Easy-to-Make Magnetic Letters for Kids

Make ABC magnet letters (and symbols!) using recycled cardboard. These durable, pretty, fabric-covered letters are perfect for home, school or car trips.

Cardboard is an easy-to-come-by material, and it works really well as a base for handmade magnetic letters. It’s lightweight, easy to work with, and endlessly customizable. In addition to making your own ABCs, get creative with other symbols such as hearts, stars or even a number sign (#) to appeal to everyone, especially that hashtag-loving preschooler. Great for home, for school, and for the car (bring along a baking sheet as your play surface). Hands-on play, every way, every day!

Make HAPPY magnet letters the easy way using cardboard and fabric.

How to Make Cardboard ABC Magnet Letters

Make HAPPY magnet letters the easy way using cardboard and fabric.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Gather These Materials:

  • scissors
  • utility blade and cutting surface
  • magnetic tape

Cardboard is great for this project because it’s lightweight yet durable, and easy to come by. If you don’t have access to a single flat sheet of cardboard, consider recycling cereal boxes, or other packaging straight out of your pantry. This is as good of a time as any to point out that you don’t have to cover the cardboard with pretty fabric – you can also let the kids finger paint on it, glue layers of colorful paper, go absolutely wild with glitter, whatever you're feeling! It’s your project, have fun with it.

If you’re using fabric like I did, trim the material to a size that overhangs the cardboard, and coat the cardboard with spray adhesive. Lay the fabric on top, and smooth it out. Let it dry (preferably outside and preferably overnight so that the smell of the adhesive can dissipate).

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

How to Make ABC Magnet Letters

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

If you want a blocky typeface, use this free download to make it easy. But if you have a different font in mind, lay out your A-B-Cs in a word processor, adjust the type size so they measure 2”-4” high, and save the file as a PDF. Before you print, flip the orientation of the file so that the type reads in reverse – you’ll need to do this if you intend on gluing or taping the ABCs to the backside of the cardboard sheet so that the fabric side.

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

How to Make ABC Magnet Letters

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Following the outline of each letter, use scissors to trim the cardboard. Use a utility blade to cut the centers out of letters. Create duplicates of letters that your kids will get more use of, such as letters in their name or vowels.

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

How to Make ABC Magnet Letters

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Individual magnets can be glued to each letter, but adhesive-backed magnet tape is a faster alternative.

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

How to Make ABC Magnet Letters

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

The cardboard is so lightweight that it won’t take much to keep these magnets attached to your fridge/cabinet/magnet craft center. Let the kids play and learn!

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

How to Make ABC Magnet Letters

Use cardboard and fabric to make pretty ABC magnet letters.

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Next Up

DIY Musical Instruments for Kids and At-Home Concert Ideas

Get imaginative with rhythm and sound and create homemade instruments with your kids.

Project for Kids: Friendly Foam Decor

Create a hanging mobile or a storybook world out of foamy creatures, tissue paper and glitter.

Project for Kids: Tween Party Room

Create personalized name art to hang in your room.

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Chalk Spray for Instant Summer Fun

This is one summer project your kids will actually want to do.

Break a Leg! DIY Doorway Puppet Theater

Give your kids a taste of the spotlight without leaving home.

Kid-Friendly Craft Project: Tissue Paper Transfer Art

Kids of all ages will enjoy creating mesmerizing works of art as they experiment with this unique "bleeding" tissue paper.

Washable Crayon T-Shirts for Kids

Help kids create t-shirts they can color again and again after every washing.

Masquerade Masks Made for Kids

What is a circus without some flair? Learn to create a papier-mache mask for your follies.

How to Grow Glittering Crystal Geodes in Eggshells

Part craft project and part science experiment, this hands-on crystal-growing activity will fascinate your kids.

Science for Kids: 2 Ways to Make a Cloud in a Jar

Amaze your kids while teaching them how clouds form in the atmosphere with this easy experiment.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.