Scrabble Living Large: Family Names Art Project

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This is a project that I have been working on for a year….  because everything gets better with age, like cheese and stuff right??  Or because, that is how I do crafty projects… i.e. I never finish them!
 
BUT I had some great motivation with this awesome Silhouette SD giveaway we are having and I decided it was time to finish it (like in the last 5 minutes…)!  And it was the perfect time to add another member to our family game!
 
When I first started this project I had some problems, and I think I can help you to avoid them in part!

Supplies:
A 2″ x 2″ or 4″ x 4″
Vinyl lettering (could use paper, or paint if not available!)
Modpodge (satin finish if you can get it) or Polycrylic finish

Tools:
Silhouette SD machine (“Ahhh” can you hear that?  the heavens are singing…)
Miter saw (or hand saw, a mitering box and A LOT of patience!)

Okay first on a piece of paper, or in a spreadsheet on the computer you are going to have to figure out the layout of your family names.  This can be fun and frustrating.  When I started last year and we only had the three names I thought it would be fun to add the word Family too.  So, if you have to add some adjectives or other nouns in there that works too!

Here are some of the options I came up with:

 

You need to decide on a good thickness to cut you scrabble tiles.  I did mine at 3/4 of and inch, for a 4″ x 4″ that I had left over from our headboard project.  You simply cut these slices from your wood, but be careful, Remodelaholic is not liable for your injuries…

In order to get uniform pieces it may be easiest to set up a 1/2 inch or 3/4 stop and then you simply push your wood through to the stop and cut, cut, cut!  That way you don’t have to remeasure every time.  A stop looks something like the image below only in our case a lot closer to the blade.  For your safety you do not want to handle the small piece that you are cutting off until it had been cut and the blade has been moved away.

I found a little video on a wood working site that explains stops if you have a question about it.  ** On the video he uses a really tall piece of wood, that isn’t necessary in this case, and may get in the way of the saw blade, just FYI.

 
Okay, now the cool part about using a 4×4 cut into slices is that you get to see the rings for the wood.  I think it adds some interest.  And if you look at little scrabble tiles they have this grain too, although maybe not the full rings… but anyway.
 

After you’ve made the cuts your edges are a little ragged and need to be sanded down to clean up the edge.

Now you have your perfect tiles ready to be painted (optional) and sealed.  The wood I had was dark, and I wanted the letters to pop, so I did a light wash of white acrylic paint to even out the tone and make the letter stand out.

In previous attempts, I learned the hard way that not sealing the wood first will result in vinyl or stickers of any sort from sticking, and you will get bubbles and wrinkles and basically one hot mess.  So, seal front and back your tiles if you are using vinyl.  I choose to use Mod-podge since I was pregnant and didn’t want to fume up my house.

But also, I didn’t have black vinyl… no problem I used my Silhouette machine to cut out black cardstock and mod-podged it on there…  (the lighting for this picture is bad, the tiles doesn’t actually look that white)

 
Add letters with modpodge and lightly go over the whole tile. ( you can see it drying in the image below…)
 
In order to hang these on the wall I just hot glued some push pins to the back of the “tile”, and pushed them in place into my drywall…  Now the only problem, I am not really sure where I am planning on using these, so for now I just made a million new holes in our wall!  I think these would be really fun in a game room – i wish I had one, don’t you?
 
Oh, and did you notice?  Instead of the numbers across the bottom of Justin’s tiles I wrote “Family”  Look really close!
 
What do you think?
 

And while doing research for this project I came upon the image below… you could make that it a snap!  And with the money you saved you could take me out to dinner and really nice steak dinner, I’m just sayin’ is all.

 
I guess that the company Posh Tots used to sell this for a cool (cough) $500 doll hairs…
Can you believe it?  Yikes!

About 

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three homes from top to bottom and are working on their fourth. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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Comments

  1. erinmalia says

    hey there. we’re definitely doing this at my house (wood is cut!), and i’ll use my silhouette to cut either the vinyl or cardstock, but can you tell me what font you used for the letters? thanks!

  2. Bethany says

    We made these using paint on rubber stamps to make the letters and numbers. Then we also put the thumbtacks on the back of them. We put them onto a corkboard instead of directly on the wall and it created a unique message boards that we’re giving for Christmas!

  3. Bronwyn says

    I “pinned” this a log time ago. Honestly, this is one of my favourite blog decor items of the year. I have begun making these for my family – the blocks of wood are cut, but I still have to add the lettering. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Chelsea Giles says

    This is amazing! We’re finishing our basement right now and plan to have an entertainment area where the kids will have the Wii and board games and the adults will have a poker table and bar area! I can’t wait to complete this project!!

  5. Brooke says

    I was so excited to find this project and was waiting on finding out the sex of our 2nd child before starting so I knew which name would connect to the other….. However…. I am so disappointed because after spending $22 in vinyl letters for our names they are peeling up off the wood even after using modpodge and later a clear coat to try to help “restick” them. Guess I will have to start over :(

    • Terri says

      I use a stencil and a new marker and they look great. The only problem i had is keeping them on the wall I used double sided tape and it wont hold, they keep falling off. So going to try the push pins and see if that works

  6. Kelly R says

    I love this idea I’m going to give it a try. I just have a question I’m not a scrabble player so how do u know which numbers to put on each letter?

  7. Malinda says

    We did this BIG TIME with places we have visited. Love it so much! My favorite project EVER! I’d post a picture if I knew how!

    Malinda

  8. Elizabeth Martin says

    Hey Cassity!
    I saw the finished product on Pinterest and thought hey I know those names! Very cute project!
    How are you doing??!

  9. Michelle Platt says

    EXCELLENT idea! I’m going to do this going up the large staircase I have in or family room – I think it will look terrific! Wish I had that letter cut out tool you have! that would make this project so much easier than me hand painting each letter! will you sell me the letters, by any chance??? vinyl or cardstock – I don’t care which : )
    I’ve got lots of creative projects on Pinterest (Michelle Platt) and on Facebook (Michelle Missy Lewis Platt) – be sure to check them out for inspiration : )
    Thanks for your craftiness!

      • Michelle Platt says

        Can you tell me what FONT you used for the large letters (and what size, too) as well as the smaller numbers/letters and size, too – that would be very helpful in having someone make these for me, Cassity.

        • Cassity says

          Michelle, I think that I mentioned I used Arial font, and it has been a few years so i can’t tell you the size of text it was somewhere between 200-350. Do some test prints from your computer til you get the look you want. (you could even trim those out and use them for the letters on the blocks!)

  10. Sarah @ Becoming Martha says

    Hi there! I love this project – question – how did you hang them? Did you use those 3M strips? I was thinking that would be the easiest, but it gets really humid here and they sometimes come unstuck. Just wondering if there was a better method. Thanks so much :)

    • Justin says

      Sarah, what we did was glued 4 tacks on the back of them, with hot glue. You just have to get long tacks to stick in the wall as far as you can. You can also use 3m strips as well. They would hold better.

  11. Ciara says

    Hi, I have been scoping out the scrabble idea for years, I think I may have seen it in a Pottery Barn Kids catalog years ago, but the tiles looked like they were made out of one piece of wood (yours are soooo much cuter!). When my step dad tried to make it he gave up, he never gives up, he made my babies their crib in like a week! So I thought ever getting my family’s names in scrabble pieces in my wall were over, that is until I found your awesome blog! Thank you in advance :)
    Ok, so I have my tiles cut and I’m going to stain them today, I have a couple of questions before I go further. I have previously had issues with black cardstock smearing when I modpodge, but have never tried on wood, did you have any problems? Can you tell me what size the letters and numbers are that you used? Last but not least, I have only used a friend’s Cricut before but read that you like the Sillouette. I am researching to my own cutter of some sort and just wanted your opinion. Please give me a reply when you have a minute, and I will continue to read anout your awesome remodeling ideas:) Thanks so much, Ciara Ragains

    • Cassity says

      Yes, I just mixed the paint with a little water so that it wasn’t a solid color. basically even parts water and paint, but you can do it at any thickness that you think looks good!

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