Fabric Letters How To

There is something about personalized items that just pulls you in. If strolling along in a store I see a cute little item with initials on them I simply feel compelled to go examine the S option. When I was a wee lass I always had to search out my name in every corny shop that sold light up keychains or mini license plates, didn’t you? Even as a grown up I still adore the fabric covered alphabet letters that have popped up everywhere, and stayed! But I have never bit the bullet and bought one because I’ve always thought “I can make that.” So here we go, a step by step tutorial on how I made eclectic fabric letters inspired by The Company Store and Anthropologie of course.

1) Purchase your basic letter. I choose the 8″ paper mache style from Joann Fabrics because it is rather blocky and more conducive to wrapping fabric around than a flat wooden one. They go for $3 each. I bought two, one for me and one for boyfriend.

2) Choose three fun fabrics. While at the store I picked a few quarter flats for $2 to mix in with some scraps I had at home.

3) Cut out your first fabric by loosely tracing around the letter leaving about 3/4″ to spare. Do NOT cut out the tiny centers or gaps yet, wait until you have added fluff and tacked things down around it to ensure the fluff is secure and the hole is in the right place.

4) Tack down one side by using hot glue on the side of the letter, not the face. 5) Begin filling with fluff and tack down. This is the trickiest part. Depending on your letter there are going to be complicated areas that need to be addressed first. In this case, I realized that I needed to tack down the fabric  and fluff around the gap first to avoid too loose or too tight fabric later.

6) Continue stuffing and gluing, going from one side gradually over to the other to avoid unevenness.

*Tip: When going around corners or curves, cut the excess edge into wide fringe so that it can overlap and fold smoothly over complex areas. I used that technique to deal with the tight gap in the middle, first cutting into it, making the fringe and gluing to the inner sides.

7) Repeat on opposite face. Remember that some letters are not reversible, unlike this “A”. So when working with those letters (such as my “S”) be conscientious of what fabric you want on the front.

8) Measure side width and cut long a long strip of thick paper. I used watercolor paper but card stock or the like works too. This is going to wrapped in your side fabric and glued around the sides to cover the messy bits of the front and back. It is ok if you do not have paper long enough to go around the letter in one piece (I didn’t), but try to end the strips on a corner so that the “seam” isn’t as noticeable.

9) Cut and glue fabric around strip, by lightly spreading tacky glue not hot glue.

10) Wrap covered strips around letter, scoring at corners and figuring out the best places for “seams”.

11) Then glue on strips!

*Tip: Don’t forget the insides! But making the covered strips for tiny inner walls is tricky. I measured and cut my paper a couple times before wrapping with fabric to make a great fit.

 

12) Voilà! Its beautiful!

It was a touch and go process, and let me tell you, that curvy “S” was a pain, but in the end I am really happy with my letters!

 

 

 

Comments

comments

  • www.creativejewishmom.com

    these are great! I’d love it if you’d drop by my international linky party Craft Schooling Sunday @www.creativejewishmom.com and share these! hope to see you there!

  • Creative Mind

    love it :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/callmektmiller Katie Miller

    found this on pinterest–ive been wanting to make new letter art for our living room and this is really just perfect. i will be shopping tomorrow :) thank you for the fabulous tutorial–when I get around to making this/posting this i will include this link! they came out super cute, im excited!

  • Chandra bose

    Inspiring Designs; Creative Excellence
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  • http://www.cookcleancraft.com/ Narelle @ Cook Clean Craft

    These are so cute! I was always disappointed as a kid because my name was never on any of the junk you could buy in the novelty stores. Maybe I should make my own!

  • Jandjkent

    so cute!! great job!

  • Kristen J

    These are fantastic! Thank you for the tutorial. I’m a little scared since “K” seems like it might be complicated, but I’m going to try. :)

    • Sarah

      Don’t be afraid Kristen, its those nasty curves that make for some trouble :) good luck and have fun!

  • Anonymous

    SA are my initials :P

  • Sarah

    Thanks for all the great comments guys! So nice to hear from some crafters.

  • Melanie L.

    so cute- going to make this as a Christmas present for some of my friends

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  • Sandra

    Thank you!!!

  • Ana mudoy

    Thank you! I love it.

  • http://twitter.com/warmnfuzzyblog Lauren Toups

    Found you on pinterest! I love this! Cant wait to make these for my boys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Joberlene Jo Robertson

    Thanks for the tips. I have just finished making my daughters name to go on her wall, and whilst I was at it I did one for a present. I will def be making more I love it!

  • Frederique

    Fantastic tips for making these letters! Two done, 4 to go!

  • Susie Griffiths

    Love these, I am definatey going to make them for my grand-children

  • http://www.webdesignbizz.com/categories-wordpress PSD To Wordpress

    Wow awesome creativity so impressive..I appreciate your great effort keep it up…

  • Dinedoc

    Merci beaucoup ! Excellent idée.

  • Jjperezdiaz

    congratulations!!!!…I thik it’s a good idea for my childran.
    I will made it for bedroom’s Biel !!!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/curlygirlmom Annette Holbrook

    LOVE this idea… I just bought the letters. I’m going to try to do my daughter’s name (LUCY) this week. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  • Buki Lucas

    Lovely Sarah! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  • Dawn

    Thanks for the tutorial! I used your method for the edge trim, and HeatnBond to make a flat fabric letter. :) http://cassiadawn.blogspot.ca/2012/07/how-to-cover-wooden-letter-with-fabric.html

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  • Leggenda

    Fab Idea, thanks for sharing it. I’m definitely going to have a go at this.

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  • PhotoCrusader

    Instead of using fluffy stuffing, how about using batting? The batting can be cut to the size of the letter, and then glued to the letter. It will provide the padding and be easier. Also, how about making the edge piece by cutting a piece of poster board to the right width and length. Then fold the fabric around it but glue the fabric to itself leaving an opening at the bottom. Once it is dry, you can pull the piece of poster board out. Then wrap the edge and glue it down. What do you think?

  • PhotoCrusader

    Another idea: use ribbon for the edges.

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  • JennM

    Working on my daughter’s name for her wall and I cut out the letters from large cereal boxes and then put batting on them. I was stuck on how to go around curves and but I think you idea about the fringe is awesome and will try it out tonight! Thanks for the help!!

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  • Julia

    The pictures are not available more on your page :( I just can see text! Maybe a problem with the server? Ho I really would love to see this DIY!! Thanks!

    • Sarah

      Hey Julia, thanks for letting me know! and now we fixed it, phew! Enjoy :)

  • Tor h

    I’m trying to make my daughters name ‘poppy’ and I’m really struggling with the p’s! as I can’t get a neat look on the inside hole do you have any more tips as you had this to contend with this on the A – thank you

    • http://sarasutin.com Sarah Sutin

      First of all that is the cutest name ever! But back to business; If the inner hole on the “P” is sort of a capital D shape then I would recommend making a fabric covered strip for the straight side and another one for the curve. You can even measure the lengths needed before hand.That way you won’t need to make folds and fit into corners with one big clunky strip. Does that help? Good luck!