Our favorite way to make letter boards a little more special is to create shapes using our letters. While it might seem intimidating, it's actually pretty easy if you plan things out before you begin. Scroll down to see how we created these fun, back to school letter boards.
Pick Your Shape
Start with picking your shape. You can make things as simple or as complex as you like but keep in mind that you want your shape to be recognizable. In the past, we've created letters, numbers, hearts, stars, and circles using our alphabet magnets.
For this post, we're getting a little more creative with a simple apple and a more complex pencil. For the back to school theme, you could also try a stack of books, a crayon, a cute little schoolhouse, or a simple grade number.
Find An Inspirational Image
Once you've picked your shape or icon, we recommend you use Google Image Search to find an accurate representation. Print out your inspirational image on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.
Consider Your Layout
Another thing to think about is whether or not you want to add words inside or outside of your shape. If you do want to include words, keep it short and sweet. Be sure to leave appropriate spacing as you continue creating your shape.
We once created a heart in red letters and added NYC in white letters to the inside of the heart – cute, simple, and impactful.
Gather Supplies & Choose Colors
For many shapes, it's nice to have a ruler or straight edge on hand. I love our magnetic toolkits for just this reason. Pick an appropriate magnet board - If you intend to include more than a few words with your shape or if your shape is fairly large in and of itself, we recommend using a larger board, but a smaller magnet board can handle a less wordy approach. Gather or order letter colors that are appropriate for your shape or illustration. With over 20 colors to choose from, we have magnetic letters suitable for just about any design you choose.
For our apple board, we utilized an old fashion green chalkboard, Holly Berry sans serif letters and Olive Juice sans serif letters.
Start From The Outside
For our apple illustration, we started with an outline and then filled in our shape trying to keep the letters and numbers evenly spaced while filling in gaps with smaller symbols and punctuation. Choose letters that mimic your shape where possible. For example: if you're creating a shape with a crevis like our apple (or a heart) I recommend using a triangular-shaped letter like a V, an X, or an upside-down A.
Because our letters are magnetic, there's a lot more freedom in the placement – you aren't constrained by lines like you are with felt letter boards. Watch the process in the time-lapse video below.
Color Block It
If your illustration is a little more complicated or colorful, like the pencil below, we recommend tackling your layout a little differently. Since the pencil is made up of color blocks, we decided to go block by block working from the outside- in. Each block can then be done as an outline and then filled. Watch the process in the time-lapse video below.
Add Your Words
If you chose to add words to your board (outside of your shape), now is that time to do that.
Show It Off!
Now it’s time for show and tell. We’d love to see your back to school letter board creations! Be sure to tag us on social media.
P.S. Still wondering how we have a 7th grader on our hands.