Last Name Letterpress

Over the summer, Dan and I checked out Lit Fest, down in Printer’s Row. It was cool to see some seriously old books, meet some authors, and just generally be downtown in the city on a nice (hot) day.

We ended up buying some bestseller paperbacks to help a local school, and some old letterpress letters.


Oh. So. Cool.

Looking through them made your fingers all inky, but it was really neat seeing all the different fonts, symbols, and styles. I just had to have some.

We ended up buying the letters for our last name: THORNE. As this was a popular booth, they didn’t have all the letters we needed in any one specific font or size. Turns out, the variety made this project turned out much better anyways.

At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Put them in a cool jar? But then you wouldn’t be able to see what the letters spelled.

I finally figured it out and decided to mount the letters on some wood, and use it as a sort of sign to display.

My original thought was to use a couple pieces of distressed pallet wood, but as I thought about it, I didn’t love the idea.

I ended up deciding to use…get this…a hardwood floor sample.


Uh huh. I picked up a bunch of samples, put the letters next to them, and picked the one that worked best with the colors in the letterpress stamps.

Once that was decided it was quite an easy project.

I just took some wood glue and, after having spaced out the letters the way I wanted them, I glued them in place.


I put a couple heavy books on top of the letters while they dried overnight.


Now, this cute little piece sits on the shelf behind the couch in our living room.


And look, from the side, you can see the grooves where the letters fit into the letterpress machine.


This guy will probably find a new home elsewhere in the apartment, but for now, I like seeing it when I walk in the front door.


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