I stumbled across a wonderful website that I've already used more than once to create one-of-a-kind gifts! Tagxedo.com can take any group of words and artistically arrange them into different shapes. You choose the words, color scheme, font, font size, layout, and orientation. Then you choose the overall shape such as a heart, angel, hand print or even an outline of South America! The website suggests many uses for these "word clouds" ranging from brainstorming to love letters and from schoolwork to artwork. I have used them to make gifts for team members and coaches at the end of their season which I'll describe below.
First I started by entering my group of words: I included the team name, our show title and year, and all the members' and instructors' names. I also included key words from our season and certain elements of our sport. If you want a word to show up larger, just type it in multiple times! Connect two-part words by typing an asterisk (*) that won't show up, such as "Great*Job".
Toggle through all the options to pick your favorites. This includes the font, color scheme, etc. Once you're happy with the final result, Tagxedo lets you print or save your masterpiece! Since I made nearly 20 for each of my last two projects, I actually had mine printed at a local Fed Ex/Kinkos. Be sure you print it the correct size - for a 3.5 x 5 frame, try printing it at just 1/4 of the page.
As you may have guessed by that last statement, I framed all mine! I found great frames at the Dollar Tree - I LOVE the Dollar Tree! Finally, I decorated each frame by hot gluing artificial flowers to the corners. Our performance this season was titled "Yellow" so I chose yellow flowers, but you can get creative and add foam shapes, ribbons, trinkets, or beads to yours!
Also consider making them for a teacher at the end of the school year with all the student's names in the shape of an apple! Make one for a bride-to-be at her shower filled with well wishes or wedding-related words in the shape of a heart or umbrella! Make one for an expectant mother with childhood milestones in the shape of a foot print... or make one for your own mother for Mother's Day filled with words of love and gratitude in the shape of a flower. Then in June, don't forget your father at Father's Day in the shape of a fish! There are so many possibilities with Tagxedo and a little bit of creativity!