Make Trick or Treat Letter Blocks in the Shop


These letter blocks for Halloween or any other holiday are a great first project for kids in the shop becuase it takes a little cutting, sanding and painting – all good practice!

This is by far my favorite time of year, not only do I love the fall with all the wonderful colors of the leaves changing, the cooler days and the crisp evenings…I’m a Halloween nut.  I love the night of trick or treat, with the pumpkins all carved, kids out trick or treating, and just the feeling in the air of this special holiday.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, how about creating a wonderful message for all the little ghost and goblins, star war characters and little princesses and cowboys that visit your home.  These Trick or Treat letter blocks are easy to make and would make a wonderful gift for all your friends and family.

Materials List:

  • 1” x 4” pine boards – scrap lumber works great
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • table saw
  • miter saw
  • black latex paint and paint brush
  • 2 and 3 inch peal and stick letters


photo 2

1. The blocks are constructed out of 1 x 4 pine boards that I cut to different sizes using my table saw.  I cut a variety of sizes from 4 ½ inches high to 2 inches high, and in a variety of widths that ranged from 3 ¾ inches to 1 ½ inches.

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I used peel and stick letters that I purchased from Office Max to write my message.  The sizes are 3 and 2 inches, but you can purchase letters up to 6 inches in height if you would like to build larger letter blocks. This is how I determined the size to cut my blocks.

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2. Using the table saw, I just ripped the lumber to different widths.

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Then I cut them to length using the miter saw.

Material Tip:
If you don’t have a table saw, most home center stores have a scrap box of lumber pieces that have been cut from customers cutting boards down to size.  Ask the store manager if you could have or purchase these scraps at nominal price.

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3. Sand each block smooth using 150 grit sandpaper.  I place a square of paper on my work bench then rubbed the block back and forth to sand all the edges smooth.

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4. Paint the blocks with latex paint a color of your choice. I choose black for my blocks, but any seasonal color would work.  It may take several coats to cover the blocks, no need for priming.

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5. After the paint has dried, give the blocks an aged look by sanding the edges with the 150 grit sandpaper.  This will allow the bare lumber to show through.

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6. Peel off the backing of the letters and apply to the blocks, just eye ball the placement of the letters in the center of the blocks.  Make sure to press all the edges down firmly.

This project takes very little time (waiting for the paint to dry took the longest) and costs about 10 dollars if you use scrap lumber.  The letters are about 3.99 per packet and hopefully you have left over paint from another project that you can use.

Another cool thing about this project is that it is a great way to start working with your kids in the shop, teaching them how to use tools, sandpaper and paint.  Make it a family night or several nights with all the Halloween Crafts from this month’s website.

Enjoy these blocks and if you would like to see another version of this project, check out my article on conversation blocks as well.

Happy Halloween!


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