OCT
27
2009

How to make Wooden Letter Disks

Hi! I thought I’d do a post on how to make the bottle-cap letters since people keep asking me.

I want to say I wasn’t the initiator of this idea, I got it from Shannon at Tot School! I ended up using wooden disks from Michael’s instead of milk bottle caps as I didn’t have nearly enough! But you could use whatever you have around, this just worked for me!

First I printed off the letters. You can download my uppercase and lowercase letters here. My font is called Print Clearly so its more of a manuscript print than Shannon’s, she used Comic Sans, so use whatever you prefer.

I used a 1 3/8″ circle punch from Archiver’s to cut out my letters:

Then I ran them through the Xyron Sticker Maker. I then stuck them onto 1 1/2″ wooden disks from Michael’s.

I know some people Modge Podge the disks when done, but I didn’t and they seem to be holding up fine. Well, that’s it! Super easy and fun! Tip from the trenches: Make a couple copies of commonly used letters as some words contain more than one of the same letter, like cookie for example :)

Now go visit my alphabet ideas and have fun learning your letters!

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Comments

  1. That means I have to buy all those scrapbooking items! Do you think it would be ok to not "laminate" the bottle caps? Thanks for all the useful tips!Jenn Price

    • Christina Limin says:

      I think laminating is a good way to help prevent the cards or paper from getting wet, or worn out too quickly from constant use. If you don’t want to use laminate, I find good use in Large roles of clear cello tape (clear scotch packing tape), to use for smaller laminating projects. Its only because I can’t access a laminating machine or laminating sheets where we are. a laminator is a good investment that will help keep things clean as well, then if you have younger children, you can reuse the things that were laminated again instead of remaking them. you’ll save a bundle! :D

  2. I don't laminate the bottle caps themselves, just the page with the picture that they go on. I don't think the xyron sticker maker stuff would stick to the letters if they were laminated first. Some people modge podge the letter disks too instead of using the xyron.You probably don't have to laminate the picture card either if you don't want to.

  3. So when I used the punch to cut out the letters, I was running into the next letter. Any tips on how to get them as even as yours? I know I'm a dork and want everything to look pretty! LOL

  4. Hi, sorry, I actually cut the letters into strips then used the circle punch to cut them out. I re-made the file though and spread the letters out so its easier for everyone, sorry! Download the link again, hope this one works better. Let me know! Thanks!

  5. I just came across your blog (from a post on the Homeschool Share forum) and I have to say WOW! And THANK YOU! I have a pre-Ker, and I can hardly wait to start using some of your ideas! Thanks so much!

  6. yes, I should've finished reading instead of jumping into this! LOL. spray adhesive does not work! I will have to go dig out my sticker maker….thanks for posting how to do this.

  7. thank you for all your pre k posts! such great ideas!! I am going to start pre k with my daughter in jan.

  8. Would the letters hold up, if you just laminated them front and back and cut them out? Or would it be harder for little hands to pick them up?

  9. Culbertsons: I think they'd be okay, its not like they take super harsh treatment or anything, but it does make them a little hard to pick up.

  10. I laminated them and then cut them out. It would work fine unless you have a child who is a super perfectionist or in my case has autism and gets very frustrated when the letters slide around on the laminated picture so I'm heading to Hobby Lobby tonight to buy the wooden pieces. Love this site!!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this idea with us! I just made some tonight, so cute :)

  12. Just wanted to say I have recently found your site and LOVE it! Thank you so much for the great ideas to keep my preschoolers busy and learning at the same time. Also, just made some bottlecap letters. I found a set of poker chips and mod podge-ed them to the tops and they are working great. Just thought I'd share that they work nicely and can sometimes be found pretty cheap.

  13. I found letter discs already done at Michaels for the uppercase letters. They are next to the wooden discs.

  14. Do you use cardstock paper for the letters?

  15. Anonymous: Yes, I used cardstock paper for the letters.

  16. I am thinking about printing the letters and numbers directly onto 8 1/2 x 11 label paper. Delete a step. I hope it works.

  17. A faster and cheaper option (though not as cute) would be to just use a sharpie to write the numbers onto milk bottle caps.

  18. I printed these at 55% and laminated the sheet. Now I'm in the process of cutting them out and attaching them to self-sticking 3/4" magnets which I got at Wal-Mart. I am basically making magnetic letters instead of wooden letters. The dimensions no longer work for your printables, unless you resize those, too (always a possibility!), but I am coming up with some printables that will use the magnetic letters. Awesome idea!

  19. Did you make your own worksheets or did you find them somewhere? Thanks for sharing! I love the idea!

  20. Tiffany: THere is a worksheet for each letter in my Letter of the Week Curriculum. You can see them in the ABC & 123 drop down menu at the top of my blog, just click on any letter, there should be one for each!

  21. I didn’t want to use the ink to print the letters out, so I saved the white caps from my water bottles and wrote the letters on them with a Sharpie.

  22. FYI: I was just at Staples and found a package of plastic Counting Chips. They’re made by Learning Playground. There are 75 in the package (15 each of red, yellow, green, orange and blue). They were $3.29 in the Teacher Resource section. I’m planning on using these instead of the wood disks and also as counters, pattern chips, etc so they’re multi-functional!

  23. Love these! Have you ever considered using poker chips instead of the wood? You can get them in bigger bulk in a variety of colors. Just a thought. Also, have you ever considered doing something similar with sight words? Would love to see something of that nature as well!

  24. I’m trying to figure out where I went wrong with these. I purchased the 1 1/2″ wood discs, but when I put them on the page printed out from the LOTW curriculum, they were way too big and I couldn’t fit them on the printed circles where they were supposed to be placed on the spelling page. It would drive me CRAZY if I were the student trying to make the letters fit perfectly on the circles! Am I supposed to change print settings for the worksheets in the curriculum? What did I do wrong?

  25. Since I am on a really tight budget, instead of paying for the wooden discs (they aren’t as cheap as I thought they would be and every little bit adds up), I made mine out of play clay. I did not have to buy anything special as I had flour, salt and craft paint already so the cost was nominal. I rolled out the clay, cut out the circles, baked and then painted them. The letters were written with a Sharpie and I think I will seal them with a spray clear coat to make sure nothing rubs off. They seem very durable and it really only cost me my time.

  26. While that little gadget is pretty cool and honestly pretty inexpensive, I also wanted to share this solution:
    http://www.amazon.com/Avery-Self-Adhesive-Removable-Diameter-05410/dp/B00007LVE0/

    Avery has several different sizes of circle sticker pages, used with a template for Word or even OpenOffice (That’s free) to make the letter stickers that you could simply stick to the wooden chips or milk caps. It will save lots of time, and depending on where you get your items from, it might save money. As I write this, you get 600 circle stickers in that pack for $6.86. They are 1 inch and will look nice on 1.5 inch disks. Then, you have tons leftover to make “great job!” or whatnot stickers for rewards :)

    Another tip: Put the lowercase on the opposite side of the chip for the capital letters, and you won’t use as many wooden chips.

    Even easier and cheaper than sticker sheets: a sharpie will work just fine. There are even tons of pretty colors now. They even have shiny metallic ink now. If your penmanship is really so terrible, you can still do stickers over your original hand-written letters later!

    PS: I actually have a Dymo Labelwriter, which I orginally got half off with a groupon and also use for business that is awesome for making stickers, too!
    http://www.amazon.com/DYMO-LABELWRITER-Printer-1752264-Software/dp/B0027JBLV4/

  27. Andrea Fannin says:

    Just a thought…Couldn’t we just use magnet letters and have them place the correct letter on top of the letters in the picture?

    • Andrea Fannin says:

      I’m making them out of clay anyway, WHAT a cute idea!

    • I’ve thought about that too but it’s hard (well for me) to find lower case magnetic letters here in Jamaica; they’re all uppercase letters.

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