making wall letters for kids, part 1!

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Posted by Rebecca, September 15th, 2010

Now that my niece has been born and her name is officially released to the public, I can share my little art project.  I decided to make letters for the wall above her crib. Once I knew her name, I was able to begin my planning!

I’m sure most people are familiar with the painted letters trend that has been around for several years (If you are not, here is an example from JCPenney). When creating them, I take many things into consideration… the color of the room, the bedding patterns and the overall vibe. I knew that my brother had painted the walls and that the bedding was Trend Lab’s Maya set.

The paint job…(done with my brother’s blood, sweat and tears)

and the bedding….

So I knew that for a font, I wanted something fun and childish, perhaps cartoon-like.  I’ve used a variety of websites in the past, but this time I ordered the letters from WoodenLetters.net.  I was very impressed by the amount of fonts they offered since I have font OCD. I was also happy with the variety of letter sizes.  I was EXTREMELY impressed with the quality when they arrived.  They were thick, sturdy and clean cut.  I think that if I decide to paint letters again, I will use WoodenLetters!

One more point that I forgot, I always use unfinished wood.  Why you ask?  Can’t you buy letters painted?  Yes you can, but I prefer to paint the base coat myself so that there are no surprises as far as how my paint is going to stick.  I tape a lot, use pencil, erase and touch up, so I want to make sure that I am able to do that successfully.  Plus it’s cheaper.

The font I chose is called Whimsical and I decided on 10 inch letters.  The baby’s name! ::drumroll:: Is Brielle!! Actual names are another thing I take into account.  I usually judge fonts by their lowercase ‘a’, but since her name doesn’t have any, I didn’t have to worry about that.  The ‘i’ looked cute so I was sold.  As for the sizing, the letters from this particular site are sized based on the SMALLEST letter.  I was originally going to do 12 or 14 inch letters but then the ‘B’ would have been ginormous.  The downsize meant that the letters cost me a minimal price of $2.50 each.

So I had my font, size, atmosphere… time for a design plan.  I thought of some patterns that may go with the nursery…(please excuse my colored pencil, elementary school quality, sketches…I was not planning on sharing these)

There are 7 letters in Brielle, so I gave myself the following options:

a) 2 patterns, alternating every other letter

b) 4 patterns, with 3 of them appearing twice and the middle letter having a one of a kind pattern

c) 7 different patterns

Taking into account the variety of patterns in the bedding, I knew I needed more than 2, but not as many as 7, as to not appear too busy.  So choice ‘b’ was the winner!  I wanted a mix of striped and polka dot patterns, so I went with….. top row, the 1st and 2nd patterns and the bottom row, the 1st pattern.  I decided to do the pattern in the 1st row, 4th position as my one of a kind pattern since it had both stripes and dots.  I decided to do all patterns on a white background, since the walls are a light tan where the letters would be, yet the molding in the room is white.

I then sketched out the order of the patterns to see how each one looked on each letter…

Then it was finally time to start painting! I used simple, inexpensive acrylic craft paints.  I first painted all of the letters (front, back and sides) with 2 coats of white paint over several days.  The letters are unfinished so it takes a decent amount of paint to get that solid white look.

I stuck them on a box to get the edges, look at that thickness!

Once the letters were all white, pretty and dried, I got ready for the fun part… colors!

Since this post is long enough, I will get to how I painted the patterns in part 2! So suspenseful! 🙂

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5 Responses to “making wall letters for kids, part 1!”

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