DIY: magnetic alphabets

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My D.I.Y. Tutorial for March 3rd is Alphabet Magnets in FUN colors! When toy shopping, I often get tired of looking at toys and decor in the same predictable colors – primary colors for boys/gender neutral toys and pink & purple for girls.

I’ve been working on a few other DIY projects and wanted to find some alphabet magnets to somewhat match, but all I was finding was primary colors or rainbow ones… So my “Plan B” was to make my own alphabet magnets. I started poking around looking for places I could buy a wood alphabet set to paint and put magnets on… but a lot of the alphabets I saw were either 1″ or several inches too big to practically put magnets on… I didn’t want small letters (choking hazard!) and I was also concerned about the possibility of the magnets coming off of homemade ones – which could also present a choking hazard… So one day, while killing time in TJ Maxx/Home Goods while waiting for a bus I happened to come across these Melissa and Doug Magnets for $7!

I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the standard red/yellow/green/blue colors but I got them anyway since the font was a good one for learning letters! Then a day or two later I had my “ah ha! moment” as I was working on another DIY project…. These magnets are wood! why not  repaint them the colors I dream of alphabet magnets in!?!  And that is how “Plan C”for how to make alphabet magnets happened!


  • Sandpaper
  • Non-toxic Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Spray-on Clear Sealer

First I sanded the colors down with sandpaper – to help the paint stick better.

Then I picked a bunch of colors I liked. Since the set came with both upper and lower case letters, I thought it might be fun to do the upper case letters in darker versions of a color and lowercase in a lighter version to help Sophie differentiate between them! – Plus it adds even more color!

After they were all painted, I used spray on clear sealer to add a little shine and help protect the paint!


  1. d says

    love these. I am trying to paint these same letters but the paint keeps chipping off when i scrape my nail to it. which paint did you use

    • crystal says

      did you sand them down first? I used Valspar paint samples, then sealed with a clear sealant and have had no issues with paint scratching!

  2. Mel says

    Would you sell this set to me? These are the colors of her playroom and I don’t really have the time to paint and I love love them! :) Please let me know. Thanks!