Lightboxes are so popular at the moment. At just $22 (NZD) from Kmart, they are super affordable and add a touch of personalisation and fun to any nursery. Or living room. Or office. Or bedroom. Or anywhere!

When I purchased my lightbox from Kmart I was a little disappointed with the number of letters. The most annoying part was there was only one letter ‘b’!! I mean, come on – how am I meant to write cute, witty phrases with only one ‘b’? But instead of buying another set of letters (which I haven’t actually seen at my local Kmart) I decided to make my own custom, D.I.Y. lightbox letters. It is way easier than you think!

D.I.Y Kmart Lightbox Letters |

Step 1:

I went hunting for overhead projector sheets (remember those?) Of course I couldn’t find them – turns out no one uses them any more, ha ha. So instead I picked up these clear (avoid frosted) plastic binding covers from Warehouse Stationery (around $12 NZD for a pack of 25). I chose the medium protection as opposed to the thicker, heavy protection as I wanted to be sure they would go through the printer ok.

Clear Plastic Binding Covers |

Step 2:

I created a Microsoft Word document with the letters and images I wanted to print. You could do this in many different ways however this is what worked for me:

  1. I first created a table with 8 rows and 4 columns and set the row height at 6.5cm. This was to ensure that the letters are were the perfect height to slide in to the Kmart Lightbox.
  2. I made the borders of the table a light grey so that I had lines to use for cutting but I didn’t want thick black borders around the letters.
  3. I entered a letter in each of the cells of the table. Some letters were wider than others so some cells I needed to merge to ensure they weren’t cut off. I centred the letters vertically and horizontally and made them as large as possible without having to increase the row height.

FYI – the font I used was FFF Tusj Bold. If you want to print these exact letters you can use my D.I.Y. light box letters document here.

Light Box Letters in a Word document table |

Step 3:

Printing! I used a HP Deskjet 2540 – yip, a very budget home printer.

My tips for printing:

  • DO NOT USE A LASER PRINTER! These get way too hot and you will end up with a melted mess wrapped around one of the rollers. I may or may not be speaking from experience…
  • Feed one sheet at a time. The sheets are very statically charged and stick together.
  • DO NOT TOUCH THE INK ONCE PRINTED. I know it is tempting but because you are printing on plastic, the ink is not absorbed like it is with normal paper so you will end up with a smeared mess and ink all over your fingers. Handle the sheets very carefully by the corners.
  • Leave the sheets somewhere safe and out of the way for at least 48 hours. Maybe longer. These things take FOREVER to dry!

Step 4:

I cut each letter out carefully. I found the easiest method was to put the printed sheet on a plain white piece of paper so that I could see the faint borders of the table then use a steel ruler and a craft knife. I like the Fiskars Finger Tip Swivel Knife.

Cutting out the custom lightbox letters |

Et voilà! Your very own custom made, D.I.Y. lightbox letters! And you don’t have to stop at letters. You can create images, logos, symbols – anything you can imagine.

DIY Lightbox Letters for Kmart Light box |

Just a few last notes:

  • I found that thick black or bold lines don’t print well. The font I chose above worked well because it has a distressed quality.
  • Light colours don’t show up well at all.

I would love to see your lightbox creations! Tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can check them out 🙂

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