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DIY Decorative Letters by Mind Map: DIY Decorative Letters
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DIY Decorative Letters


Tutorial Overview

This tutorial is intended for anyone who wants to create custom letters to decorate their home. This might include viewers who want to make letters for nurseries or children's rooms, seasonal decorations, family heritage letters, or viewers looking for a great gift idea. Viewers do not need artistic ability or prior knowledge of arts and crafts. The tutorial will contain a materials page, step-by-step instructions and examples of finished projects. The main steps to include in the instructions are measuring the paper for the letters leaving extra room for the paper to hang off the edge of the letter, adhering the letters using Mod Podge as an adhesive and how to smooth out any bubbles that may occur, sanding the edges for a smooth look without removing the paint from the letters, and finally sealing the paper on the letters using Mod Podge to create a glossy finish. Each step will have a video to accompany the text instructions. The tutorial will also have a discussion forum to ask questions or share finished projects and a troubleshooting page where viewers can look up solutions to commonly made mistakes. Lastly, the tutorial will contain ideas for other projects that can be done using the same methods and materials. These projects include making custom picture frames and signs.

Instructional Goal

The instructional goal for this tutorial is as follows: using decorative letter materials, viewers will be able to construct custom decorative letters at home with 100% viewer satisfaction.

Performance Objectives

There are four performance objectives for this tutorial. The first objective is viewers will measure the scrapbook paper using the wooden letters as a template with 1/8 inch overhang. The second objective is the viewers will adhere the pre-measured scrapbook paper from step 1 using Mod Podge without any bubbles. Thirdly, the viewers will sand the edges of the adhered scrapbook paper on the wooden letters without removing the paint from the letters with 90% accuracy. The last performance objective is the viewers will seal the sanded scrapbook paper to the wooden letters using Mod Podge with 100% coverage. The completion of these four performance objectives align with the instructional goal of the tutorial.

Why DIY?

Why should someone make their own decorative letters instead of buying premade letters? There are several benefits to making your own decorative letters versus buying premade letters. Benefits include lower cost, customizability, and the special aspect of creating your own artwork that is easy to produce for your home. This section will cover each benefit more closely.


One benefit of making your own decorative letters is the cost. A web search of decorative letters similar to the letters you can make at home shows a cost of $18.00 per letter (Etsy, 2011). If you were to purchase the name "Lillian", it would cost a total of $126.00 at $18.00 per letter. Doing it yourself however, costs only $5.34 per letter with a total of $37.39 for the name "Lillian". This price is formulated by adding the cost of all the materials and dividing by the number of letters. In this case, seven since Lillian contains seven letters. A cost comparison of prices of premade letters versus do it yourself letters reveals that do it yourself is a better price for comparable products. See the attachement. Reference: Etsy. (2011). Bouncing off the walls. Retrieved from


Another benefit of doing it yourself is the customizability of the letters. You get to hand select the style, color, and texture of the letters to match the decor in your home. Purchasing premade letters limits your choices to what is available from the store.

Easy and Special

Lastly, the final benefit of making your own decorative letters versus buying premade letters is how special it is to create your own work of art to decorate your home. This project is easy enough for someone with little to no artistic ability, yet when it is complete it looks professional and store bought. This project allows you to decorate your home with your own flair adding uniqueness and personal touches without breaking the bank and requiring artistic ability.


  9" White Wooden Letters ($3.50 each at Michaels Craft Store) 12X12 scrapbook paper (enough to cover all the letters) (any color, texture you like) ($0.29 - $0.99) Mod Podge ($3.26) Sponge ($0.29) 100 grit sandpaper ($3.97)  

Step-by-step instructions

Finished Project/Conclusion

This tutorial is intended for viewers with or without artistic or arts and cratfs abilities who want to make custom decorative letters at home. The instructional goal will be obtainable through the successful completion of the four performance objectives. To assist in meeting the performance objectives, the tutorial will contain systematic text instructions along with video segments of each step. The tutorial will also provide a discussion forum where viewers can share ideas and projects. Additionally, the tutorial will have a troubleshooting page and a section for more projects that can be done using the same methods and materials.