Don't use just a functional and boring desk name plate; instead, use a name plate that tells the world who you really are and shows off your personal style. High-quality name plates perform an important function but can be created with ease. Name plates can be constructed out of different materials; wood, paper and wire are some of the easiest materials to use.
Wooden Name Plates
You can create a wooden name plate out of lightweight balsa wood. Use wood-burning tools to burn a name and design into the wood’s surface, but sketch out designs with a pencil before actually burning the wood. Once the tools are heated, apply even pressure over the designs to achieve the burned look. Be careful not to leave the metal on the wood for an extended time or the wood will char. Use varnish or polyurethane in a variety of natural colors to protect the wood and seal the burned areas. Use acrylic paint in conjunction with the wood-burned name plate or as a stand-alone medium to create the plate. Acrylic paint adheres well to wood and adds a splash of color and dimension to wood-burned pieces. Paint gives dimension to the burned areas when painted over the designs.
Paper Name Plates
Card stock is an optimal material for making paper name plates that work well for temporary use. Use them indefinitely if you keep them away from water and humidity. Fold rectangular paper into triangles by folding the sheet into three equal parts and taping the overlapping edges together. Paper tents can also be made by folding the paper in half. Card stock is easily decorated with markers, scrapbooking stickers and paint.
Wire Name Plates
Metal wire makes a striking name plate when curled and curved into a name. Create wire word art with medium-weight flexible wire and chain-nose pliers. A medium 20-gauge wire is pliable to work with but retains its shape. Hold the end of the wire with the chain-nose pliers. Start with the first letter of your name and bend the metal into its shape, and repeat the process with each subsequent letter. Wire word art can stand alone or be secured to a piece of wood. Beads and ribbon may also be added to the wire for an extra pop of color.
Picture Frame Name Plates
A picture frame, which is available in a wide assortment of sizes, styles and colors, usually include a pre-made tabletop stand attached to its back. Picture frames can be used to hold printed word art. If desired, decorate the glass with acrylic paint or permanent markers. For extra flair, you can embellish the frame with natural items, beads or recycled materials.
Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.