*Please note we are not professionals. Projects and products depicted in this blog are not to be taken as advice, but as inspiration only.
Make Your Own Over-Sized Letter Tiles Wall Decor
Hubby and I are recently empty-nesters. Well, not exactly. Our older daughter has moved into her own place in a city about 40 minutes from us. And our younger daughter is currently traveling with a missions group. She will return this summer for a month before leaving again for another year. So, basically Hubby and I are on our own.
It was really hard at first. Both our kids left within a month of each other. We went from being a family of four, to a couple again. As young parents, we'd dreamed of the day when our kids would be independent, and Hubby and I could finally have a chance to travel and "date" again. But I never realized how much a family dynamic changes when the kids grow up.
I decided I wanted to celebrate the fact that we're still a family, even if parts and pieces of us are scattered a bit. So, I'm working on a gallery wall above our basement stairs. Part of that wall is our names in over-sized Scrabble style wood letter tiles.
You've probably seen these on Pinterest. If you've thought about doing them, I say go for it! These turned out even better than I'd imagined. Here's how I did it.
Cut Your Tiles
Hubby cut the tiles from 1x6 boards. They measure 5.5 x 5.5 inches. He even sanded the edges for me. Gotta love that man! If you don't have the time or tools to do this, check out these pre-cut wood squares on Amazon.
I goofed on how many tiles we needed. I counted each letter in our names, but forgot that some of the letters would be shared (like the K in the girls' names). So I ended up with a few extra tiles.
Next, I had a decision to make. I've seen these tiles in many different finishes, and I really like ALL of them. Should I leave the wood natural? Stain it dark brown? Gray? Paint it black with white letters? The possibilities! I decided to do a combination style for a distressed grayish-white look that would match my farmhouse decor. I began by painting the tiles with white latex paint--just the front and sides. The back I left plain wood.
Print & Trace
Next, I printed the letters/numbers out on paper and colored on the back with a pencil. (I'll include the printable letters at the end of this post). I then traced these onto my tiles. I filled the letters in with black craft paint. The numbers were so small, I decided to fill these in with Sharpie. The marker dries out pretty fast. Each letter/number takes two coats of paint.
Sand The Edges
The next step was to sand the edges of each tile. I used a sanding block, but you could use an electric sander, too. I wanted just a bit of raw wood on the corners and edges for the next step, which is gray stain.
Stain Over The Paint
You'll need rubber gloves for this next part. I wore an apron, too. Using a brush, I applied wood stain in Carbon Gray to the sanded edges, and all around the sides of the block. With a cotton towel, I wiped the stain away and also rubbed it into the wood, spreading it lightly around for an antiqued finish.
How To Hang Your Tiles
Now I had all my tiles, and they looked even better than I'd hoped! But I had a dilemma. How do people hang these on the wall? One at a time? That seems crazy! I came up with a plan to use a thin piece of wood to connect the tiles and create one giant piece of art. Hubby agreed and did all the hard work. He then attached a couple saw-tooth hangers to the back for hanging. Did I mention I love that man?
I did a quick layout on the floor to see where other pieces would fit with my tiles. I am planning to add a few more things, like the word "family" and maybe the letter S or number 4. But I love how it looks on the wall!
So, what about you? Think you'll give this project a try?
*Please note we are not professionals. Projects depicted in this blog are not to be taken as advice, but as inspiration only.
Want more ideas? Check out my post on How to Transfer an Image to Wood.
To download the printable letters, click each one and right click to save the image or print it.
Please note the size. There are 4 letters on each 8.5x11 inch printable sheet. So each letter fits in a space that is approximately 5.5 x 4.25 inch.