As you might imagine, we just may have some extra fabric laying around our studio, and if you do, too, here’s a fun DIY that’s simple yet packs a big, beautiful punch!
Depending on the fabrics you choose, your project can be anything from the centerpiece of an awesome wedding dessert table, to baby nursery decor, to a welcoming wreath on your front door. You can even get ambitious and try for a monogram or perhaps a whole name!
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own fabric scrap letter. Our “B” is 24” X 15”, and we’ve given you materials and quantities based on this letter. You can adjust your materials and make yours bigger, smaller, or skip the letter altogether and make a heart or other shape instead!
MATERIALS WE USED:
- 20” X 30” X ½” foam board (available at Michael’s or other craft store)
- ~ 1 yard of a neutral fabric (we used a sand-colored linen) to cover the letter form
- ~ 3 yards total of coordinating fabrics torn or cut into squares and rectangles (we used five different fabrics plus a lace)
- ~ 7 yards of 1.75″ wide lace ribbon (you can use whatever ribbons you have on hand, a mix of different colors is fun, too!)
- serrated knife (serrated is better at “sawing” through the foam board)
- a strong glue (like E6000)
STEP ONE: Cut out your letter. The simplest way to do this is to sketch your letter onto the foam board with a pencil. Don’t worry too much about getting it absolutely perfect as the letter will be covered in fabric and then adorned with scraps. Another option, if you have access to Illustrator and a printer, is to open a document as large as your printer will print and then make your letter as large as you’d like. If your letter is bigger than the printable area, move it around on the artboard and print it out in sections. Make sure to overlap some portions of the letter, so it will be easy to piece and tape the individual pages together on your foam board.
Once your letter form is on your board, carefully cut the letter out with a serrated knife using a gentle sawing motion.
STEP TWO: Tear or cut your fabrics and ribbons. I love to use linen or printed cotton for this project because they are the easiest to tear and you get lovely, frayed edges. All you do is make a small snip with your scissors and rip away! If you’re using a different type of fabric or ribbon that doesn’t tear so well, just cut. First, tear or cut the neutral fabric you are using to cover the letter into approximately 3” wide strips. Next, tear or cut the other fabrics or ribbons into various square and rectangular sizes. Keep them somewhere in the 3” to 4” range, but aim to vary them a little bit. These absolutely do not need to be perfect! In fact, it’s better if there’s a lot of variation because it will allow each fabric to show through when they are layered.
STEP THREE: Wrap your letter. Take your neutral fabric strips and wrap the foam letter. There’s no nifty trick or secret to this; just start wrapping and aim to cover the entire letter, overlapping the fabric strips where needed. Use thumbtacks to keep the fabric in place.
STEP FOUR: Group your fabric swatches. Gather your swatches in groups of three or four and layer them on top of each other. Make sure to rotate the pieces so that they are not all lined up perfectly. Pin them together with a tack.
STEP FIVE: Pin the fabric layers to your letter. Starting from one corner, start tacking your fabric swatches to your foam letter. Squeeze a little dab of glue for each tack as you pin it down. As you move along, pin each new bundle of fabric close to the previous bundle.
The closer you pin each bundle, the more dense your fabric letter will be (and the more fabric you’ll need). At a minimum, keep your pins close enough that fabric folds keep your thumbtacks hidden. Keep pinning fabric bundles until the front of your letter is completely covered.
Voila! And there you have it, your very own fabric scrap letter! And if you’d like a little help getting started, we’ve put together some DIY kits in our Etsy shop with beautiful color-coordinated bundles of fabric and ribbon to get you that much closer to having a personal, handmade addition to your home or event!