Tutorial + How-to

Published on September 26th, 2011 | by Julie Finn


Five Handmade Alphabets that You Can Craft from Recycled, Upcycled, or Natural Materials

foam stamps and other crafting tools can be used to create a handmade alphabet

When I transitioned my girls to homeschooling, I looked into buying them the same moveable alphabet set that they had both loved so much in their Montessori classroom. I found a set online, made in China out of plastic, quite expensive, and ready to ship to me across the country.


If you’re not crafty you still have choices, of course you could price an even more expensive wooden alphabet and ask your local toy store to special-order it for you, or shop on etsy for a handmade version, still shipped cross-country but made in the U.S., but if you’re crafty, then why not simply make your own alphabet?

Whether you have a child who’s learning her letters, or you simply recognize the decorative potential of a lovely font, a handmade alphabet can be simple to make out of a wide variety of eco-friendly materials. If your green crafting ethic prefers upcycling, or if you choose to use only natural materials, read on for a variety of ways to craft your own handmade letters.

rock alphabet tutorial from MomtasticWondering what to do with that extensive collection of smooth rocks that you’ve collected on your daily hikes, or that bucket full of big clamshells that you gathered on your last beachside vacation? If so, check out this hand-painted rock alphabet and tutorial from Susan Phillips of Momtastic, created freehand with acrylic paints and black Sharpie and then glazed. Make the full set, or just spell out your name and leave it on the coffee table for guests to unscramble.

[Image from Momtastic, used with permission]

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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