UPDATE: I have a new version of this post with lots of pretty tutorial pictures.
Check it out here.
The idea for this project came from Tim’s supreme ability to compromise with me. I love letters. I like those metal or plastic letters you can just put somewhere (they sell them at Urban Outfitters or Anthropology for example) and I’ve seen pillows sewn into the shape of letters that I love.
Tim doesn’t like either of those things, BUT Tim likes scrabble. He came up with the idea of having a grid of over sized scrabble letters as an art piece in our living room. Great idea.
Here's how it went down! (Sorry I don't have process pictures - just keep reading cuz the good picture is at the bottom. Suspense!!)
- Materials: We decided the simplest way to get our wooden pieces together was to go to Home Depot, choose planks of wood, and have them cut them down to the proper size: about 9.5"x9.5"x1". (Home Depot doesn't make perfect cuts and a 10"x8' board isn't exactly that length, our tiles didn't end up perfectly the same size - but that's ok, you can't tell at all.) The wood cost us $44 because we decided to go with a nicer pine that didn’t have knots (scrabble letters don’t have knots). We also picked up some picture hanging hardware at Michaels for $6 (this kind of hanging hardware).
- Prep-Work: We brought our pre-cut scrabble squares home and sanded them down so they would be splinter-less and have rounded edges. Then we decided which letters of the alphabet we wanted. (We didn’t consciously decide on words, but there are definitely tons of words in there.)
- The Trick: I downloaded a high res picture of all of the scrabble tiles then blew up the letters we wanted and printed them out. Then I used a handy tracing trick. I shaded the back of the paper with pencil then traced the letters with a pen onto the wood. The result is a faint gray outline. It’s basically like homemade carbon transfer paper.
- The Process: Then I spent a long time painting the letters on with black acrylic paint. A long time.
- Finishing Touches: Once I was done, Tim and I used a test piece to decide whether we wanted to polyurathane the pieces. It didn’t make much of a difference except for creating a glare, so we decided against it. We hammered on the picture hanging attachments then set out to hang them up. (A how to for hanging them here)