Tutorial: Altering Wood Letters

Materials Needed:
*Wood letters (any will work- I cut my own, the ones I'm using for this are 8")
*Paint, alcohol ink, walnut ink, etc
*Scissors and/or X-acto knife
*Adhesive (I used tacky glue & glue dots)
*Ink pad
*Paper & pretties

1. Either pick up your letters at a craft store, or cut them out. I notched the back for easier hanging.

2. Once ready, paint the sides and back side. The front doesn't matter since it will be covered up. For simplicity I use spray paint, in black for this project. Repeat if needed.

3. Leave letters alone over night, or until dry. I prefer to leave over night so I know for sure everything is dry to perfection.
4. Pick out pattern papers of choice. I've used as many of 3 papers per letter, but for this project I used only 2 papers for each letter- 4 papers total.

5. Trace out your letter shapes on the paper. Make sure you are tracing them correctly, and not backwards! For ease, trace the letter facing the correct direction with the paper underneath. Then you don't need to worry about flipping anything around.

6. Cut along pencil lines for all letters. Erase marking as needed.

7. Use adhesive, I use tacky glue for this part, to cover the letter. Make sure to get the edges really done. Press paper down firmly and hold in place for a few second. I like to put something heavy on top of the letters while I do the rest of the word- just extra insurance for no air bubbles in my paper.

8. Don't worry about ugly edges- we're getting to that!
9. Put a thin line of adhesive on the edge where the papers meet, and cover with ribbon. Once dry, about 10 minutes, trim ribbons to the edge. Sometimes I wrap the ribbons all the way around, but I didn't for this project.

10. Ink, if you like to ink, the edges of your letter. If you are not a fan of inking- use paint. This is the best way to clean up any choppy cuts or ragged edges. It also helps tie everything together.

11. This is where you get to have fun! Go out and embellish to your hearts content.


Michelle said...

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing how you get the paper on right!

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesly said...

I love these letters. Can't wait to try it. Hope I can find some to alter.

The Jones Family said...

Thanks for the tutorial. I want to do this as soon as my baby is born. I am not the best a picking out embellishments, any suggestions?

Melzie said...

Lesly: Try Michael's, Home Depot, maybe even Walmart. If you don't find anything you like, or the size- let me know. I cut & send also.

Jewelle: Whatever you do- don't stick anything down until you know you love what you have! I stick with a stamped image as a focal point. Love ribbons, very few for a boy, brads, eyelets, flowers, sequins.. oh the list goes on!!

Check out these other examples I've done.

Good luck!

Heather said...

Love your tutorial! Can you tell me what you use to cut your letters and what type of wood you use? I'd like to make some letters for my daughter's nursery...if I can find the time. Thanks!

Melzie said...

Oh gosh, I can't remember- I think it's a jigsaw, and wood, I have no idea-- I think these were pine... :) I just... do it. :)