Make a Big Letter for a Preschooler’s Wall

Like most 3 &1/2 year olds, my grandson has quite a few books to help him learn letters and numbers. His name is Daniel, so naturally his favorite letter is D. When he recites the alphabet, he always reminds me that “D is for Daniel.” Recently that simple chant inspired my crafty side, and I decided to create a great big “D” for his door or wall. Like the concept of ABC, I decided to do it simply; and you can too.

You can create a big D or an R or whatever letter is your child’s favorite. You can personalize it with paint or fabric or whatever trim you choose. You’ll need only a few materials, some of which you may already have on hand. The project will take about an hour from beginning to end, which includes glue and paint drying time. Best of all, you can share the easier tasks with your little student and allow him to decorate his giant letter exactly the way he chooses.

Here is a list of the things you’ll need

A large corrugated cardboard box- The box I used was 16 inches tall and 19 inches wide Tissue or other plain paper (a brown paper bag will do just fine) Craft Paint White glue (Use a glue gun if you prefer) Double stick heavy duty adhesive Large scissors Marker or pen Medium size paint brush

Make your giant letter

Cut open your cardboard box at one corner. Lay it out flat and draw the letter of your choice on one panel. I drew a freehand 18 by 13 inch D for Daniel . If you prefer to use a measured pattern, create one from newspaper then trace the shape on your cardboard. Use scissors to cut out your first letter. Use the first letter to trace and cut two more giant cardboard letters. Add glue to the bottom and center letters, especially the edges. Let glue dry for 5 minutes before sticking them together. The glue will get tackier and stick together more easily. Stick your 3 giant letters together. Your pieces will stick together better if you lay your letter on a flat surface and place some heavy books on top for about five minutes. Your three glued-together cardboard letters will measure approximately ½ inch thick.

Decorate your giant letter

You can paint directly on the cardboard, but for a smoother surface, cover the front and edges of your big letter with paper before adding paint and personal touches. First dilute some glue with a little water and use a brush to paint a thin layer on the entire front surface. Let the glue sit for about 5 minutes. The surface should be sticky but not too wet when you add your paper. To cover your letter and the edges completely, the paper should be larger than the letter. Lay your giant letter sticky side down on top of your paper. Add a line of glue to the back edges of your letter. Fold paper edges from front to back, glue down at back edges and clip excess paper. If you have a curved or inside area like D for Daniel, cut your paper to fit then clip a series of v shapes to help it fit the curve. You may also need to add an additional strip of paper to completely cover the inside edge of the curved area. Let your letter dry for about 10 minutes. For faster drying time blow with a hair dryer on a low setting.

Let your child help decorate his letter

If your child is waiting to help, now is the time to let him. Give him some paint and a brush, a big tee to cover his clothes and lots of newspaper to cover his work surface. Help him select paint colors. If he prefers crayons, that’s good too; and it’s less messy. If you prefer to decorate the letter yourself, add colors you know your child will like. My 3&1/2 year old grandson is always singing a football song, so I added Bengal stripes. You can cut out paper stars triangles or circles to help him remember his shapes. You can create a pattern that uses his name over and over again. When the paint dries, add a few pieces of heavy duty double stick tape or carpet tape to the back and stick on the the wall.

Options for decorating your giant letter with fabric

For a different look, cover your letter with fabric instead of paper. Glue on buttons, glitter, sequins or die cut foam pieces.

Ideas for your giant letter

After I finished my grandson’s giant letter, I realized a D would make a perfect picture frame. I added a color copy of Daniel’s picture before I hung it on the wall as a giant D-shaped frame. Not all letters can be used as a picture frame, but A, B, O, P, Q and R can. Your child can use a fabric covered giant letter for a bulletin board. Place your child’s giant letter on his door to mark his personal space.

Source: My craft ideas

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