Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Alphabet Wall

I am not a decorator.  Even after spending hours online, and many trips to the fabric store, I still could not come up with a color scheme for the baby girls' room.  I finally committed to go to the fabric store and buy the first fabric that I liked.  I settled on a gray and coral/red.  I made matching quilts, and painted the walls.  Much to my husbands surprise (NOT), I hate it.  I end up disliking most of my DIY decorating projects, so when I told him that I thought it was ugly he just laughed at me.  But not the 'oh that's so funny' kind of laugh, it was more like 'I'm laughing because she makes me crazy'.  It's too bright, it hurts my eyes.  But, I don't have the energy to change it, so I'm trying to make the best of it.  I want need to add some wall stuff to break up gray.  I had a bunch of fabric scraps left from the I hit Pinterest for some ideas.  (I'm an addict, right along with the rest of America)
I found several alphabet wall hangings.  Bingo.  Then I remembered THIS post I saw a while back.  Apparently, you can iron fabric to your walls using Wonder-Under.  Double bingo.
I set out to create my simple, fabric alphabet wall art.  Holy Moly it was so hard.  First, I decided on my layout.  (using inspiration from one of the wall hangings I had found)  I measured, multiplied, chose fonts, and created each letter in Photoshop.  IT TOOK ALL DAY.  Half way through, I regretted my decision...but it was too late to turn back.  I had already put so much work into it, now I just had to cut the letters out & put them on the wall.  Easy peasy?  WRONG.  That part took another 3 hours.  
But, after all that hard work, it did turn out pretty cute.  Here's the reason for the post:  after all the hours it took to create the files of letters, it would be a waste not to share.'s the tutorial, along with the files you need to create the letters yourself.

Wonder-Under (iron-on sticky stuff that makes your material stick to other's magical)
Material scraps  (if you are buying new, get 7" of 4 different fabrics)
Letter Patterns:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (click each one & print them out at 100%)

Trace all of the letters onto the Wonder-Under.  Each document has several letters, overlapping.
Trace them individually, NOT OVERLAPPED.  Only mark on the paper side.  The shiny stuff is the glue, and you don't want marker or pencil on that part.

Cut out the letters, but leave space...don't cut them out on the lines yet.

Divide them up into baggies like this:

#1:  A, K, e, o, i, r, X  (this was my main color)
#2: B, g, m, n, P, S 
#3:  d, f, L, H, U, Y, v, Z
#4:  c, j, Q, w  (this should be an accent color...I used white 'cause I'm creative like that.)

Divide them up even more if you are using a bigger variety of material.

Each baggie is meant to be used on a different material.  Iron onto the WRONG side.  (Now you see why the letters are flipped backward.)  Don't remove the paper backing yet!

I cut them out as I needed them, I thought that was easier than shuffling through a stack of letters.  Cut each letter out along the lines, THEN remove the paper.  I adjusted the letters quite a bit, but kept the height & width the same.  I added thickness to certain lines, and adjusted the curve of some.  I took a little off my Q's tail because I thought it looked funny.

I drew a square on my wall that was 24" X 32".  I wanted the subway art look.  You can arrange them however you want, of course.  It's your house.

Iron them onto the wall.  I didn't take a picture of the actual ironing...I'm not that talented.  However, I did take some nice, grainy iPhone pictures for you as I went:

I started with the corners, and made sure they were touching the lines to give it a nice squared-up look.  Or, technically, a rectangled-up look.

Then I filled in the top & bottom:

I held up surrounding letters to make sure I spaced them correctly before ironing each letter.  For example: I held up the P & K with the L, before I ironed the L into place.

By now it was 5:45pm and we usually eat at 5:30.  The kids were ornery and neglected...Jake was working late.  But, I pressed on...(no pun intended)


So, what do you think?  Was it worth my WHOLE stinking day?  I think not.  But, I actually do like how this project turned out...and that's saying a lot.

On a side note, I am also loving the shelves that Abby & I built for their room too.  I followed the tutorial found here.

1 comment:

  1. It turned out cute. I love the shelves too. White on dark is so clean - love it.