Scary Scrabble

My brother decorated his house with a ‘Scary Scrabble’ theme for Halloween. (He lives on a really intense street — they close it to cars for Halloween and through a block party.) I decided to make him some large scrabble pieces for his front yard.

I went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest 4’x8′ sheet of something that I could. It turned out to be tempered hardwood. Aiming for 1’x1′ scrabble pieces, that would get me 32 pieces!IMG_3991

I had the fine folk at Home Depot cut it for me into the 32 pieces, which does not take nearly as long as you would think. Then I picked up a can of ivory and a can of black spray paint.IMG_3995

At work I lasercut some letter stencils. I used old cardboard boxes. I picked the most commonly used letters in Scrabble – the vowels, and then N, R, T, L, S, D, G, B, C, M.

Then I got to work, mostly at night in my backyard with a headlamp on a bunch of brown paper bags (to protect the grass). First I spray painted all the squares ivory, which took way longer and way more spray paint than I expected. Every new can of ivory spray paint I bought was worse than the last–it would cover worse and last for fewer squares. I guess there might be something to buying brand name spray paint. I was mostly buying stuff from hardware stores for the outdoors, but artist spray paint might have been better. I ended up using three cans. I let them all dry over night.IMG_3996Then I went to spray paint the letters in black with my stencils. It looked really bad — the lines were very blurry and I wasn’t happy with it. I decided to still use the stencils but instead paint in them with acrylic paint and a small paint brush. This took a little longer but gave me really clean lines and allowed me to do it inside, which afforded me the comfort of warmth and light and television.

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Spray paint versus paintbrush quality.

After hours and hours I had a LOT of scrabble pieces…

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And then the final product….

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People loved it! Throughout the night we started to build words in front, like SCREAM and RUN and CALL. Tons of young kids would stop by for several minutes trying to read all the words. At the end of the night we rearranged everything so it said NO MORE CANDIES (we didn’t have a Y.)

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