When someone you love leaves this world suddenly and unexpectedly, it often brings a helpless and lost feeling.
On April 7, I learned one of my childhood friends, affectionately known as Ratty, died in a small plane crash. During his funeral, as friends and family members remembered him, a common strand of words were used to describe him. Good, cherished, loving and honorable to name a few.
I knew I needed to somehow use those words to make a tribute for his family so I waited for an idea to come. I was determined to turn helpless into hopeful.
I remembered a site I had found that turns words into beautiful art and decided to start there. Slowly, my idea formed. Here's how it all came together:
I'll show you my finished project later but first let's get started making your own word art tribute.
- Head over to Taxedo and select Create.
- Once in the Create screen, select Load and start typing all your descriptive words. You can use as many as you want . Depending on the shape you select, it might repeat words to fill the shape. Note: You can type a list of words in a Word document and load to the site or type them directly in the "enter text" box.
- When you're finished with your list of words, press submit and a default shape will automatically appear. Don't worry, you now have the option to choose the shape you want.
- Go to Options, select Shape and there are many to choose from.
- To change the color scheme of your word art, select Theme.
- Select Font, to choose the typography for your word art.
- Orientation allows you to select the direction of your words.
- Save your word art! You can choose the size document you want and either JPG or PNG.
Here's the word art I created as my tribute to Ratty.
Once I had the word art created, I used Picasa to edit the background tinting. I chose the Graduated Tint option using blue.
I printed it as an 8x10 to fit a frame I had purchased and spiffed up with a little paint.
My original idea was to mount the frame to a piece of weathered wood. Instead, I came across this large chicken wire frame at Michael's. This way, I could attach a picture of Ratty with tiny clothespins, which made the memorial even more sentimental.
It's funny how God's timing is always perfect. I had finished this project weeks before I actually delivered it. For some reason, I felt I needed to wait.
Last Thursday, I woke up and knew deep down it was the day I needed to deliver the tribute to his family.
Shortly after leaving the gift on their doorstep, I received a message from Ratty's mom. That particular day her heart had been hurting badly. She said my gift came at exactly the right time when she needed to feel God's comfort the most.
Even typing these words gives me chills. In a small way, God used me as an instrument to demonstrate that in the midst of pain and suffering, He is with us. I didn't know at the time why I held onto the tribute but now I do.
If you make a word art tribute to your loved one, please share your project with me on my Facebook page. And as always, if you love this tutorial, please pin and share!