Classroom Decor,  Teaching Tips

Fancying Up Your Bulletin Board Letters

I know you’ve seen them on your social media feeds.  And I know you are thinking, these are adorable but I don’t have a cricut® and I am not going to buy a cricut® and so I will never be able to make these beautiful bulletin board letters.  And then you hang your head and think about all the other things that you don’t have in your life, like a Ford Mustang convertible, an Instapot, a private jet and Tieks.  (I really want a pair of Tieks).

(Disclosure: Some of links below are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)

Well, you can just leave that pity party you are throwing yourself now, sit up straight and read on because I have got you covered on making your own letters and you don’t need a cricut®.  But you do need:

  • A computer/laptop running PowerPoint (or probably KeyNote – I don’t use it, but I think it is similar).  Microsoft Word isn’t going to cut it.
  • A printer
  • Scissors
  • Craft Knife (I like this X-acto knife because it has a good grip, and therefore more controllable, and it is distinguishable from my pens, i.e., I am not going to grab it by mistake.  And if I did it’s got a solid safety lid.)
  • A black sharpie
  • Fonts you love
  • All the time in the world (I think I hear Louis somewhere), or at least a set amount of undisturbed time
  • Heaps of patience

(Really though, they are not difficult at all to make once you get the hang of them.  Cutting is the worst part)

Find your font and install

The fonts you have installed on your computer are probably not the ones you want for your bulletin boards.  You want yours to be kooky and beautiful, so you are going to need to find some to install on your computer.  The first font I am using in this tutorial is from Hello Literacy fonts on Teachers Pay Teachers and is called Hello Texas.  (You will need to download all her fonts in one zip and select Hello Texas or whatever other font you want to use).  I love Hello Literacy fonts for a number of reasons – but most importantly for you, her fonts are available free for download for personal use only.  That means that as long as you are not planning to make anything to sell you can use her fonts in your classroom.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to read the Terms of Use that each font designer writes.  Here is Jen’s from Hello Literacy:

Terms of Use: You may use my Hello fonts for personal or classroom use, non-commercial and non-profit use only, as long as you don’t sell what you have made. You may also use Hello fonts in your free items on TpT if you give me credit and a link to my font page (www.jenjonesfonts.com) on your acknowledgement page (I’ve included clip art for this in the download). Please do not give away my fonts away as is, or include them as raw .ttf files in one of your product bundles. Please do not share or email my font files, but direct your font loving friends to this page where they can download them for themselves. 

I think that is pretty awesome, and so if you do decide to use her fonts for this project, go ahead and make sure you show some love by leaving feedback.  I have a commercial license for this font (and for many more) as I use them in my product creation (you can check out my store here).


Growth mindset bulletin board decor – click here to buy

Before we get started:

I always like to have a paper reference guide next to me instead of switching from window to window on a laptop.  If you are like me, then I have created a quick reference guide for you to download when you join our newsletter.  We never spam you, send freebies directly to your inbox and you will receive exclusive access to our resource library – for free!

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    Directions:

    1. Choose your font.  Download, and install your font.  I am not going to go into details on how to do that, because every computer and operating system is different.  One tip I have found helpful is not to have any applications open other than your browser.  Install the font and then open PowerPoint.  If PowerPoint (or any other MS Office) product is already open you won’t be able to find the new font.  If that happens, close everything down and then open up PowerPoint.  It should be there.
    2. Get rid of any text boxes that are lurking around on the slide – to do that just click the edge of the box and delete on your keyboard.
    Blank slide
  • Create a text box.  To do this click on the icon with a black A on it.  (On my Mac PowerPoint from way-back-when it is under the Home header.  It maybe somewhere else on yours.)
  • Insert text box
  • An ‘A’ with a cursor appears – click, hold and drag to make a text box.  Try and put it in the left hand corner.  You can always move it later.
  • Text box on the slide
  • Go to ‘Font’ and hit the drop down arrow.  (If you can’t see ‘Font’ on your home screen, try the formatting tab).  Search for your newly installed font.
  • Search for your installed font
  • Type the first letter you need.


  • With the box still selected (just click the box edge) go up to the small box next to the font you chose.  You are going to click on that number and it will turn blue.  Type 550 into the box

     

  • Change the fonts size

    and hit enter

    At this point you can play around with the size.  I wanted to fit two letters to a piece of landscape letter paper, so 550 worked for me.  Using a different font will require a different size.  If you want even bigger letters, you could work with a slide in portrait mode.  I stuck with landscape mode because many of my letters were actually wider than they were tall.



    click here to check out these fun crafts



    You can see here that my B is hanging off the page.  Click the letter to make the box reappear and then click and drag so that the letter is on the page.

    Move the letter so that it sits within the page margins
  • Now we want to format the font so that the inside is white and it has a thick black outline.  Making sure your letter is highlighted go to the formatting tool – mine is on the top toolbar in purple.  Click on that and find the underlined ‘A’ with the word ‘fill’ next to it.  Click on the dropdown arrow and select white.  And your letter will disappear!  Don’t panic!
  • Fill Formatting
  • With the letter still selected, go the underlined ‘A’ with the word ‘line’ next to it.  Click on the dropdown arrow and select black.  Hey presto!  Your outlined letter reappears!
  • This outline is a bit too skinny for my cutting skills so I want to make it thicker.  Again, make sure the text box is highlighted by clicking on it.  Go back to the ‘A’ with the word ‘line’ next to it.  Click the dropdown arrow and go down to ‘weights’ and then click across to another dropdown menu.  Select ‘6’.
  • Heavier outline
  • Continue making other letters in the same way until you have your heading.  Depending on the size of your font you may be able to get more than one letter on a piece of paper as I have here.
  • Add letters to your slide
  • You can see here that my letters are hanging off the page.  Panic not, just click on the box on the outside of the letter and drag it as close to the edge without cutting off the letter.  Do that with each letter.
  • Move the text boxes around so that they fit
  • Print on bright paper and cut out letters.
  • That’s it!  You have made your first letters.  If you are looking for a fancier, curlier take-that-teachers-of-instagram font (I know that’s what you want, that’s what EVERYONE wants), I like ‘Coffee Mug’ from A Perfect Blend on Tpt.  You will need to pay for this font.  It is curly and beautiful and thick and chunky – just what you need to make your bulletin board letters pop!  Oh, and I hope you are signed up to receive my emails and blog alerts for when new posts are published.  Both are at the bottom of the page.

    I will be making letters for our ocean/pirate themed classroom – check out this FREE octopus and these fan circles that I made earlier this summer in preparation.

    Until next time!

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