Old Time-y Love Letters
Whether it’s your toddler learning letter recognition, a first grader learning how to spell, or a party host spelling out cheery messages to welcome their loved ones on a fireplace mantel, Alphabet Love Letters serve a useful purpose at any age. Doubling as beautiful décor, these classic toys check all the right boxes!
As one of our most straightforward designs, this pattern is one of the best fits for hosting a BridgeWood block party. To get started, download and print out the 3d block template here. Follow the instructions for folding to make an easy-to-follow visual for these instructions.
Decide on your color combination. For instance, white on wood is classic and very flexible; it can easily be used for any holiday or seasonal décor. But a colorful rainbow is spunky and can also be used by little ones to help them identify their colors. Or, choose a combination to match your nursery room décor. It doesn’t matter! Your work is going to look beautiful!
First, identify and paint the end grain of your blocks in your desired color. Remember to stencil on your BridgeWood star, seal, and let cure overnight before moving on to the next step. (Not sure how to do this? Follow this link to learn how to get a beautiful result.)
After the end grain is sealed, you will be left with four raw wood sides on each block. In a complete alphabet set, you will have 36 blocks; 26 letters, plus the numbers 0 thru 9. You will want to use each letter or number precisely four times.
You might be tempted to use the letter ‘A’ four times on one block. Although, that would look lovely, it wouldn’t be as useful as scattering the letters across as many blocks as possible. Just think. Someday, you might want to spell ‘Happy Birthday’ with your blocks; that phrase uses two ‘p’s’, two ‘y’s,’ two ‘h’s’, and two ‘a’s.’ And that doesn’t even count spelling the birthday person’s name! You’d be stuck if all of your ‘A’s were on only one block.
Scattering the letters across the blocks will make it possible for you to spell many unique word combinations. This is easily done.
In a complete alphabet set, you will have 36 blocks; 26 letters, plus the numbers 0 thru 9. You will want to use each letter or number exactly four times, each time on a different block.
Although you do not have to do this in a particular order, we recommend starting with all vowels first. Ideally, you want only one vowel on each block, as these letters tend to be used the most often. This will give you the most spelling flexibility.
As an example, let’s start with the letter ‘A’. Use your ‘Stick, Scrape, Peel to Reveal’ technique (learn how here) to apply the A to four separate blocks. Make sure that the ‘A’ is oriented ‘up’ so that the stars are on the top and the bottom of your block.
Set each block to the side as you finish so you know which blocks have a vowel.
Do the same with the rest of the vowels; A, E, I, O, U, Y, and W . Remember to continue to rinse and dry your stencils after finishing each letter. Be sure to set them to dry away from your workspace so you know which ones you have already used.
Next, we recommend that you start with the letter ‘Q’. “Why?” you ask. “Why then start with one of the most seldom used letters?”
We suggest this because we figure that you do not want to put the letter ‘Q’ on the same letter block as one of your ‘U’ vowels, as they most often go together.
So, go ahead. Pick four other vowels and apply the letter ‘Q’ to them. For instance, ‘A”, ‘E’, “I’, and ‘O’. Again, set it to the side when you are done.
Now, you can begin to finish the entire alphabet and numbers. One of your challenges will be to try to avoid putting the same letter combinations on the same blocks. For instance, avoid having two blocks with both an ‘A’ and an ‘M.’ If this happens, shrug it off. You will still have lots of flexibility in spelling!
But if you want to make every block different, pick out the four blocks you want to stencil with your new letter. Do a quick turn around all four sides, noting whether there are any letter repeats among them. If there are, switch one of them out for a different block.
Go through the entire alphabet, stenciling each letter and number precisely four times on all four sides.
When you are finished, seal the last four sides. Wait at least 72 hours before gift wrapping or stacking.
And… Hint Hint… If you are gifting these blocks, why not line them up in the box, so they spell out a sweet message when your loved one opens up their gift? Use the star sides as ‘blanks’ so they can see that you spelled “My Sweet Girl,” “Congratulations,” or… heck! How about a surprise proposal with “Marry Me”?
Be sure to take pictures of the phrases you spell to cheer up your loved ones’ day! And share them at….
If you want to start getting fancy, creating hidden patterns and color combinations among your entire block set, try following along with a BridgeWood Pattern Guides. They will give you a handy guide for getting an ombre effect, making a rainbow, fun color combinations, and more. Check out this link to learn more!