Keelin knows her ABC’s…

… well, she doesn’t YET. But she will!

I know I’ve been promising to start filling you in on the endless amount of nursery crafts that I have been working on and I’ve been a bad bad blogger for not following through until now. But HAVE NO FEAR… DIY love is here! First on the list… a simple and fun wooden alphabet wall art.

As soon as we found out we would be adding to our family, I started looking around at nursery decorations. Magazines, websites, books, PINTEREST, blogs… you name it I probably took a gander at one point or another.  My main goal was to find things that, while they would be perfect as is, I could re-create for cheaper and with my own flair! After all, why spend $100 on something from a catalog when you can do it yourself for half the price {or even less}? While I became giddy by just about everything I stumbled upon, one of the first things I really fell in love with was a cut out alphabet wall hanging from a magazine called Land of Nod that a co-worker was kind enough to pass along.

small photo, but you get the idea

Simple, yet fun and PERFECT for a DIY project! I knew it would fit with ANY nursery theme and it’s something you can use for either gender. {I can’t remember if we knew we were having a girl yet when I finally started the project…oh well!}

No disrespect to Land of Nod, because obviously it’s adorable just the way it is, but there are PLENTY of expenses that come with little ones and I don’t think spending another $50 on a piece of wall art is worth it. SO, I set my DIY brain a working and headed to JoAnn Fabric and Crafts to see if I could make it happen on my own! I knew I had plenty of paint already to work with and a few different types of adhesive to choose from so the only thing I was missing were the letters!

I knew {because I’m in the store every week} that JoAnn had a number of different styles of wooden letters, but I wanted to go for something that was large enough for me to have some real fun with when it came to painting, thick enough that I could glue the letters together in a cluster without the entire piece falling apart, and light enough so it wouldn’t take 4 people and industrial-sized nails to hang it on the wall. Lucky for me {and for my bank account}, I signed up for the weekly coupon booklets from JoAnn so EVERY time I walk in the store I end up getting some kind of discount on one or more items. This day, I happened to not only have a plethora of coupons, but was greeted with a giant 99 cent SALE sign on some adorable wooden letters. SO, Z’s cousin and I {you may remember her recent visit with the BFG, Remus} sat in the middle of the aisle and picked out one of every letter of the alphabet. As soon as we got home I laid them out on the carpet to figure out the perfect arrangement and THIS was the final result:

LOVES IT!

Definitely a little chunkier than the Land of Nod version, but at about 1/2 the price {somewhere around $28 for all the letters, plus glue and paint that I already had} I’d say it’s a pretty good match!

I knew I wanted to bring a lot of fun into the paint but didn’t have a really clear idea of how to make it happen so I just started pulling random colors in here and there. Here’s the first version…

…and the final…

Fun and funky and filled with fun colors and patterns to STIMULATE little Keelin’s brain. Maybe too MANY patterns, but I’m still deciding on that. I may go back in and paint some of the plain beige letters a different solid color… but who knows!

The gluing process was really easy and, with the type of letters I chose, worked out perfectly. I’m a big ol’ dummy and didn’t document the actual process {which might be a good thing because I probably would have hot-glued myself to my camera had I tried!} but here are the basics.

When deciding on a layout for the letters, look for as many places that the letters can be touching. Corners, full sides, tiny edges, you name it. If you can make them connect, it’s the perfect place for some added support. I liked the idea of having the letters tilt at various angles and it ended up making things fit really nicely.

Using a hot glue gun, place small beads of glue on the side of the letters where they connect to one another. {use just a small amount and try to keep it ONLY on the sides of the letters so you don’t have glue showing through the front side} I did one row at a time just to make sure I was sticking with the pattern and look I wanted. Once you’ve gotten a single row finished, flip the entire row over and reinforce the connecting spots with more glue. Since this is the side that will be against the wall you can be as messy as you need to be to make sure you’ve created a firm hold.

Continue gluing, flipping it over to reinforce after every additional row.

The final product is lightweight, fun and perfect for ANY nursery design!

Here’s my final version up on the wall in Keelin’s room. It seemed much larger when I was working with it than it does up on the wall but that just gives me an excuse to fill up the open space with more fun things! Like I mentioned before, I have started to realize that once it’s up on the wall it’s a little tough to see some of the letters due to the patterns and colors that I chose so I might go back in and create more solid edges for each letter. That or switch things WAY up and cover all the patterns with a flat color… who knows!

Once I decide and get it done I’ll do an alphabet update!

Until next time…

I’ve got plenty more to share so stay tuned, but until then… what are some DIY projects you have re-created based on things you’ve seen in catalogs?

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10 thoughts on “Keelin knows her ABC’s…

  1. I think it was a good idea to switch to the capital letters. Always/Still being the teacher, this style of letter is what Keelin will learn first, even though the others have a nice shape. Love it!

  2. LOVE IT! I may have to use this too! I saw a TON of pictures on pinterest of alphabes that I love… just trying to find the right one. But this is great! Thanks! I hope to post some of my DIY projects next week. Finishing up a couple this weekend 🙂

  3. This is wonderful Sara! I cant wait for your baby shower! Also, part of my gift for little Keelin is a crafty art project that I recreated from a magazine for her nursery! Im very excited for you to see it!

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