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Cheap and Easy Playroom Awesomeness

Individual letters can cost as much as $10 at certain stores. This whole project is less than that!

Serge is on a roll. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but dude is straight up Martha Stewart with a beard.

He’s on his fourth or fifth project of the summer. Most of them have involved stuff for the kids’ bedrooms and their playroom.

This last one he did in a few hours for the playroom turned out so well that I decided to document it and share it with y’all.

We just moved back into our house after a bad house fire in January, so we’re trying to get stuff up on the walls and make it feel homey again. So out of the blue one day a few weeks ago, Serge rolled up with a bunch of cardboard squares and within a few hours had cute letters strung across one wall spelling out the kids names.

Violet and Henry helped him the whole time, choosing the paint colors and helping him spray, but mostly just dancing around on the driveway as the color went on.

If you’ve ever looked at the cost of an individual wooden letter from a store like Toys R Us then you know stuff like this doesn’t come cheap. Eight bucks a letter? Get outta here! You can do this whole project in a few hours for damn near the cost of one letter from those kinds of places.

But listen! You don’t even have to hang up letters. You could do anything. Photos, favorite book covers, art projects your kid made. It’s so inexpensive and easy and it made such a difference! If you’re looking to jazz up your kid’s bedroom or playroom I highly recommend.

Check out the simple steps documented in the photos I took below and scroll below the photos to see the list of supplies you’ll need:


  • Foam Board 1 of 16
    Foam Board
    Assemble your foam board on a flat surface... And try to keep tiny feet from stepping all over it. You're going to want to pencil on the letters you plan to cut out. You can freehand this or you can cut out your letters in other paper and trace them on, you can print fonts off your computer and trace them onto the board, whatever you want. Serge eyeballed this font online and then drew the letters freehand. I like that it isn't perfect, that there are mistakes, that lends to the childlike quality of fun playroom letters.
  • Exacto Away, Baby 2 of 16
    Exacto Away, Baby
    Use your knife to cut out the letters like so.
  • It’s Easy! 3 of 16
    It's Easy!
    Here is an example of a cut out letter. They're about a quarter of an inch thick, depending on what foam board you elect to purchase.
  • Get Ready To Paint 4 of 16
    Get Ready To Paint
    Now is when all that pizza you order when you're too tired to cook comes in handy. Assemble your letters on pizza boxes, cardboard, plastic or whatever you don't mind getting paint on.
  • Paint! 5 of 16
    Paint!
    Now comes the fun part. Envision your letters on the wall. What color combinations will you use? Alternating two colors, one solid color? We chose to go with a couple different colors so we could really liven up the playroom wall.
  • Fun For Everyone 6 of 16
    Fun For Everyone
    This is a fantastic family project. Dad gets to work with tools and do that kind of crap, mom gets a nicely decorated playroom and the kids learn letters and colors while choosing what they want.
  • Color Consultation 7 of 16
    Color Consultation
    Violet and Serge had a color consultation before painting each letter.
  • Paintpolooza 8 of 16
    Paintpolooza
    Henry just ran around like a maniac, as usual. And yes, I do let my kids run around half naked most of the time.
  • What Color Next? 9 of 16
    What Color Next?
    Those aren't all pizza boxes under the letters, at least I don't think. But it's possible.
  • Watching Paint Dry 10 of 16
    Watching Paint Dry
    The paint dries very quickly. Like, in less than an hour.
  • String Up Your Twine 11 of 16
    String Up Your Twine
    Decide where you're hanging your letters, and string up your twine. Serge screwed the twine into the wall and left just a little bit of slack. Then use your clothes pins of badge fasteners to hang the letters. You can move them all around and even turn a letter backwards for that "childlike effect".
  • Hang ‘Em High! 12 of 16
    Hang 'Em High!
    We hung ours higher than our stylish sensibilities told us was appropriate because, well, sticky little fingers are always grabbing. However, if your kids do get a hold of these there's really no harm. Not like heavy wooden letters that can knock a kid out. All you've gotta do is rehang the letter.
  • Perspective 13 of 16
    Perspective
    You can see the thickness of the foam board against the wall. If you want a chunkier look, purchase a thicker foam board.
  • Another Angle 14 of 16
    Another Angle
    I like the badge fasteners but think painted clothes pins would be really cute, especially in a babies nursery. You could also tuck little photos and mementos in up under the clothes pins.
  • Pefectly Imperfect. 15 of 16
    Pefectly Imperfect.
    I like the imperfection of the letters and how it was a project the kids were super involved with.
  • Finished! 16 of 16
    Finished!
    I think it turned out great, don't you?

What you’ll need:

Foam Board – We bought 10 pieces of Elmer’s Sturdy Foam Board from Walmart. I can’t remember how much it was, but it won’t break your bank, I promise. You can sometimes fit two letters on one piece of the board but you’ll want to have a couple extra in case you screw up.

Xacto Knife – If you don’t have one. Or just borrow one.

Roll of Twine or Hemp Rope – Available pretty much anywhere.

Badge Clips or Clothes Pins – This is where you can get creative. We opted to use those clear badge clips like these that you can pick up for a few bucks in the office supplies aisle of just about anywhere.

Spray Paint – You can get all the same color, a bunch of different ones, whatever floats your boat.

Read more from Monica on Toddler Times:

10 Things I Want My Daughter To Know

What Were They Thinking?! The Most Age-Inappropriate Toddler Gear

20 Everyday Items My Toddler Finds Fascinating

You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.

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