Alphabet Squares Tutorial
Today I'm going to show you how to make your own set of Alphabet Squares. I made these last year to help Emerson learn her letters. We used them almost every week for all sorts of activities. They are super durable and have held up really well.
Here's what you will need:
- 1-2 yards of solid colored fabric (I prefer white, but any light color will do)
- scraps of patterned fabric or 1-2 yards total of patterned fabric (I used scraps that I had on hand in a variety of patterns and colors)
- 3 yards or more of Pellon Wonder Under Fusible Web
- Iron & ironing board
- sewing machine
- serger (optional)
- thread to match fabrics
- cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler
- large alphabet stencils or homemade ones
The first thing you need to do is cut out your squares. I made 52 8"X 8" squares. You will need one square for each letter, upper and lower case.
Then you need to create templates for the letters. I didn't have any large alphabet stencils so I used Microsoft Word to create my own printable ones.
I spent quite a bit of time looking at the different fonts in order to find one that was simple and used the kind of 'a' that I would want Emerson to recognize. I finally settled on Tw Cen MT.
I typed out each letter in uppercase and lowercase and then set the size to 800. I made sure to do a test print of one or two letters first to make sure that size would fit in my squares. I also formatted the letters to be only outlines to save on ink. This method does take quiet a few sheets of paper so you could also just write the letters on free hand if you want.
Then cut out all of your paper letters.
Now it is time to pick out fabrics for your letters. I had a ton of scraps in all kinds of prints so I used a variety of fabrics. That also meant a lot of cutting.
Here is a helpful tip. If you are using either one print or large pieces of fabric then iron on the Wonder Under before tracing your letters to save yourself a step.
If you are like me and will be using scraps you will need to first trace each letter onto the Wonder Under, webbing side up.
Make sure you trace the letters going the right way. You will be ironing on the Wonder Under to the back side of the fabric so it will need to be the mirror image when the webbing side is down. It can be a bit confusing so you can always test out one letter to make sure you have it right.
Then cut out all the letters from the Wonder Under and iron them onto the back side of your chosen fabric, webbing side down. It should look like the mirror image of the letter when it is laying on the back of the fabric.
Once all of your letters are ironed onto the fabric you will need to cut them out. I promise this is the last of the cutting!
Now for the fastest part. Carefully peel off the backing of the Wonder Under and center you letters on the fabric squares. Then iron them in place.
After you have all your letters ironed on you will need to stitch around each letter. I used a zigzag stitch and tried to use thread that matched. It takes a bit of time, but it ensures that your letters won't come off.
Now it's time to attach the lower case letter squares and the uppercase letter squares. If you don't have a serger then you can match right sides together and sew around leaving a little hole in one side. Turn it right side out and then stitch all the way around again to close the hole. Another option is to zigzag stitch all the way around with the wrong sides facing each other, similar to what I did with my serger.
Yay! You're done! Now go enjoy watching your kids jump around on their brand new Alphabet Squares.