Alphabet Blocks in 3 Different Styles
These cute DIY alphabet blocks can be made in different colors and styles for a variety of seasons and decor uses. These are a very simple craft, that just uses square blocks and simple craft supplies to add the letters.
I saw the BELIEVE wooden letter blocks pictured below at a gift shop and was going to buy them until I saw the price. The wanted $85 for them. That seemed ridiculous to me and I was pretty sure that I could make them. Plus, if I made my own alphabet blocks I could have them say whatever I wanted and use them for multiple holidays. I was right. The BELIEVE version ended up costing me less than $40 and that was with lots of leftover craft supplies.
You could use these blocks in a lot of fun and unique ways throughout your home. See the bottom of the post for some additional home décor ideas.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to make them 3 different ways:
The Glitter Version like the photo that started my obsession.
The Vintage Version that looks so much like the baby blocks some of us played with as children. These would make great ABC blocks for a child’s room.
The Patterned Sides Version expands the decorating options quite a bit.
Supplies for Alphabet Block Decorations
Wooden cubes or blocks – I used this 2” version for the glitter and patterned side blocks and this 3″ version for the vintage style blocks, but any square natural wood blocks would work
For Glitter Version
Elmer’s Glue – I used the clear glue, but the white would work since it dries clear. I might be easier to use because you could see where you had painted it.
Extra Fine Glitter in the colors you want.
Paper Plates – to keep the glitter mess contained and allow you to reuse the excess.
Glitter Cardstock in the colors you want.
Craft Glue – I love this Bearly Art Glue.
For Vintage Style
Permanent Vinyl – use whatever colors you want to make them match your décor.
For Patterned Sides Style
Cardstock in several coordinating prints.
Permanent Vinyl – use whatever colors look best with your cardstock prints.
Cricut or other cutting machine
Instructions for Alphabet Block Decorations
These are so simple you’ll be making them for every holiday.
Step 1 – Paint Your Blocks (optional)
Put a base coat of paint on your unfinished wooden blocks in an appropriate color.
Step 2 – Add Extras (optional)
For Glitter Version
Paint your blocks with Elmer’s glue. I was able to do 3 sides at a time.
Shake glitter over the glue painted blocks. Make sure you have paper plate underneath you for this step or you’ll have a huge mess. This will also allow you to reuse any of the extra glitter. Just use a second paper plate to catch the excess while you use the excess that you already collected. See the video if this doesn’t make sense.
You can put mod podge over the glitter to help reduce the shedding that occurs. If you wait and do this after the letters have been added it will also help hold them on even better.
For Vintage Style
This style doesn’t have any “extras” that need to be added.
For Patterned Sides Version
Cut your cardstock into squares the size of your wood blocks. I used my Cricut to make this extremely simple.
Coat the sides you want the patterns on with mod podge. I would do this one side at a time. Remember to leave one side plain for your letter.
Put the piece of cardstock on the block while the mod podge is still wet.
After all of your sides have dried, sand the edges to give them a vintage look.
Step 3 – Make Your Letters
Use your Cricut or other cutting machine to create the letters and borders you want for your blocks.
These instructions are for the Cricut Maker and Design Space. They will need to be adjusted for your design software.
1. Open the Design Space site and create a new project by pressing the New Project box.
2. Let’s start by making the border for our blocks.
a. Create a square using the shape tool.
b. Resize this square to be slightly smaller than your block size. For my 2” blocks, I made this square 1.875”
c. Create a second square using the shape tool the same way you did above.
d. Resize this square to be even smaller than the square above. For my 2” blocks, I made this square 1.7”. I also recolored this block to red so I could easily tell the difference between the 2 blocks.
e. Select both boxes. You can do this by placing your mouse above the top left corner of the first block, pressing and holding while dragging the mouse to the below the lower right corner. Or you can select the layer for the first square in the right panel, then hold ctrl while selecting the second square.
f. Click the align drop-down and select center at the bottom of the list.
g. With both squares still selected, click Slice in the lower right corner. If the Slice button is grayed out you either only have one layer selected or you have more than 2 layers selected. Slice only works with 2 layers and exactly 2 layers.
h. This will create 3 Slice Result layers in your document. You can delete both the red and black filled in block keeping only the black outline (looks more like a white block in the layers panel).
i. Duplicate this layer enough times for each block you are creating. So, for the BELIEVE blocks I needed 7 total squares so I duplicated it 6 times.
j. Because I’m a very visual person, I laid my squares out in a straight line so I could see how the blocks would look. To do this, spread them out, select all of them, and then use the Align feature, choosing both Distribute Horizontally and Center Vertically. This will space them out evenly from left to right and then line them up in a straight line.
3. For the next step, you’ll create the letters in the font of your choice.
a. Click the text tool and type a letter.
b. With the letter selected, click the font drop-down and choose a font from the list. Feel free to play around with different fonts until you find one that you like for the aesthetic you’re trying to create. I used the Bodoni Mt font for those that want to know. I have a Cricut Access account and have several additional fonts that I have purchased over time so I can’t be sure that you will have the fonts that I used. Just play around until you find something you like.
c. Drag your letter to one of the boxes and resize by grabbing the resize handle in the lower right corner of your text block and moving it until the width is the correct for your block. If you feel that your letter is too short once you get the width adjusted, you can click the padlock in the lower left corner of the text block to unlock it then use the sizing handle to change the height and width independently
d. Duplicate your letter the number of times needed and change each to the letter you want to create. Double click on the letter to open the text box for adjusting. You may have to change the original letter also if you used my suggestion above and don’t need that letter in your word(s). You will use less material (cardstock or vinyl) if you do all the letters and borders at the same time. This is a good time to save your project.
4. Select each letter and its block and click the attach button. This will help you save more material by putting the letters in the center of the borders where there is an unused block of material. Just make sure that none of your edges touch or they may not be separated correctly. The easiest way to select the correct 2 pieces is to use the drag method described in step 2-e.
The left is how your project will cut if you don’t do this step and the right is how it will cut if you do it. Notice how much material is saved.
- If your project will be cut out of different colors of material now is when you want to change the colors on your screen to match. This will ensure that each color prints on a separate mat.
- Click “Make It” (the green button in the upper right corner). Then click “Continue” (the green button in the lower right corner).
- Select the appropriate materials from the list. Unless you have saved your choice to your favorites list, you will probably have to click “Browse All Materials” to find the appropriate material. Once you have selected your material you can change your pressure if you’re on a Cricut Maker. I usually find that default works fine for me but you may have a different experience.
- Load the material on your mat(s) in the order on the screen and click the flashing arrow on your machine to load the mat. Press the flashing “C” on your machine to cut your letters out of the cardstock or vinyl depending on which version you are making. Unload your mat by pressing the flashing arrow on your machine.
- Remove the material from the mat. Cut away the excess material and put it in your scraps storage. Weed your pieces making sure you save both the letter and the box for each block. In the case of the vinyl letters, leave both the letter and the block together so that you can transfer them together.
Step 4 – Attach Letters to Your Blocks
For Glitter Blocks
Using craft glue, attach one letter to the side of the block.
You can attach different letters to multiple sides of each block to use your blocks for multiple holidays. I did this for the “Happy Valentines” and “Merry Christmas” blocks.
For Vintage Style and Patterned Sides
Use transfer tape to transfer the vinyl from the carrier sheet to your blocks. Again, you can attach different letters to multiple sides of each block to use your blocks for multiple holidays. I did this for the “Happy Spring” and “Hoppy Easter” blocks.
Display and Enjoy!
My Glitter Alphabet Blocks (This was obviously my favorite)
Here are my original BELIEVE blocks on one of the shelves in my entryway. You’ll notice that these have the reverse of what I taught you above. If you prefer this style, you can just use the piece of cardstock that would have been discarded in my instructions above.
I decided I wanted my blocks to look more like the ones I knew from childhood. Those had a colored border and colored letter on the wooden background. So I used the outer square and inner letter of my cutouts to create that look. Here are the believe blocks in this style. To make these, I just put the new letters on the bottom of the previous blocks so that I can turn it so either set shows.
If you decide to put 2 sets of letters on a set of blocks and don’t want the other set to show when you are displaying one set, put the second set of letters on the bottom of the previous set. Be sure to match up the bottoms of the letters so that the other set won’t show whichever way you go.
I also made MERRY CHRISTMAS blocks which I displayed on the mantle in my living room with my Christmas Snowflake Luminaries. I put HAPPY VALENTINES on another side of the MERRY CHRISTMAS blocks to use in this mantle display.
My Vintage Style Alphabet Blocks
I made the larger wood letter blocks using the vintage technique for our last name. I currently have them stacked on one of our shelves. I used a hot glue gun to attach them together to keep them from toppling over every time we walked through the room. Since these blocks can bee seen from multiple angles, I put the same letter on all sides of each of the blocks.
My Patterned Sides Alphabet Blocks
Below you can see some blocks I did for spring and Easter that use this technique.
The wooden alphabet letters in this style would look great in a baby’s room spelling out the child’s name. These would make a great baby shower gift or a gift for when the baby is born. They would also be a wonderful wedding shower decoration done in the new couples name.
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Want some more Spring project options, check out these posts.
You can check out all of my Spring crafts and diy here.
I love the different styles! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!
I love these wooden alphabet blocks, Janet, they are so pretty! Your Cricut tutorial is easy to follow even for beginners like me, thanks for sharing that. Can I ask where you purchased the wooden blocks?
Thanks Jayne. I got both sizes of blocks from Amazon. I’ve added links to the post for easy reference.