DIY Felt Letter Board

DIY Felt Letter Board DIY Felt Letter Board

Chances are, you’ve seen really cute felt letter boards floating on around Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook in posts from other bloggers and cool brands. Sounds easy enough to shop around for a felt letter board and buy one, but, have you ever looked at the price tag on one of them? A small board can run you $50 and a large one could be $100-$120. That’s a lot to pay for  a message board, even a cute one. 

Since I didn’t want to pay $100 dollars for a board that came in a cute pink felt, I wanted to try a DIY version. There were a few roadblocks and no, the board is NOT perfect, but I actually prefer that imperfect handcrafted look for some reason. Maybe it’s because I built something with my own two hands…and it required a saw. 

Anyway, here’s more about the project! 

Cost of the project:

To be frank, I don’t think I cut a lot of costs for this project, but that’s because I really wanted to use a vintage frame. You can find much cheaper frames at thrift stores and get good ones on sale at craft stores. 

  • 11″x14″ Vintage Frame -$22 (I supported a small local business so I wasn’t too upset about paying a lot for this frame.)
  • Felt – $6 
  • Dowels – $12
  • Quartet Letters – $17
  • Total Cost for a 11″x14″ board: (22 + 6 + 12 + 17 = $57)

There was actually a lot of felt and there were enough dowels left over to make another board. You could actually make two boards if you purchased another frame and another set of letters, which would make it far more cost effective. 

DIY Felt Letter Board

Here’s how to make it!

Supplies: 

  • Frame with about a 11″x14″ opening, or smaller. 
  • Felt in the color of your choice (I purchased 1 yard but didn’t use all of it)
  • Wooden Dowels ( I purchased 3/16″ x 36″ dowels and used a hacksaw to cut them down to size. It was pretty damn tedious, but I have enough dowels to make another board)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Hacksaw (depends on if your dowels are the right size)

Note: Select a frame based on how long the dowels you purchase can be. If you want to have a really large board, say 24″x32″, you’ll need to make sure you purchase a bunch of dowels that will fit! 

Directions:

If the dowels aren’t the perfect fit for your frame, saw all dowels to fit the opening of the frame from the back. I wanted my board to be vertical so I made sure all the dowels fit horizton

Make sure you have enough dowels to fit your board! Lay them over the frame. Since the felt takes up room, you won’t need to fill up the entire open area with dowels, but you should aim to cover 2/3 – 3/4 of the open area with dowels to be safe. 

Turn your frame over so the back side is up. Use the hot glue gun to glue the felt to the frame on the back of the frame at the bottom edge. Place a dowel over it and position it to to where you can see a sign of the dowel in the opening of the frame. Pull on the felt until it is taut against the dowel and make an accordion fold.  Glue in place. You’ll need to glue the dowels to the felt and the felt to the frame as you go. Keep repeating until at the end of the board. You’ll have to keep pulling the fabric taut and gluing. It’s difficult to explain but basically you’re sandwiching the dowels between the felt and gluing in place. 

Another approach you can take to build the board is to create a frame with the dowels that will fit within the dimensions of the opening of the frame. Then, place the dowel frame into the real frame.

It’s all complicated but basically just do what you’re comfortable with. This is by no means an easy project. It’s actually pretty tedious and frustrating but at the end of the day this board rocks. 

That’s it! You’re done! Put the letters in place and you’re good! 

DIY Felt Letter Board

For The Record: Your Basic Guide to Records and Record Players

crosley-record-player

Blame it on the hipsters if you want, but record players are having a moment. They’re easy to find at Target, Amazon, Urban Outfitters, and many other retailers with varying designs and technical components. There’s something out there for everyone between casual listeners and serious deejays.

Purchasing a record player: 

If you’re shopping for one, here are a few to take a look! A lot of these models are around $100 but can go up to $300.

What you’ll be using your record player for is pretty important when considering what kind of record player you’ll be purchasing. A Crosley “Cruiser” model, for example, is pretty much the base model record player. It’s inexpensive and gets the job done. However, many serious say the sound quality is lacking compared to other record players. If you’re looking for a decorative piece for your living room, sound quality may not be a high priority. But if you’re serious about listening to records, shop around and look for a model that suits your needs.

Be sure to also carefully look at the technical specifications of each record player. You may need special attachments or wires to do more advanced things with cheaper players.

I recently purchased a Crosley portable record player at Urban Outfitters, which I touched on in my last post. It’s inexpensive, cute, and is a great starter record player.

So you bought a record player and some vinyls. Now what?

record-store

Where to Purchase Records

The easiest place to start looking for records you know you want to add to your collection, like records from your favorite artists, is Amazon. Especially if you’re new to vinyls, don’t know how often you’ll be listening to music, or don’t want to buy music twice, Amazon is the way to go with their AutoRip albums. It’s my favorite way to purchase vinyls, knowing I’ll have the MP3 files too that I can burn to a CD and listen to in my car.  (Vinyls with AutoRip)

Local music stores should also carry a decent selection, although they may not always carry the most popular records. It’s a little more old school. You look at a record from a band you think you know and like and buy it. It’s a gamble, but it’s part of the fun! Locally, we like to go to Rasputin Music and check out their records. You might also spend a little more on records from local music stores, but c’mon–you’re supporting local businesses!

Vinyl Subscription Services are also out there, and there are actually quite a few to select from. This post from Turntable Kitchen lists a few, and my friends rave about VNYL, which gets you 3 brand new vinyls for $39/month.

Thrift stores, antique stores, and garage sales are other great places to find vinyls, but they make up a whole different arena. You’re likely going to find old, dirty vinyls, but trust me–there will be some diamonds in the rough. If you’re feeling adventurous, this might be a fun way to shop for vinyls. Do keep in mind that records from these places will be from a different era.

vinyl-collection

How to Take Care of Your Vinyls/Records (Basic Care)

Vinyls are sort of like big CDs. Handle them with care! Hold vinyls by the edge as much as possible. You don’t want dirt and grime from your finger settling into the grooves of the record.

Store your vinyls in a cool, dry place. It’s easy to pull out a record if they’re standing vertically on a shelf, and it’s also the safest way to store your records. Some say you can store them flat in their covers, and others say don’t, because the vinyls will warp.

Always put your vinyls back in their sleeves when you’re finished listening to them. This will help prevent dust from getting on your vinyls.

Over time, dirt and grime will set into the grooves of your records. Use a damp cloth to clean them. If that doesn’t suffice, use soap and water.

Carbon fiber brushes can help get dust off your records safely. This one is highly rated on Amazon.

There are many products out there to help you take care of your vinyls from special cleaning products to special brushes. In my opinion, buy that stuff if you feel like you really need to, or if the records are not getting clean enough. Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Cleaning can’t repair a damaged record, so keep your records in good condition!

For more info on cleaning your records, this post does a really good job of breaking it down for beginners! 

record-player

How to Take Care of Your Record Player (Basic Care)

If your record player has a cover, keep your record player covered when not in use.

Be gentle when dusting your record player. Use a microfiber cloth around delicate parts. Consider using compressed air instead, too.

The stylus (the part that touches the record while playing) will get dirty over time. When it needs to be cleaned, gently blow the dust off (like an old nintendo game cartridge), or use a soft paintbrush to gently remove dust from the stylus.

Well, those are pretty much the basics! Enjoy listening to your vinyls and starting your record collection!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Starting a Bullet Journal

How to Start a Bullet Journal
The whole idea of starting a bullet journal is something I’ve always wanted to do, but the idea of it also made me anxious. I’ve had “Research Bullet Journaling” sitting on my to do list for months now. There are so many productivity methods, management systems, organizational tools, and whatever the heck else out there, I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to take time to learn how to bullet journal if this was one of those productivity fads that I would eventually stop using.

Bullet journaling has been making a strong appearance for nearly two years, which proves that it’s working for a lot of people and it’s probably here to stay.

Cool! That means I’m ready to commit to trying something new! Except, there are so many resources out there and I don’t know where to start.

Well as someone who is still fairly new to the idea of bullet journaling, I can show you the ropes from a beginner’s perspective.

The only supplies you’ll need to start a bullet journal is a nice, durable notebook, and a pen. Optional supplies include a ruler and additional pens in multiple colors.

First Things First: 

The first place you have to visit is http://bulletjournal.com/. Watch the video and read the guide! It’s a great introduction to bullet journaling, but you will definitely have to watch the video and read the guide more than once. You will be confused at first–and that’s okay!

Index – Basically your table of contents. The title of each page and the page number should be listed here.

How to Start a Bullet Journal

6-month Calendar – Major events listed for the next 6 months. You can choose to cover a shorter or longer time period, but the example given in the bullet journal video is 6 months.

Monthly Calendar – Major events listed for the month

Monthly Tasks – Major tasks listed for the month

How to Start a Bullet Journal

Daily pages – Entries you do every day that can consist of anything you want! It could be anything from a heartfelt journal entry to a supersize to-do list. Whateva you want! The only thing is that you fill this out no more than one day ahead of time. Don’t set up a bunch of daily pages with the rest of your journal just yet. This will give you flexibility with how long your daily pages are and with adding in other logs, lists, or other notes you would like to reference.

How to Start a Bullet Journal

How to Start a Bullet Journal

Other than that, the pages you have are free reign! I have created a car maintenance log, a list of restaurants and bars I want to try, and a recipe for high-protein cookie dough!

Filling Out Your Journal:

Now what makes a bullet journal work is the code that categorizes each item you list. There’s a special symbol for everything. For example, a bullet point is a task, a circle is an event, a dash is a note, etc. Those are the only rules you need to follow. Almost all the symbols I use are the same as what are in the video, except I use the letter ‘e’ to denote “explore” instead of an eye.Basically when I doodle an eye, it looks like garbage. I think an ‘e’ is easier to write quickly and looks much neater.

How to Start a Bullet Journal

The flexibility of the bullet journaling system is what I love the most. Your daily posts could be half a page long, or it could be four pages long. You can write in whatever size you’d like, with whatever pens you’d like, however you like. Doodle on your pages, add in some positive affirmations to keep yourself on track…it’s up to you!

My “daily” entries turn out a little different every day, and I like that.

Well, here’s everything I’ve learned so far with my cool new bullet journal system!

The Cons of a Bullet Journal:

Bullet journaling isn’t an end-all solution to your productivity shortcomings, and I don’t want to play up bullet journaling to be something it’s not. So, I’m listing a few cons of bullet journaling for all the skeptics (I was one of you!!!) before I get to the pros.

There’s finite notebook space. You will have to move to another notebook at some point, and you will have to decide what pages to transfer to your new notebook.

You have to write everything down. You have to find a moment in your day to jot in your journal, which you might argue is a little more difficult to do than clicking away on your phone.

You have to keep up. This isn’t an automated system. If you want it to work, you have to put in the effort to update the index, add page numbers, and essentially make everything functional. It’s not an app.

The Pros of a Bullet Journal:

Flexible! – It’s flexible yet structured system gives you a couple of rules to work with and creative freedom. Start/Stop whenever you want. Take up as many pages as you want. Other than using the bullet journal key and other than the very basic setup you do when you first start your journal, you can do whatever you want! You do you, boo.

Old School – There’s nothing like writing down to do lists, grocery lists, or other notes in a notebook. Yes, we all may have become used to typing these things out, but let’s be real, it’s far better to write it out by hand. Aren’t there supposed to be mental benefits to writing vs. typing anyway? Also, you can update when the internet is out, when the battery on your phone is dead, when the battery on your computer is dead, etc. etc.

Records – These are journals, so if you keep them nice and organized, you could look back at them years ahead and reminisce! Of course, reminiscing is much nicer when you write down more than just simple tasks in your journal entires, so keep that in mind if you want to look back at your journals in the future.

Ideas on What to Add to Your Journal:

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Food Tracker / Water Log
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Recipes / Meal Plans
  • Bucket List
  • Vacation Planner
  • Personal Goals
  • Books You Want To Read
  • Birthday/Holiday Gift Ideas
  • Budget

Here’s what I have in my journal so far:

  • Car Maintenance Log
  • Restaurants and Bars I Want to Try
  • Recipe for High-Protein Cookie Dough
  • Post Ideas

I’m planning to add to my own:

  • High-Protein Meal Plan Ideas
  • TV Shows I Need to Watch
  • Online Purchase Tracker
  • Currently Monthly Subscriptions

Additional Resources:

Some people take bullet journaling to the next level with some really pretty lettering and doodling. I wish I had the artistic ability to make my journal look like a dream, but I’m content with being able to read my messy cursive-print writing. Here are some blogs and videos that are awesome that you should take a look at!

Boho Berry

The Bullet Journal Addict

Time To Get Focused (Tumblr)

 

There you have it! That’s your basic but comprehensive guide on starting a bullet journal!

Notebook is from Urban Outfitters, pens from Amazon, and Nutella Pop Tart from Niles Pie Company.

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