Kid’s Foam Letters to Hang on Their Walls

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Kids love to play with letters writing their names, favorite words, or even just their initials.  These fabric covered foam letters can be placed on bookshelves or hung on the wall!

Well, here’s something new, I don’t like this project!!  Hahaha!  I am writing it because we showed fabric wrapped Styrofoam letters in our wrap up of show 101, but I cannot create them as beautifully as you can purchase ones already made.  So, I’m going to tell you what I did and show you the mistakes I made and perhaps one of you die-hard crafters out there will help me out with better ways to accomplish this.

The following is a list of materials that I used – they seem like the right things to me, but as I mentioned, there must be a better way!

1letters2Materials List:

    • 1” thick foam
    • Scraps of quilt batting
    • Serrated knife
    • Metal edge ruler
    • Magic marker
    • Hot glue gun
    • Glue sticks
    • Small “T” pins
    • Scissors Fabrics of your choice
    • Coordinating grosgrain ribbons 1” wide

Tip:
You may notice in the photos I have ribbons wider than 1”.  I tried not to buy any new materials for this project and I cut the wider ribbon instead.  This did not work very well as the grosgrain ribbon frayed a bit and in the long run wouldn’t have a good appearance.

Instructions:1letters3

1. Begin by determining the height and width of your letters.  I made mine 9” tall by 6” wide. I used a thick sharpie to draw out the lines before cutting.

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2. Use a metal edge ruler and a serrated knife to cut easily through the foam. If the knife won’t go all the way through, you can even snap off the piece if you like.

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3. Draw out your letter freehand or pull up a font on your computer, blow it up to size, print it and cut it out.  You can then trace around it onto the foam.  I just drew out the letters I wanted.

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4. Use the serrated knife to fine tune the curves and cuts that you have made.  The sharper the cuts and flatter the foam, the better the results.

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5. Cut out or use scraps of quilt batting to soften the foam.  I started with larger pieces so I could wrap the batting around the top and sides of the letters.

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In the end, I didn’t like the way this looked because the letter started looking too bulky and it was difficult to attach the batting to the inside of the “B”.  To attach I was using a hot glue gun and got burned more times than I want to mention!

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For the second letter I simply cut the batting to match the front face of the letter and used my hot glue gun to attach it.  This whole process went much better.

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6. Now here is where the project starting falling apart.  I figured I would cover just the front of the letter so as to eliminate bulk in the corners.  So I cut a piece of fabric just larger than the letter and cut slits to the inside corners.

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This is how the letter looked with the fabric wrapped around it.  I will say that I wish I didn’t use the hot glue on the face of the letter because it showed where I put the glue because of the odd way the fabric looked.  I should have only glued along the sides.  However, this is harder to do, and get the fabric taught, than you think!  In some cases I used small “T” pins to hold the fabric in place.

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As you can see, it is difficult to get the ribbon to overlap when the end meets the beginning.  Also, if you don’t have the hot glue placed right, you don’t get enough glue along the edge for it to stay down in place.

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On this inside corner, I did get the ribbon to lay flat and stay fairly tight along the edges so perhaps it’s all in the nimbleness of your fingers!!

To hang them I think I would hot glue them to a cardboard backing that I could add one or two of those stick on picture hangers.

So now, out goes the plea, if you try these and find a better way to make them work, please let me know and I’ll fix them and this article.  It is such a cute idea and maybe I’ve been proved wrong that every now and then, it pays to just buy it!!

Shari

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