Now that summer school is done, and for the first summer in a few years I'm no longer working on my masters degree I have found myself with LOTS of crafty nesting time (see here just in in case you missed the announcement). While perusing Pinterest (yes, very productive use of time... I know) I saw this adorable magnet board with magnet letters on it: It was love at first sight.
(click the image to view the original source)
I followed her link to check out the alphabet on Etsy but I just couldn't swallow spending $50 on it, adorable as it is. So I determined I would make my own. Now be warned. I am a VERY amateur sewer (I don't even dare venture use the word "seamstress". NO way!) And this project is not for the faint of heart, nor can it be done in a jiffy. Hopefully these instructions are of use to someone :)
lowercase alphabet block letter template (free PDF)
26 fabric scraps (~4x4in)
26 Batting squares (~4x4in)
26 Felt squares (~4x4in)
52 1/2 in. diameter magnets
1. Select your fabric scraps.
(I arranged mine by color for a rainbow-ish effect to help my baby girl learn the sequence of the alphabet as she visually sees the color scheme in order).alphabet template on cardstock.
(I chose lowercase letters because as all you early-childhood teachers know MOST of the English language is represented with lowercase letters. Simply learning to recognize the letters by name, while helpful, is a far cry from learning to read. That is why I always begin by teaching the sounds of lowercase letters before names or introducing capital letters.)
(I used an exacto for the center of the tricky ones).
(I considered using the same fabric for the backs, but ultimately decided on black felt to make it easy for baby girl to recognize the front and back of the letters).
6. For those fun letters with the holes (a,b,d,e,g,o,p,&q) sew the outside edges and place the magnets first, then sew the inside of the letter (this part can be tricky!) and then finally cut out the center once the whole thing is sewn.
7. Trim all the excess around the edges and another letter is done! With each completed letter I found myself feeling happy and triumphant. Hopefully you do too. When they're done, hang them on you refrigerator, a magnet board or a filing cabinet and admire them to your heart's content. Hooray!
PS - I just have to add that after completing my alphabet I COMPLETELY understand why these are around $50 on Etsy. If I were selling I would have to charge at least $100 to make it even remotely worth my time. So go make your own and have fun! Let me know if you do, I would love to see pictures!