Somehow I missed it in 9th grade English and didn’t read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” until recently. It’s spooky. Seriously spooky.
Part of what makes it so scary is this scene Poe sets. It’s almost like watching a horror movie where you know something bad is about to happen, it also has a lyrical almost child like sing-song quality to it, which makes it even spookier. “Nevermore” is the tap-tap-taping raven’s catchphrase. It becomes a symbol in the poem of lost love, death, sanity, and restoration… all of these are “nevermore,” or gone for good.
I can never get enough of Halloween decorations, so I thought an easy literary DIY project would be to make my own “nevermore” banner. I’ve found it to be an interesting reminder to love what I have and to acknowledge that someday I’ll have to be okay letting go of it. It makes me grateful and mindful every time I see it.
Total Action Time: 30 – 60 minutes (depending how savvy you are with your printer). Rest Time: An hour and twenty minutes
If you need one of the components to make the project do me a huge favor and click-through the link to go to Amazon. It helps me out and is no cost to you. Super appreciated.
Here are the things you’ll need:
- Assemble all the supplies. I had an old copy of The Raven hanging around. I thought it might be fun to use as it is illustrated. You can buy a copy here or mess around with an online version of the poem in Word to get the same effect with print instead of picture.
- I pulled the pages out of the book and sent them through the printer to put a letter on each page. I used Lucinda Blackletter at 240 point font and it fit perfectly, but do a couple of test pages on blank paper to make sure you’re at the size you want. Also be sure you send your paper through the right way… I ended up with an upside down photo with an “N” printed on it and had to redo it.
- Find a free picture of a raven online and follow the same process as the letters. I superimposed the raven on the poem and the letters on the pictures. It gave it a nice contrast.
- Retrace all the letters with a black sharpie or paint marker. It makes it bolder and a little nicer looking
- Place your wooden tag over the letter and us an x-acto knife or box cutter to cut the shape. You could use scissors, but an x-acto knife works way better and is only 4 bucks. I found these wooden tags online. I don’t recommend canvas for this project but any solid surface would work.
- Modpodge the letters onto the wooden triangles (you can use the normal kind for this part… save the more expensive antique for later). Make sure the air bubbles are out and put them under something heavy to dry so it drys smooth. Wait about an hour.
- Use the antique-matte color mod podge to make the letters look old. This type smells super gross but it looks cool. Make sure you do a thin layer and then another thin layer twenty minutes later. If you put too much on it dries gloopy and weird.
- String twine through and hang up
What I would do different:
- I’d flip the raven image in the first triangle so I they were both looking into “nevermore.” You can do this in any photo editor.
- I’d play around with using mod pod photo transfer and transferring the image onto wood. I bet that’d be pretty awesome too.
- I’d have outlined the raven in red and given him a spooky red eye. Just for fun
An easy fun Halloween literary project!