Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ABC's and 123's

My son has been getting more and more interested in learning numbers and letters lately. He likes counting to 10 - which sounds more like, "One, two, fee, five, six, ten!" or "Uno, dos, tes, cinco, diez!" - and then he claps and says, "Yay!". And when we watch Wheel of Fortune (I just *know* my spin ID will be called one of these days!), he likes repeating the letters they call out. Ok, I guess that's my cue! I was thinking about getting him some flashcards, but really, what's fun about some black letters and numbers on a white background? Bo-ring! No, my son is going to learn his letters and numbers in style!!

I started by going to Michael's and getting some papers that coordinated with his bedding.

It took 2 papers for the letters and numbers and 5 for the background. I guess my math skills are really bad because I originally only bought 2 papers for the background and had to go back the next day!

I already had some stencils, so I used those to trace out the letters and numbers. I bet the process would go by so much faster if you have a cricut machine, but I'm not one of the cool kids and I don't have one yet. Instead I had to cut them out with scissors and an Xacto knife and straight edge.

Once that was done, I was ready to cut out the background. The paper was pretty flimsy, so I used spray adhesive to glue index cards on the back of the paper and then used the Xacto knife and straight edge to cut around each card.

There was a slight overhang with the index card, so I just trimmed it off and you can't even tell that some are a little bit smaller.

Next, I used some distress ink on the letters/numbers and on the edges of each card.

Believe it or not, I have never used this stuff before and as you can see in the picture below, I went a tad bit overboard on some of them. Thank goodness I had extra paper and index cards!!

My next plan of action was to stain some clothespins that I got from the Dollar Tree Store. There were 36 in the pack which was the *exact* number I needed (26 letters and 10 numbers - and you thought I was off my rocker!).

I used Minwax Early American stain. It's not a perfect match to his crib, but it sure looks better than what I started out with!

While those were drying, I glued the letters and numbers onto the cards. I made sure to leave a bigger space on the top of each card so that the clothespins wouldn't cover up the letters/numbers. After they were glued, I simply attached them to a string of jute and they were good to go! Now I just need to find a place for them that is out of reach of his sticky little fingers, yet a place where he can still see them. This may be a challenge!!

I hung them up temporarily so you could see what the finished product looks like...

But for now they will just sit tight in this basket, probably until we move. 

This project was so easy to make - a little time consuming, but easy.

Wouldn't it look so cute with pink papers for a girl? Or if rustic isn't your style, you could use binder clips to hang the cards on some type of wire cable like this one from Ikea.

The possibilities are endless!!

I'm linking up to this party

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special


Pieces of Dreams said...

You did a fantanbulous job with this adorable project. Are you looking forward to the move? I hope so. Even if you don't end up too near the shore, I think you will love your home and your visits to the Jersey shore...There's a lot of magic on some of those beaches! You should check out my sand candle craft at: http://karensgardencottage.blogspot.com/. Might be especially nice for summer and your first party in New Jersey!!! Have a nice week, Karen

Candace said...

Very cute project, this would be so fun in my boy's room! I'm glad I stopped by here, you have a great blog!

Ali@Honey and Maple Syrup said...

Thanks! I hope you look around and find some more inspiration! =)

Polly @ Make Mine Beautiful said...

Ali, this is such a darling project. I love the simplicity in the letter cards. I think I'll try this for my nephew who's just starting to learn about letters.

Thanks for sharing.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Oh my gosh... adorable!!! I just love the mix of colours. Why you even desire boring old labels from me (I'll one day get to you!!) is beyond me when you can make THIS! :) xo

Thanks for linking up to SNS!
FJ Donna

miss Yelpington said...

wow this is just lovely, i like how its educational as well very clever :) i was thinking you could do a name like this too perhaps xxx

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