Monday, November 2, 2009

The Writing Is On The Wall: How To Make Your Own Wall Letters

For a while, I have wanted to display some letters on my kitchen wall. I think it gives a room a personalized feel. Especially since I have a love for typography (it's in my graphic designer blood). But you've seen the wooden letters that are out there, some are in "little kid" font a.k.a "Chalkboard", "Good Dog", and even worse, who decided that "Tekton Pro" would look good on anyone's wall? I just wanted a simple serif font in caps. So I decided to make my own letters out of foam core/board and scrapbook paper. You could write "Home" or "Family" or whatever you like.

I started with a piece of white foam board that you can find at most dollar stores, Wal-mart, or craft stores.

Then I typed out the letters I wanted on the computer (I used Adobe Illustrator, in outline type mode to save ink), and fit them to 8.5x11 paper, so I could print one letter per page.

Next, I cut out the paper letters, using an X-acto knife and a metal ruler (wooden rulers tend to get sliced by the knife). Each paper letter became a stencil that I used to trace onto the foam board.

After tracing each paper letter, onto the foam board, I cut out the foam letters, using my X-acto knife and ruler. This is the most difficult part, and where my old sign shop skills come into good use. This part takes me back to the days when we used to cut out foam core letters by the bushel full, then spray paint them or apply vinyl. I miss those sign shop days with my fellow artists, making everything by hand. We had a lot of fun!

Here are a few tips for effective foam core cutting:
1. Make sure you have a good cutting mat underneath your work area.
2. A new sharp blade in your knife is absolutely necessary.
3. Cut straight lines with a ruler.
4. Make sure to apply a good amount of pressure to cut completely through the foam.
5. Try not to "saw" through the foam, it will create jagged edges.

After your foam letters are cut out, select your scrapbook paper, and glue each foam letter onto the back of the scrapbook paper. A regular glue stick works well.

With the glued foam letter face down, cut around the foam letter with your X-acto knife, trimming off the excess scrapbook paper. Ta-da! Now you have a set of letters to display on your wall or on a bookshelf. These letters are light enough that I attached mine to the wall with some sticky-tack.

What do you think? Cute right? Next time I may use more contrasting scrapbook paper, since my wall is red. Home Sweet Home.


  1. Very cute! And so easy!

    I don't buy the wood letters because they're so expensive. This wouldn't be all that much.
    I'll be adding foam board to my shopping list!
    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Great idea!! I've been wanting to put some letters/words in our playroom and this would be terrific!

  3. Your wall letters look do a great job using the X-acto knife. I know my letters wouldn't look that good! Thanks for the tutorial.

  4. Thanks for the great comments ladies! Good luck if you try it out. Let me know if you have any questions :-)

  5. this is a cute idea. I am featuring it at Grab my "featured" button.

  6. I saw this on some day crafts. I thought it was so cute and had to come and see how you did it. So smart I will definitely be making this!

  7. Beautiful work! Found you through Someday crafts and will be following - Jessica

  8. What a great idea! I have a graphic designer in the family and he's also made me a bit of a font snob... I haven't been able to find a font I liked for my son's room. Now I'll be putting all those hundreds of fonts on my computer to good use! (I also found you through Someday crafts).

  9. Found you through Someday Crafts- great tutorial!


  10. What a great alternative to spendy wood ones!!

  11. I just love this. It's so upbeat and creative! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is a great idea. I want to put a wall of k's in my daughters room so I can now print off different fonts and decorate them differently... thanks for the inspiration.

  13. How neat! I'd love to give this a try... might take some practice! Thank you for sharing. I found this on SomeDayCrafts as well.

  14. That is awesome! I would love for you to come link up at the Strut your Stuff Party!

  15. Perfect! I am looking to make an "&" sign for an engagement session and they are sooo expensive online and I haven't been able to find a wooden "&" symbol so I realized I would have to settle for making my own somehow!

  16. Do you think you could use modgepodge to adhere the scrapbook paper or would that ruin the foam board?

    1. I bet you could use mod podge - I didn't think of that!

  17. Thankyou for the tutorial. I'm trying this soon :D


Thank you!