Scrabble Living Large: Family Names Art Project

 
 

 
 
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!

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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 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.

 
I guess that the company Posh Tots used to sell this for a cool (cough) $500 doll hairs…
Can you believe it?  Yikes!
 
Update: Reader Malinda shared this photo of what she did with her letter tiles — a perfect layout for a large, tall wall like this! Thanks for sharing, Malinda!
(If you’ve done a project following or inspired by one of our tutorials, we’d love to see! Tell us about it here.)
DIY scrabble letter tiles vacation geography wall art for large tall wall by reader Malinda, tutorial from @Remodelaholic
 
Oh The Hubanity made some for her boys’ room too:DIY scrabble letter tiles kids room wall names OhThe Hubanity
 
 
Reader Abbie showed off hers using family words, too
DIY scrabble letter tiles family words from reader Abbie tutorial by @Remodelaholic
 
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51 Comments

  1. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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!)

  2. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  3. 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

    1. 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!

  4. I know this is a really old post, but I am in the process of creating our own scrabble wall art, and am having trouble deciding which is the best way to hang the decor. It is for a gift for my step daughter. we have made extra lettering for her and her boy friend for when and if they get married so they can add the family last name. So the way I hang it needs to be able to be manipulates and changed around. Any suggestions?

  5. I am considering these. Could you please show me how the wall layout would look with these names? Solomon, Anna, Abigail, Aimee, Angelina, Justin

    1. Hi Ruth – thanks for your interest. It’s easiest to find an online crossword creator and play around with that to get the look you’d like to fit your wall. (If you search “crossword creator” there are many free ones available.)

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