Current Creigh-ations: DIY Wooden Letters

 It may be the elementary school teacher in me, but I kept looking at this space behind our couch on the way into my boys' playroom and thought, "Wow, that would make an awesome reading corner!" So, I took out their little personalized chairs, threw a basket of books together, and made these fun READ letters to designate their new reading corner!


Your first step is to gather supplies at your local craft store. I really liked the wooden script letters, but when I thought about the purpose of my project, I felt that traditional, Times New Roman-type letters would be best. I would rather have my toddlers be able to recognize the letters than pick the pretty font I liked best!  That being said, if pretty script letters are perfect for your project, you can easily do these same steps. The cutting just may be a bit trickier, but nothing you can't handle! {wink} I have always worked with Mod Podge, but I also know people who use wood glue and love it, so that's a personal choice. Make sure to use cardstock and not thin paper. While it is possible to use paper, I have found there is a greater chance for bubbles and warped paper on your letters.

Trace your letters. To do this, flip your cardstock over and flip the letters, then trace. This way you are not writing on the pretty side of the cardstock. When you cut, try to cut on the inside of your line. {You are going to have to trim regardless!}. Once you are done with your first cut, you will want to place the cardstock letters on top of the wooden letters and trim accordingly.  Your goal here is to get as close to the edges as possible.

       Another example of wooden letters made for a special little lady! The same techniques were used here.

       Another example of wooden letters made for a special little lady! The same techniques were used here.

The next step is optional. You can sand the sides of your letters {I've done it both ways!}. It does make the paint go on smoother, but you have to decide if that's important to you. When I give letters as gifts, I always sand. However, when I'm hanging letters in my own home I tend to skip this step! Definitely paint the sides of the letters a coordinating color to your cardstock {I chose blue to match the trucks & stripes!}

The next part is the trickiest part! I always use a foam brush to work with Mod Podge, but again, it's a personal decision. I'm sure you could use a paintbrush. The key here is to use the smallest amount of Mod Podge. You want to be sure there are no clumps and you spread the Mod Podge into a thin layer. This is where your bubbles will pop up when it dries, so take the time to spread it out so you don't get any! Let this dry completely.

Once they're dry, you want to seal the letters. You can do this either with another {very thin!} layer of Mod Podge or I've also used a Matte Finishing Spray to seal them. 

Lastly, you are going to figure out how you want to hang your letters. For the READ, I nailed brackets into the back of them. For HELENA, I used a staple gun to attach ribbon {and also hot glue to make sure that ribbon was not going anywhere!} They both work well and just give your project a different look.

Step by Step Instructions: 

  1. Gather supplies: Wooden letters, cardstock, paint, foam brushes, Mod Podge or wood glue
  2. Trace the letters~ flip them over & use the back of the cardstock
  3. Cut the cardstock & trim 
  4. {Sand} & paint the sides; Let dry
  5. Use a thin layer of Mod Podge to glue the cardstock to the letters; Let dry
  6. Use Mod Podge or a Matte Finishing Spray to seal your letters.
  7. Nail brackets or attach ribbon to your letters for hanging

Have YOU ever decorated wooden letters? What tips do you have? Leave a comment and let us know! Or, join the conversation in my FREE Facebook group, the Creigh~ative Connection, filled with other busy moms just like you. Click here to join the Creigh~ative Connection.

The little interns enjoying their new reading corner!

The little interns enjoying their new reading corner!