Ever since I set up my home office…I have had a place on top of my shelving unit that has just cried out for something to be put on it. Since I already have lots of framed pictures on one wall and a cute wall quote on another, I was looking for something different.
I saw a picture of fabric-covered letters on Pinterest one day and thought that would be fun. I even bought the letters clear back in December…and they have been sitting on the shelf in my craft closet since then. I just couldn’t seem to find any fabric that I liked to put ON the letters.
A couple of weeks ago as I was traipsing across the internet I stumbled onto FatQuarterShop.com and my problem was solved! I’m not a quilter so I wasn’t aware you could buy what they call “fat quarter bundles” of fabric in all sorts of coordinating patterns and colors!
From their website:
I purchased the cutest bundle from Riley Blake Designs called “LadyBug Garden” and when it arrived I couldn’t wait to get started!
I feel I must warn you before I continue with this tutorial. You know that famous line from the movie “Jaws” where Roy Scheider’s character says, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” When I was a few letters into this project I found myself saying, “We’re gonna need a LOT more glue sticks!” :-) Yep, you’re gonna need LOTS of glue sticks…but they’re pretty inexpensive. I got the BIG bag of glue sticks at Walmart for about 2 bucks.
I didn’t set out to make a full-fledged “tutorial” out of this…I just thought I would make it and share a few pictures. But after repeating the process six times on six different letters, I kind of have this down to a science and felt I must share to make it easier for the rest of you. :-)
So here we go. My attempt at a “real” tutorial. Hold on to your seats! It’s bound to be a bumpy ride!
First of all you will needs letters. duh. I got these at Hobby Lobby for around $1.50 each. They are made out of paper mache.
Then you are going to need some sort of batting if you want your letters to have a little puffiness to them. (You could forego the batting I guess, but I don’t think they would be quite the same.) :-)
I used this very thin quilt batting. It was just enough to give the letters a little depth, but not too thick to make it hard to work with.
And then you will need some fabric. Like I said, I bought fat quarters and they turned out to be the perfect size for this project.
You will need two squares for each letter. One for the face of the letter, and one for the sides. They can be matching, or contrasting. I went the contrasting route. That’s another great thing about buying a fat quarter bundle for this project. There are lots of different fabrics to choose from and they all coordinate! So convenient. :-)
OK…time to start your glue guns!
Cut out a piece of batting that is large enough to cover the front and sides of the letter….plus a little extra to glue to the back.
First attach the batting to the front of the letter with glue, then fold each side around the letter and glue to the back.
On the inside corners…snip your material at a diagonal and then glue down.
Once all the side are glued down, trim the excess off the outside corners.
Now you’re doing to do the same thing with the fabric…with a couple of exceptions.
#1. You want to cut the fabric just big enough so that wraps around the SIDE of the letter, but not the BACK.
#2. Instead of trimming the corners off, you’re going to fold them like you’re wrapping a present and glue them down. Once again, snipping the fabric at the corners helps in wrapping it around the letters.
Your letter should now look like this. Ready to put the contrasting (or matching) trim around the edges.
Another neat thing about the fat quarters that works so well for the project is that they come with edges that are pinked. (Is that even a word? lol.) So all I had to do was cut strips from each side of the piece of fabric and I used that as the finished edge. Cool huh? Once I figured that out I really began to fly on these letters.
Cut enough strips to go around the entire letter. Some letters…like “E”…take more strips than others. You want the strips to be flush with the front of the letter and wrap about 1/2 inch around the back…so make sure you cut them wide enough.
Starting at really any place you want, attach the strips using your glue gun. (Are you running out of glue sticks yet???) Keep overlapping, and adding strips until you’ve gone all the way around the letter.
As you can see, the trim nicely covers all the unfinished edges, including the corners.
Now glue the excess fabric to the back of the letter, much like we did with the batting in the beginning, including trimming the excess fabric off the outer corners.
Now REPEAT all above steps on however many letters YOUR project has….and then stand back and admire all your hard work!
A word of advice here. The first letter is the hardest! I almost gave up at that point. But I promise, by the last letter (depending on how long the name or word you are trying to spell out is) you will be a pro!
So how did I do on my first ever full-fledged tutorial? I’m sure there’s massive room for improvement, but there’s got to be a first time. :-)