I’ve recently realized that my projects of late are big.

Big DIY projects generate a lot more Pinterest traffic to my site, but they also take a lot more time and money to make.

And how many coffee tables does one family need really?

My friend Rita sent me a photo of a gallery wall that she fell in love with and asked if it was something I could replicate for her – so I decided to break down the wall into steps to show you how you can create great decor pieces on a smaller scale.

First up the inspiration photo – I’m sorry, I don’t know where it came from to give the originator credit:

How to make Scrabble tiles

How to make Scrabble tiles

Step one of the project was to get all of the names she wanted done in scrabble tiles and then to lay them out – either by cutting up pieces of paper to size, or by using Sketchup Make (which is free, but has a slight learning curve) to figure out how to make it all fit within her wall space.

DIY gallery wall

The first plans I sent Rita had each DIY Scrabble tile at 6″ square – but given the length of the names involved, that amounted to more wall space than was available.  Rita asked that I shrink them down a bit, so I cut 4.5″ squares instead. (slightly larger than in the schematic)

Using a 1×6 at 8 feet long, I was able to get 25 tiles from a board and a half.  A 1×6 will give you a 5.5″ tile, so I had enough leeway to cut each tile down to get my 4.5″ with some nice sharp edges (store lumber is usually rounded and not as crisp as you want these to look).

I gave each tile a sanding at 80 grit and a second sanding at 120 grit, adding a small beveled edge to each side using my (favourite) sander.

How to make Scrabble tiles

I applied a coat of Minwax Special Walnut and then wiped the excess off within about 5 minutes.  The tiles need to be relatively light so that the letters and numbers on the face will stand out, so one coat of stain was enough and I wiped them as clean as I could.

Let dry overnight.

While your tiles are drying, and if you have a Silhouette or Cricut cutting machine, you can size and cut your letters out.  I read online that the font for Scrabble tiles is Futura Bold, but when I compared it to Franklin Gothic, I found the second to be a closer match.

If you need to look online to see the fonts or to look up the number values of Scrabble tiles check this out.  (The number 1 value does look better in Futura Bold, but the rest of the numbers were Franklin Gothic)

If you don’t have a cutting machine – don’t worry, you can still do this, it will just take a bit more effort;

  1. Type up your letters in a Word document and make sure that your font size is appropriate for the size of your tiles.
  2. Print out (draft form is fine).
  3. Lay each letter over its designated tile and trace with a ball point pen – pressing firmly.  When you remove the paper, you should see a clear indent in the wood that outlines each letter.
  4. Now you can just fill it in with a small paintbrush and some black craft paint from the dollar store!

I did my best to centre each letter on each tile and adhered the letter (and the value in the bottom right corner) so that they were as tight to the wood as possible.

How to make Scrabble tiles

I applied a coat of triple-thick varnish in satin finish and let dry.

How to make Scrabble tiles

These are so easy to make – and very inexpensive – all you need is a bit of time.

Whip some up as Scrabble coasters in lieu of drink markers or wine charms.  Make larger ones and use for outdoor decor (with an outdoor sealer/varnish).


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How to make Scrabble tiles
I ran out of room on my workbench to show it exactly as webkasino per the schematic above.

Step 1 of the gallery wall project “How to make Scrabble tiles” is done!

How to make Scrabble tiles

Tomorrow I’ll show how easy it is to make the “blessed” and dates signs.

Have a great one!

Joke 15


44 Responses

    1. My favourite way to hang anything is to tap a finishing nail into the back of the piece – centred if you’re using one nail, or anywhere if you’re using two. There will be a lot of nail hanging out the back – line your piece up against the wall, check for level and then shove. The nails will go through the drywall easily and your piece will never go crooked!

  1. I really like this project and want to do this myself. What kind of glue did you use to glue the letters to the wood?

    1. I have a Silhouette machine, so my letters were cut from adhesive vinyl… but, if you wanted to use paper letters just cut from printer paper, I’d suggest mod podge – one layer underneath and once that’s dry, a second layer over top.

  2. Love this, thanks! Interested also in where you got the number 4 print on the wall? I love it!

    1. I made it! I resized a number “4” on the Silhouette Cameo to fill the space, cut it from adhesive vinyl, applied the vinyl to the board and then painted over it in an alternate colour. Easy-peasy!

    1. I didn’t use a specific size font – I resized my letters with the Silhouette Cameo to fit within the size of the wood squares. If you’re using word, you’ll have to print a few sizes out (on a single sheet) to see which is the best fit. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.

  3. Idk if anyone has let you know the owner of the photo or not yet but here is the link to the IG post :). Just a little research and it’s easy to find. Helped that I already knew who though lol. Here’s the link: https://instagram.com/p/BPlLJmhB6Cp/
    IG handle For her: @ourvintagenest

  4. What kind of wood did you use? I bought pine and I’m wondering if I should use the same stain. I like the colour and I want it to be lighter, but not so light as the natural pine

  5. How do you place the names in each row . I have six names and when I try to place the names Vertical or horizontal I looks kind of funny do you add other tires just to make it look even? My names are Gabriel, Ashlynn, Irabella, Bexley, Noah and Coleton. Who do you start with first? The longest name or the shortest name?

  6. Hi, I’m doing the scrabble wall tiles and have a cricket cutter and am wondering which cartridge the Franklin gothic font is on. Thanks

    1. I’m sorry, I can’t help with this one – I was working with a Silhouette Cameo and I don’t have a Cricut to know what comparable fonts there are. If Cricut has an online store (like Silhouette does) have you tried searching?

  7. Hi, how much would you charge to make one of these with 4 names 20 letters total?

    1. I’m very flattered – and perhaps I’ll offer builds someday – but for now my blog is my full-time business. There are some brilliant artisans on Etsy that can whip these out for you though.

  8. What did you use to hang the tiles??? I am in the process of doing this project, but with the tiles from Hobby Lobby and I am finding blogs on how to make them, but not what is used to hang the tiles on the wall. Thanking you in advanced!

    1. I have the BEST hanging technique ever. I tap two small finishing nails (with narrow heads) into the back of each tile leaving about 1/2″ sticking out. Then I line up my tile on the wall with a level on top and PUSH so the nails break through the drywall. Easy, inexpensive and your tiles will never go crooked!

  9. I’m looking for the app that will allow me to put the names in and it will automatically fill them in on the computer! Does anyone know what that is?

  10. This might seem silly but in your post you said a 1×6 will get a 5×5 tile but you had leeway for a 4×5 tile. Did you sand it down to get a 4×5 tile? I’m getting Home Depot to cut my wood & don’t know if I should a ask for a 5×5 cut or 4×5. Thank you in advance!

    1. I can not speak for Shelly but I understood her to mean that having the 1 x 6 gave her leeway to cut off the length to 4.5. Since it is 6″ wide anyway and you can get your pieces cut to 4.5″ by 4.5″…just ask them to rip about an inch and a half off the long way and then cut the length into 4.5 squares. I just had this done this past Sunday at Home Depot! I hope this helps!

    2. The actual size of a 1×6 is 5.5″ and then I cut an extra bit off on the mitre saw (if memory serves). Having written that, there’s no hard and fast rule that your scrabble tiles have to be the same size as mine – I had to work within a certain amount of wall space so I sized them to fit. You could easily make a gorgeous wall with the uncut 5 1/2″ wood!

      1. What size did you set your cricut to for the letters and the numbers? Thank you in advance

  11. That’s so much for your tips. I wanted to know what size did you set your cutting machine to cut out the letters and also what type of wood did you use. TIA