DIY: Cork Alphabet Magnets

As I began imagining my dream nursery, I had BIG dreams: big cribs, big rockers, big rugs, art, teepees, toys…you name it.

I needed to pare things down in terms of size and variety. I had WAY too many ideas for my own good, let alone my square footage.

By the end, I needed three Pinterest boards to organize all the crazy ideas floating around for the nursery: Inspiring Little Ones (public), Nursery Inspiration (private – for Mom and I to share ALL the ideas), and My Nursery (private – for making sure the actual concepts/colors/purchases worked together).

One of my favorite pieces of nursery art was this simple graphic alphabet from a modern nursery blog. 03cb41c8c7af8277cdd2d0a0605925e2

Source: Spearmint Baby, Flatout Frankie

Knowing that I couldn’t realistically fit this into my nursery, I left this inspiration behind for another day and a bigger space.

But then, I came across this tiny cork alphabet for 3 DOLLARS at Michaels!


Source: Luscious and Lively (we had the same idea!)

It immediately reminded me of those colorful plastic magnets we all grew up with on our fridges. I remembered a Pinterest post that suggested spray painting the letters gold to make them more appealing to Moms (obviously the babies probably prefer them in bright colors, but sometimes Moms deserve a break from those harsh primary combos!). I put this idea in my toolbox for “someday when I have a garage to spray paint in” – but I knew that this was not happening in NYC.


Source: Inspired By Charm

Seeing the cork alphabet instantly made we want me to combine both alphabet inspirations into an alphabet for Kip!

I didn’t trust myself to “wing it” so I sketched out some ideas before I ruined the whole thing. (Good thing too – the first two rows of letters are horrible!).

IMG_2274aI picked up a bronze/gold and a white craft paint to complete my vision. Unfortunately, the metallic paint entirely disappeared on the cork so I didn’t use it after all.

Here is my final paint job!


When the letters were totally dry, I pulled out the leftover adhesive magnetic squares from my DIY Scrabble Magnets and cut them to fit the width of my letters.

IMG_2279a IMG_2280aIMG_2281a

And that’s all it took! The DIY Cork Alphabet Magnets are complete!


Although I LOVED the aesthetic of my final product, they didn’t entirely hold up for Kip’s future enjoyment.

Two super cute kiddos came over to crash test them and proved how lovable they are (one letter was so admired it got taken on a walk and dropped somewhere along the way. The S never made it back home), and how fragile they are (3 or 4 letters got ripped into pieces when my adorable niece couldn’t contain her excitement over their cuteness. Can you blame her?!). 

Admittedly, I realized they weren’t exactly “child-safe” when I saw how easily the cork could be bitten off and choked on. Whoopsie.

These are definitely more suitable for an older child, or an out-of-reach art piece. (Which is exactly what this etsy seller did with them here and here).

What I find aesthetically pleasing isn’t always best for baby. Lesson Learned.

 I still had a lot of fun creating them!

The only photos I got of them in their nursery glory are the partial shots below (on the corner of the HVAC unit!):



One thought on “DIY: Cork Alphabet Magnets

  1. Hi there from Coast to Coaster! Thanks for linking my work to this piece :). Love the look of your letters, and totally understand your disappointment that they weren’t exactly kid friendly – I initially did the same thing!!


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