DIY Changeable Letter Board

March 19, 2017

Hey Friends!

 

I'm dog sitting at my parents house this weekend in TX and I'm home alone :( - missing having my family here but also enjoying some alone time - alone time is never a bad thing!  With plenty of time on my hands this weekend I decided to try a little DIY project!  

 

 

 

I've been eyeing letter boards for a while now on Pinterest trying to decide if it's my style and if I like them.  Well I finally fell for them and starting googling to buy one.  UHM EXPENSIVE... and I couldn't find one that I loved.  Letter boards can come in many different shapes, sizes, colors, etc.  It's hard to decide which one I liked!  Some of the smaller ones (8x8/10x10) are going for upwards of $50 online! 

 

So I decided to take a stab at making my own.  After reading a few DIY's on Pinterest I sort of formulated my own plan based off of a few different DIY blogs I read.  

 

THE BASICS:

 

-Picture Frame (I purchased a clearance frame from Michael's and then ended up using a ready made frame from hobby lobby and using the back from the frame I got at Michaels)

-Dowel Rods (1/4 inch) - I think I purchased around 35 long dowel rods and cut them to size

-Fabric (felt or velvet) - for a 16x20 I used about a yard of fabric (I had extra left over)

-Hot Glue Gun and A LOT of glue gun sticks 

-Changeable letters (1 inch) --- I ordered mine on Amazon HERE

 

I spent around $40 on supplies but you can be mindful and control costs to fit your budget! I thought this was a pretty good deal for a 16x20 board which are selling for much more online.

 

 

You kind of have to think this out a bit with sizing and materials.  I chose to do a 16x20 size frame and then I also bought an 10x10 frame to make a smaller letter board as well.  Dowel rods come in 36'' long.  They also come in pre-cut sizes.  I just bought the 36" long ones and guesstimated how many I would need if I was able to cut them up to size.  I ended up utilizing the 16'' wide size for the 16x20 frame so I was able to cut two 16'' pieces out of the large dowel rods, and any that I had leftover I cut down to 10'' pieces for the second letter board. 

 

TIP on picking out your frame - find one deep enough to fit the dowel rod and stilt fit the back on it - or purchase an open frame and purchase a plastic insert to secure the back. 

 

Once you decide what size from you like (16x20 is about as high as I would go... it gives you plenty of space!) - now it's time to pick your fabric! I read one DIY blog that used velvet - I thought this was a fun idea since it gives the board a more polished look, the felt is very coarse, HOWEVER, the velvet is softer and I will admit does not hold the letters as securely as felt might.  

 

MEASURE + CUT YOUR DOWEL RODS - if you didn't purchase the cut to size dowel rods, grab a handy saw and cut your dowel rods to size.  Make sure you cut one and fit in the frame to ensure you are getting the size right. **DISCLAIMER - I have no idea what saw to use - I just grabbed this one out of my dad's garage and it worked fine LOL (don't judge me)

 

 

 

CUT YOUR FABRIC - I started by cutting into stips long enough to cover each rod and about an inch wide.. just use your best judgement, I tried to salvage as much usable fabric, just enough to cover the rod and have a little excess.

 

HOT GLUE FABRIC TO ROD - I did this by adding a thin later of hot glue to the dowel rod and then laying it in the center of the fabric.  Once dry, add some hot glue to the sides to round out the fabric around your dowel rod and cut any excess of the ends.

 

 

 

PLACE + GLUE RODS TO FRAME - I won't lie this is kind of tricky.... you really have to think about the spacing... you want it to be tight so the letters will fit in snug, but not too tight that they won't fit.  I struggled with this a little bit and just accepted that it's not going to be perfect and thats the beauty of a DIY project - it's your own and it's not perfect right out of the packaging, it has character :).  I would test the letters in it as I went to make sure i was getting the right width.

 

If you find that the rods are too tight or too loose - just pull them out and start over!  I would try to lay and place them before hot gluing, if you cut your rods pretty precise, they should fit snug without you having to glue.  I wanted to glue mine so that they wouldn't move out of place. 

 

 

 

 

Flip it over and secure the backing and voila!  Pick out your favorite quote and test it out! 

 

 

Here is the smaller one I made with my leftover dowel rods!  I used gray velvet ribbon on this one.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions let me know by commenting below! :)

 

++Cheers!

 

Stephanie Grace Benton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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