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This DIY Letter Board is a fun way to get a custom version of the popular piece...
and it's a whole heck of a lot cheaper than the real deal, y'all.
So, I've been wanting a letter board forevvvvvvvver. But, you guys, I just can't see paying $100 for these. I'm not doubting that they're worth every penny that the larger companies sell these for...but yowza. I've also been seeing these pop up on Pinterest as DIY projects and thought I would try my hand. Mine is actually totally different than others I've seen...most create a built-in grid system where the felt is draped into the holes and pulled taught. But, I wanted something simpler and easier to create. This does have the simplicity (and budget) factor, but I do think I will try other methods in the future, as well, just to see how they work out. Check out my step-by-step DIY Letter Board tutorial below.
Because Vanilla Ice.
These are the three main supplies you'll need: felt, wooden bamboo skewers, and a wooden canvas. You'll also need a hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks. And paint or stain if you decide to treat your canvas (which I did).
I used a 12x12" wooden canvas from Walnut Hollow (available on Amazon here for a little over $10, just choose the size that works best for you). This is the perfect thing to use for this project...and we're actually using its underside here. While it measures 12"x12", the interior is truly just a little wider than 10" because of the frame (again, choose your own size that will work for your space).
Also, I originally purchased two yards of felt for this and another project. However, I stumbled onto 12" felt squares at my Walmart that were much easier to work with, so I used those, instead. They were only $.23 each and I used six total, so less than $1.40 for the felt.
I used 50 of the 100 bamboo skewers, too (grab bamboo skewers here on Amazon, 100 for $4.03). So, if you're tallying it up, it's less than $15 to make one of these letter boards. And I LOVE that you can use fun colors when you make them yourself...the ones widely available are usually charcoal or black.
I used white chalk paint on mine...
I just wanted a red and white look since my home has a lot of that business going on.
Oh and I totally only did the necessary areas for paint. Ha! Just keeping it real.
The skewers need to be trimmed to fit the inside of the canvas. Trim the point side off.
I can tell you what definitely does NOT work for this: a compound miter saw (file that into the category of what was I thinking?). BLARGH. I basically "clogged" my saw and created a heap of smoke that truly made me question my ability to do anything power tool related that day. So, ignore the twine holding the bundle together to be "easily cut". I ended up cutting each skewer individually as I went using tin snips...it was super simple and worked perfectly. Not sure why I didn't do that from the beginning...but I guess I can be the guinea pig for all of you in this instance.
Felt needs to be cut to the length of your canvas by one inch. The one inch thing is super important...and so is consistency. I had several pieces I threw out because they were slightly off. If your measurements are different on the strips of cut felt, your board's interior (the part that holds your letters in place) will be uneven and your letters will not sit correctly. GETTING THESE EVEN IS THE ENTIRE KEY TO THIS PROJECT (no pressure).
Using a rotary cutter makes this easy (if you don't have one, you can get one on Amazon here). In the end, you'll end up with about 50 one-inch strips that are the length of the interior of your canvas...they also need to match the length of your skewers. Grab a self-healing mat here on Amazon, too (mine had a run in with some black fleece recently and needs to be cleaned!).
Then simply hot glue your skewers into your felt strips and fold in half.
Again, all of these felt covered skewers need to be exactly the same, measurement wise. I originally had a few that were slightly off and my letters would insert properly...I redid them to make sure it was all even-steven.
Then the covered skewers all get tightly "stacked" into the canvas, until it's filled and they are all snug. If you're a perfectionist, this project may drive you crazy. It's a little tough to get the pieces absolutely perfect...but they honestly fit quite well that it's not noticeable unless it's pointed out (this is probably why the real versions of these are so expensive...this is a difficult process to replicate). But honestly, for less than $15, it looks pretty good, y'all.
I used a thick book to press against the finished skewers and make sure they're all the same height. If any seem to stick up more than others, you may want to redo them with new skewers.
And, if you're keeping track, I did this project a little at a time, over the course of a few days...so much so that my nail polish color seems to have changed in the photos (oops!). This wasn't a difficult project, but slightly time-consuming. It was probably a good 3-4 hours total (not including paint drying time). Not 100% sure it was worth it, time wise...but I honestly would make another one because I really like the end result.
Now, it's time for the FUN! I grabbed all of my letters HERE on Amazon.
Please note: only use the larger, 1" letters. The smaller letters do not have pegs long enough to work with this style of a letter board. So, theoretically, if you count my letters (which I did not), the total is $30 for allllll of it. But most of the boards aren't sold with letters and still are quite pricey.
And hey, hey...great minds think alike, y'all!
My friend Jennifer of jenniferpriest.com totally made a red one, too!
Her method is super cool and I'm pretty sure I'll try it next.
What do you think? Would you try a project like this?