UPDATE: Yes, your eyes don’t fail you. I spelled India wrong- I also lettered the alphabet in the wrong order the other day. And I’m probably going to leave them that way since they’re for my own entertainment and home decor anyway. Cool? Maybe not, but I’m more than okay with it.
And if you’re budget conscious like moi, you’ll be happy to know that this baby clocks in at about $20 give or take (less if you have black paint and a chalk pen!). So here’s the whole how-to…
How to Make Your Own Modern Alphabet Wall Art Pennant
by Colleen from Lemon Thistle
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- 2x4ft piece of hardboard ($5 baby! and it’s light enough to hang)
- Saw (We used a table saw and jigsaw. You could make do with a circular saw for both cuts if you like)
- Light sandpaper
- Matte Black Paint (I used chalkboard spray paint)
- Chalk marker or white paint pen
- Painters Tape
- Sawtooth Hanger and Construction Adhesive (or superglue)
Step 1: Cutting
The first thing you’ll need to do is cut your sign to size. We wanted ours to be narrower than the 2ft it came in, so we used a table saw to rip 6″ off. Next, I marked out the pennant shape on the bottom with my chalk marker and cut it out with a jigsaw. When the cuts were done, I used a fine grit (220 to be exact) sandpaper to smooth out the edges. Since fibreboard isn’t really wood, you just need a fine sandpaper to clean it up.
Step 2: Painting
Now it’s time for painting! When I do chalkboard looking surfaces, sometimes I cheat and use matte black paint. It looks just as good but isn’t erasable. For this guy, I don’t plan to erase it but I had some leftover black chalkboard spraypaint so I used that. Make sure you get the edges too! Let it dry completely before moving on.
Step 3: Lettering
When it’s all dry, lay it out on a flat surface and tape it down using painters tape. Measure out the spacing for your 26 letters and mark it on the tape (I used 1.5″ for each letter on this one). Use a square (I always cheat with a piece of printer paper) and use tape to make temporary lines to guide you. If I don’t do this, my letters are all over the place.
Peel back the temporary lines as you move down the board. I used a chisel tip marker- this allowed me to make thin strokes and thick strokes. It’s a bit cleaner looking than cheating the look with a bullet tip marker. Again, you could use a paint pen for this instead of a chalk marker but I like the variance in opacity that you get with a chalk marker.
Before you start writing your letters- I’d practice on paper with a chisel tip. I wrote out the whole alphabet to get used to the chisel tip since I don’t use one often and to decide how I wanted each letter to look (which strokes are thick, which are thin… that sort of thing!). You could also sketch out your letters lightly in pencil before using your marker. I’m not patient enough for that so freehanded it.
Beside each of the letter-words I decided to add the morse code for each letter. I love how that filled out the space! My husband is kind of geeking out over it.
Step 4: Hanging
Now for hanging… since hardboard is pretty thin, we decided to glue a sawtooth hanger on. It’s light enough that this is totally secure. You could use any superglue, but my husband is a PL (construction adhesive) addict and think it’s the best for any and every job.
Ta-Da! I really love how stark the black and white looks. It totally jives with the decor we have going on in our basement right now (the other art in there is a black and white stars map) and with those lights! And the size of art for the price… it just can’t be beat. What do you think?
OTHER SOURCES: Wall Sconce / Deer Head / Plant pot and vase both thrifted
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I'm the DIY and lifestyle blogger behind Lemon Thistle: home to DIY, hand lettering, home décor and design. I’m a mom to three kids under three, I love to entertain, and my awesome hubby and I are working our way through major renovations on our new home. I believe you can have a beautiful life, home, and party without spending a lot.