OHHH this was such a fun project! I have been seeing others make the Scrabble Tile Wall Art and couldn’t wait to design one for my own walls. These are so much fun and I can’t wait to see what you design too.
STEP 1: GET THE SCRABBLE WALL ART DESIGN
You can get my free Scrabble Wall Art SVG design file #270 from my free resource library (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this page. Here is what my Scrabble Wall Art design file will look like when you upload it to the Cricut Design Space:
Tip: If you are not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to the Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you are on an iPad or iPhone, here is how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE DESIGN FOR CUTTING
One of the very first things you will want to do before you cut the design, is to decide how much wall space you have to work with, and then how you want to lay out your words so they fit within that space. I knew my wall art had to fit in a space approximately 30 W x 30 H. Of course you can design your layout manually on paper, but I also found a great website (https://crosswordhobbyist.com/) that is an awesome tool in not only getting one layout, but also variations of that layout.
To use the tool, first enter all the words you want to use in your layout in the Auto Arrange column. You only need to enter them in the word column. We will not use the Clue column.
Press the Arrange button to see the auto generated layout in the grid on the right of the screen.
If you are not fond of that arrangement, you can click the un-arrange button and your words will go back into the Auto Arrange column where you can click the Arrange button again and most times see another variation. I have also found that if you are not seeing the variations you would like, if you re-enter your words in a different order in the Auto Arrange column and click arrange you will get new layouts as well.
Just play with the tool and you will certainly find variations that you may not have thought of! Once I chose a layout, I had to make sure that layout was going to fit in my space. To determine the width, I looked at my longest word. It was 8 letters. I multiplied 8 x 3 (each tile is 3 inches square) and found that my arrangement would be 24 inches wide. To determine the height based on the layout I chose, I counted the number of tiles and blank spaces from the top to the bottom of the layout, which was 9. I multiplied 9 x3 (each tile is 3 inches square) and found that my arrangement would be 27 inches in height. So, my wall art of 24 W x 27 H will fit nicely in the space that I have chosen to place it.
I have designed the Scrabble Wall Art cutting file to fit the 3 inch x 3 inch tiles used in the materials list above. If you are using larger tiles, you will need to change the tile size to the size of your purchased tiles. To change the size of the tiles, I would recommend that you ungroup the design, select the letters you will not be needing for your scrabble wall art and delete them. I would then select each of the remaining letters individually and change the size of each tile to whatever your purchased tile size is.
If you are using the 3 x3 tiles, simply ungroup the design by clicking on the Ungroup button at the top of the Layers panel. I found it easiest to lay my Scrabble Tile Wall Art design out on the Design Space canvas to assure I was cutting all the necessary letters. I laid out the design just as it was seen on the grid of the tool used above. Any letter tiles that I needed more than one instance of, I just duplicated those tiles and put them in place on the screen. To duplicate a tile, right click on it and select duplicate from the drop down menu. Your duplicated tile will display on the canvas and you can place it where you need it in your layout. Once the design is laid out on the canvas, the next step is to click the Make It button.
Review the preview mat screen. Just remember that the preview screen will NOT look like your canvas and you won’t want it to as that would be a huge waste of vinyl. Click continue and click on Browse Materials to find and select vinyl as your material to cut. Place a piece of vinyl (your choice of color) on a Cricut Standard Grip Mat (green mat), shiny side up. Load the mat into into your machine and press the flashing button to cut.
STEP 3: SCRABBLE WALL ART ASSEMBLY
I decided to not stain or paint my wood tiles. I liked how they looked right out of the package. However, you may decide to paint or stain yours whatever color you choose. If painting or staining your tiles, be sure to allow plenty of drying time before attempting to place your letters on the tiles.
Once the design is cut, weed the vinyl by removing the weeding box around each letter and the middles of any letters.
I used Cricut Standard Grip Transfer Tape to transfer the vinyl to the tiles. I found that by cutting my transfer tape to the same size as my tiles, I was able to always have my vinyl placed in the center of the tile. Cut your transfer tape to fit the size of your tiles, I cut mine 3 x 3 as that was the size of my tiles. Remove the backing paper from the transfer tape.
Line up the transfer tape within one of the weeded tiles, lay it down and burnish the transfer tape to the vinyl using a scraper. Flip over your sheet of vinyl and remove the vinyl from the paper backing.
Apply the vinyl to the tile, burnish the vinyl to the wood using a scraper and remove the transfer tape.
I followed this process and finished all the tiles for my Scrabble Tile Wall Art. At this point, you could arrange your tiles on your wall as single tiles. However, I wanted to hang my Scrabble Tile Wall Art as one piece and not worry about the spacing, alignment etc that comes with putting one tile at a time on the wall.
To do this, I began by putting my longest word together first and build from there. So I started with my name, Jennifer. I first put the tiles face up on my workspace in the order that they needed to be in. Then I flipped each tile over by grabbing them at the top and flipping them over towards me. I used a straight edge to assure the tiles were all lined up evenly. Once I was sure of their position, I laid a piece of 1 1/2 inch masking tape across the middle of all the tiles. This step serves two purposes. First, the tape holds all pieces together BEFORE I glue them together. Second, by taping first, I am able to flip my tiles over to make sure all the tiles are positioned correctly before I glue them as it is easy to have a letter upside down.
Once taped, I can pick up my tiles and see if I need to make any adjustments as I found it was easy to place a letter upside down or not in line with other tiles.
Just having the tape on the back of the tiles is not enough to keep them together for hanging so I decided to cut strips of balsa wood to adhere to the backs for more stability. I cut my strips of balsa wood about 1 1/2 inches wide. Why not the size of the tiles you ask? Because in order to connect all the tiles, you need space on each tile to place the balsa wood strip. I cut my strips using my Cricut Portable Trimmer at 1 1/2 inches wide. The trimmer may not cut all the way through the balsa wood, however it does score the balsa wood well enough that you only need to bend it to snap it apart after cutting. You may have some pieces of balsa wood left over from cutting that are not the 1 1/2 inches wide and they are just fine to use as well. I try not to waste much material.
Determine placement of your balsa wood strips. I always made sure that I did not end a piece of balsa wood at the end of a tile (unless it was the end of the word of course). Having the balsa wood span the tile seams adds to the stability. Place a strip of hot glue along the masking tape on the back of your tiles. Place down your strip of balsa wood on the hot glue and press in place, trying to keep the wood centered as much as possible to the tile.
Once I had my first word assembled, I began to add on to my Scrabble Tile Wall Art following all the steps above. I lined up all the tiles where they needed to be, taped them together, flipped them over to check for accuracy and then added the balsa wood backing for support.
Once I was done, I needed to determine how I was going to hang my Scrabble Wall Art on the wall. I decided to use sawtooth picture hangers to aid in hanging. Because my tiles are on the thin side, I had to be careful not to hammer the picture hangers through the tiles. I glued an extra piece of balsa wood on the back of where I was going to place a hanger. This gave me the thickness I needed for the hanger to be securely attached to the Scrabble Tile Wall Art and not have the hanger come through the front of the tile.
This project was so much fun and I love how it turned out! I can’t wait to see what you create.
STEP 4: SHOW IT OFF!
I’d love to see what you did with the Scrabble Tile Wall Art design. If you make one, please share a photo in our Facebook group, or email it to me at [email protected], or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.