DIY custom letter tutorial

Happy New Year!
I've been busy working on the finishing touches in a few new rooms this week.  I can't wait to share them.  Today, I'm giving a sneak peek into a room I just finished for a little boy named Jack.  

Jacks new room has a lot of cool new stuff.  To personalize the space and make the brand new room feel familiar to Jack,  I included custom letters (in a cool distressed finish) spelling his name. It was a fun project… First, I purchased large, light weight, unfinished wood letters from the craft supply store.  

I gave them a light sanding and sprayed painted them with flat black spray paint. 

After the black paint was dry, I painted them orange.  I found a great shade at my local hardware in the paint sample area.  Before applying the final coat of orange paint, I added a little black to deepen the color (two small drops of black to half a bowl of orange). 

After the letters were dry, I used a sanding block with fine grit sand paper to lightly sand the entire letter surface.  By adding black to the final orange top coat,  the lighter orange shows through after the sanding step, giving the finish depth.

After the surface was lightly sanded, I used my sanding block with a piece of coarse sand paper to sand the edges of each letter.  This is where the black appears, giving the letters an old, crusty, distressed look.  After sanding, I dusted the letters well and applied a coat of finishing wax to protect the finish and give them a little sheen.  

To hang the letters in Jacks room, I used Hook and Loop Command Strips (two strips per letter).  Before exposing the sticky wall-side of the Command Strips, I used a measuring level and a chalk marker to mark vertical guides on the wall (small dots).

  After the vertical guide marks were made I used the level horizontally to position each letter.  Once I had the letter positioned I exposed the sticky side of the Command Strip and pressed it into place. 

Helpful Tip:
I started hanging the letters from the middle (beginning with the A and the C at eye level).  This helped with the final placement of the letter grouping.  If you were to begin with the J, you may end up with the full name too high or too low on the wall.  A good rule of thumb is for the middle of the name to be about eye level, a little lower in this case because it's a child's space.

{Please disregard my DIY-Blogger nails}

After the letters were installed, I used a slightly damp wash cloth to wipe away the chalk guides.

I'm excited to share this room reveal soon!  I'll be back later this week to share a quick tutorial on the tone-on-tone stripes.  

For information on my on-line design services, please click here
For on-site design services {Detroit}, please email theyellowcapecod@yahoo for pricing and availability.

*Out of courtesy to my on-site design clients, I'm unable to share specific product sources/information.  Thank you for understanding.  

© Copyright 2013 The Yellow Cape Cod


  1. Looks fantastic thanks for sharing, regards Kathy A, Brisbane,Australia

  2. this is great! i wish you were in northern california!

  3. This looks so nice! I wish you were in Northern California as I would have you over to my son's room ASAP!


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