Monday, June 18, 2012

Making Materials - Sandpaper Letters

I've been studying the Montessori method in a lot more detail lately, and have found that in learning why the materials are made in the way they are, and how they work has made me really really want them all!

Unfortunately, I can't quite stretch to the £3000 for the complete nursery package. I did break down and buy a few things on ebay (mostly over half-price) like the knobbed cylinders and some number beads which worked out as too difficult and too expensive to make myself. I have been busy making other things, though!

I have completed a set of lower-case sandpaper letters. I chose a cursive script as the letters are used train the hand movements for writing and I don't think that waiting to teach cursive helps with handwriting skills at all, as this forces the child to re-learn a skill they thought they had already mastered.

I used this template for the letters, but reduced the joining tails considerably - if you watch this video, the instructor says to remove the tails completely, but I had already made my letter by the time I saw it and wasn't about to start again!

First I cut out the template letters and stuck them upside-down on the back of my sandpaper.

Template mounted ready for cutting.

Then I cut out the letters. I used a craft knife for the holes, but found that it was easier to cut out the letter shapes with scissors.

Sandpaper letters waiting to be mounted.

Finally, I mounted them on card. I didn't have any blue or pink, and was too lazy to paint them, so all the letters are on white. I may re-mount them at a later date, or add a blue/pink border, but I'm happy with them for now.

Finished sandpaper letters.

Linking up to Montessori Mondays


  1. I love that you're making Montessori materials, Ali! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and added your link to my DIY Sandpaper Letters post at

  2. Great idea and your letters look great! I'm currently looking into making sandpaper letters for my daughter (in Russian). I read in your blog your son speaks Russian as well - would you know where I can get a Russian letters template?

  3. As soon as I find a suitable template (or make one myself) I'll be making a set of Russian letters for Nikki. When I make them, I'll post whatever template I use :)

    1. Ali, did you ever find a Russian/Cyrillic letter template?

    2. No, I was going to freehand them but we ended up buying some magnetic letters instead :)

  4. What kind of glue did you use to mount them?

  5. Could you kindly tell me what is the cost of the letters? If for sale? And how much it would the shipment?