thinking that is.  In my head my process was to mark with a pencil where the wall strip would go right on the wall, hold the letter up, trace a part of the letter onto the wall…well, let’s just say all this thinking was completely unnecessary.  I’d blame it on lack of sleep but everyone in this house has been sleeping through the night so I’ll have to get back to you with another excuse later……….

Ehem, as directed on the package (which I didn’t read until it was go time…heello), I attached one side of the strip to the letter being hung…
 photo 1 (2)

then velcro’ed it’s counterpart to it…
photo 2 (2)

…peeled off the sticky backing to the wall strip, and stuck the letter to the wall.  I used our level to make sure all was on the straight and narrow.
photo 3 (1)

Even with the velcro strips holding them up, the letters still wiggled a bit (maybe because I used halfsies?) and even though no one’s going to be wigglin’ them, I added a couple of pieces of sticky tack to them for added stability. photo 4 (1)
Those letters ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Pax Tecum y’all.

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  1. Love it! I like that the 3-d-ness of it adds some texture to the wall without being really in your face or colorful. Your entry is so fun!

  2. Love the way they turned out! Really cute! And what a great phrase!

  3. I love it! Both the end result and the meaning behind it. What a neat idea. :)

  4. I love, love, LOVE this!! You are always so spot on! A very similar idea has been in my head for a while, but I haven't had a clue how to make it work (currently it's a small watercolor by our key dish. I'm not thrilled) but this is inspiring me! :)