The playroom is one of the busiest rooms in our house. It is also often the messiest. And it happens to be one that we spend a lot of time in! So I wanted it to be a place that felt organized and clean, but also cute and fun!
I have a huge empty wall in that room and I wanted to fill it with something fun. I got this alphabet idea from a friend who did this in her baby’s nursery, having each guest at her baby shower bring a letter. I kept that idea tucked in the back of my head, thinking I’d use it in my classroom someday. But now seemed like the perfect time to try our hand at this fun project!
We started by collecting letters at garage sales. We got a couple this way, but didn’t find much. Then, we tried Goodwill. We found one. So then we decided we would have to actually shop for some. We checked out Patina, which is a cute little shop in South Minneapolis. We found some of my favorites, the B and G, which were created with yarn wrapped around metal letters. We also found some wooden ones. Then, we had about ten and we were on our way!
Next, I hit the mother load: Michaels. I could not believe how many different types of letters were available! Simple wooden cutouts, fabric covered ones, metal fancy ones. I was so excited! I bought about half of the letters at Michaels. This letter L was my favorite because it had MN and WI on the chunk of map shown!
Then, we started laying them out. Kayla and Mia were so excited when we pulled the whole pile out and started laying them in order on our kitchen table!
Then came the fun part. We had a few letters that were missing and we had to come up with stuff around the house to make them (because I was not spending another dollar on this project!). We started with a go-to toy in our house, that we had plenty to spare: LEGOS! We picked a simply-shaped letter to make, and we glued this together! Mia sacrificed a few of her blocks for the project.
That was fun and easy! Then, we went through my craft bins. We found a bunch of crayons and made a big I. We just cut out the shape in cardboard, laid the crayons down with Elmers glue, and did a finishing coat of Mod Podge to seal it! Kayla was proud of this because she glued down every crayon in her own order!
Next, we jazzed up a letter Z we found at Michaels by filling the hollow part in with tiny seed beads, leftover from my days of jewelry-making! The girls had fun dumping all sorts of tiny beads in there.
Then, the messiest letter of all. We needed something fun for the N, which was a plain white wooden letter from a garage sale. Being a kindergarten teacher, I have tons of beads laying around. I covered the letter with a thin coat of glue and then the girls went crazy, throwing beads all over the letter (and my kitchen too!). Here it is with the first layer of Mod Podge over it, in big gluey globs! There were beads ALL over the counter and floor! Ha! When it dried, it turned out to be one of my favorites!
I wanted a few fabric-textured letters, to give some variety. I had this half-finished scarf in my knitting bin. I cut it up and wrapped it around some cardboard! A simple letter V!
We had a few letters that were just plain wood, so they needed some jazzing up. My cousin Carrie had suggested finding some fun scrapbooking paper and using that! So we did that we the H, Q, and W. The girls painted on the Mod Podge and I used an exacto knife to cut it out carefully. I love the H because it has the words of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!
We were getting to the last few letters, and it was getting exciting. At one point, I looked at Kayla and said, “I think we may be able to actually finish this whole thing TODAY!” We had been saving letters and thinking about it for weeks, so it was fun to see it get close to done!
I still needed an O and an X. I wanted something a little “industrial” for the X, so I raided my husband’s workshop. I found these brackets and some electrical wire and rigged this up! And then, as I was walking back into the house, I glanced at his pegboard and saw this roll of duct tape! Perfect for the O! Hopefully, it will make people smile. Paul thinks it is a waste of a perfectly good roll of tape…
Lastly, the most meaningful letter. I had this big, boring letter P. I got the idea for handprints because I was trying to keep Mia out of the paint all day, so I decided to give in and let both girls get a little painty! I think I will love this letter most because it documents the little hands that helped bring this project together! The teal are Kayla’s, and the blue are Mia’s.
Then, we laid them all out on the floor of the playroom, and decided on three rows. We picked the M to be the center, focal point. Then we worked around that. We used simple small nails to hang them all, having to get creative with how to attach a few of them.
Here’s the final product!
And a look of the whole playroom…
So that’s our fun project so far this summer! I’d love to hear your thoughts!