Wooden Bills on Baseball Hats

When I graduated from High School years ago I moved to a big city to go to college. I wanted to experience new things so I joined a fraternity; Sigma Chi. I developed great friendship with several guys there, two in particular, Gater and Jib. That’s their nicknames. We partied all the time and we coined a name for the three of us. We called ourselves the “ONK Brothers”.

“ONK”ing 40 years ago.

Over the years we have stayed in close contact, talking least a couple of times a month, We discuss current events, families, and of course laughing about all of the crazy things we did back in the 70’s. Gater has the best memory and keeps Jib and me on track when recollecting any particular zany event.

Two years ago I got an email from both of them with an attached picture of them at an old “waterin’ hole” of ours. They had the barkeep take their picture. The email simply said “Wish you were here”.

Wish You Were Here

My wife and I were down in the Florida Keys when I got the email so I had her take a photo of me taken in a chair I liked at a furniture store. I hung on to both photos….because….I had a plan.

In The Keys

I got to thinking about using my company’s software “Create It” to combine the two pictures. So when we got home, that’s what I did. I sent it back to them and told them “I was there“.

I Was There

I started tinkering with the picture and stenciled a group headshot.

Stencilized Group Headshot

Six months ago we got to talking about an upcoming golf tournament for Sigma Chi’s from our old alma mater, Arizona State. We decided that we would all meet up there and have some fun. I said I’ll make some baseball hats with that picture on the bills. One thing led to another and we decided on Maroon and Gold hats with each of our names on them and the picture.

I went to work on them.  Here’s what I did.

  1.  Ordered the baseball hats from one of the online hat companies where you can have them with embroidered lettering.

  2.  Got the hats and created a thin cardboard template of the bill, then scanned it into my computer and then got back into “Create It”(This is the second audacious self-serving and shameless reference to this software).

  3.  Put the image of the three of us on one side of the bill with the name “ONK Bros.” below it.

  4.  Added each of our names on the opposite side, aligning the name on that side so that it was parallel with the ground when wearing the hat.

  5.  Exported the template to a .SVG file and took it to a Laser Etching Printer where we cut them out of a piece of paper-thin wood that has a carpet glue backing under a peel off sheet.

On the Laser Etching machine
Bills cut out

You can get these at a place called Cards of Wood (https://www.cardsofwood.com)







6.  Stained them.  

  7.  Highlighted the etched parts with black ink. 

  8.  Put on a Poly coat.

  9.  Peeled off the backing and glued them to the bills of each hat.

 10.  Trimmed them with some finishing scissors and they were done!

During the same time, the Corona virus showed up and the golf game was called off. I sent the hats to the guys and we opened the shipping boxes over a video conference call. Not quite what we had in mind but they were excited about the hats and, in spite of the virus, my buddies and I are well.  We’ll get to that tournament next year and we’ll be wearing our hats.

Here are a couple of pictures of the process:

When they opened the boxes and saw the hats!
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