Monday, July 22, 2013

Alphabet Inchies

I have been wanting to pull this together for some time....a full set of alphabet inches.

For this set I tried to relate the material or technique back to the letter.

A full set could be a year long project at school.

Or you could focus on names or a single word.

Or you can just do one letter to feature in another project like an art journal page.

Hint: if you keep a stash of extra painted inches you can crank out a letter in no time.

Now I'm not going to show you the "how to" for all 26.....that would probably put you to sleep, just some of my favourites.

One thing I have learned in the last 11 years of teaching art is always make extra of everything!

So when I cut inchies I cut lots.

The ones I used for the alphabet inchies are 2"x2".  Other good sizes are 3"x3" and even 4"x4".

The A is for alcohol (not for drinking) and assemblage.

Alcohol does cool things to paint.  It can be watercolour, tempera, or acrylic as long as it is still wet.

I use an eyedropper or pipette but you can also drop from a paintbrush. Just add a small drop here and there.

E is for eggshell.

Collect some eggshells.  Give them a wash, dry and store in an old egg carton.

At Easter time buy extra egg dye.  I keep my Pysanky dye all year round.  It is amazing on coffee filters, tissue paper, canvas, and regular paper.

Dye your eggshells and then using Mod Podge create a mosaic. (more details on how to do this HERE)

When dry cut out letter.

F is for foam.

This is my favourite way to use craft make a stamp.

Cut pieces out pieces of foam and stick to a piece of cardboard.  Remember whatever you stamp will be backwards.

Using paint or stamp pad print your stamp.  I like to do a test on a scrap piece of paper.  I also find that my 2nd print is usually the best.

G is for glue resist.

Draw a design with white school glue.  Let dry and then paint over.

K is for kraft paper.

Crumpled kraft paper has such great texture.  To highlight this I added some paint with a Kleenex (another K), just burnishing it on lightly.

S is for splatter.  Check out this post for my splatter technique.

X is for xylography.  OK I know this isn't a true xylograph which is usually a woodcut print but there are not too many X art techniques.

Using scratch foam or a foam plate or meat tray, etch in a design with a blunt pencil, coat with some paint and then make a print.

More details on this technique HERE.

I hope I have inspired you to give some alphabet inchies a try.

See you soon.


  1. This is one of the best things I have ever located via Gail, this site is amazing! I am a grade school teacher with 24 yrs. experience. Have been assigned grade 5 after 14 years in grade 8. Your website's going to enable me to put my art class worries away. The techniques are marvelous and I love that there's room for the kids to make choices and be creative on their own. THANK YOU so much! -Shirley

  2. this is great...i already know many of these techniques. this coming school year i will schooling my grandson in 3rd grade. it's nice to have a place to go for some projects. thanks!

  3. I ADORE this! I love how you find simple supplies and turn them into a beautiful finish.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  4. Oh, I could have LOTS of fun with these, and I like the idea of having plenty on hand for art-journaling purposes... or for ANY arts and crafting purposes, really! Thanks for sharing the various techniques! ~tina

  5. This is really creative! Thanks for the inspiration this morning!

  6. I love your inchies! We'll definitely be using these this year. I promise I wouldn't fall asleep if you just sent out a list of what you did with the other letters! :)

  7. I've done lettering in journals but I love adding the texture element here!

  8. I am interested in working with my class to create this project. Would you mind sharing the other letters and techniques? I love the texture and fun ideas for each letter. VERY creative!

    1. You can find the 'how to' for the rest of the alphabet inchies here:

    2. That page is no longer there. Could you email me the rest of the instructions. Truly an amazing project!!!

    3. Hey Anonymous,
      I just checked and the link still works:
      You can also go to the blog archive in my right sidebar, July is open and you can see the other post, just click on it and it will take you to the post.