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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.
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)
And while doing research for this project I came upon the image below… you could make that in 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.