As the name implies, chipboard letters are alphabetic characters made out of chipboard. Chipboard letters are typically used in arts-and-crafts projects like scrapbooking, but can be applied in a wide variety of crafts that require raised, adhesive lettering. Their versatility in style and function make them a go-to tool for hobbyists looking for an inexpensive and bold way to letter projects and surfaces.
Chipboard letters can come in an array of different styles and colors, though the two most common are plain white and natural brown. Decorating plain chipboard letters can be a fun project in and of itself and many hobbyists approach decorating plain chipboard letters like a painter would a blank canvas. Types of decoration are only limited to the hobbyist's imagination. Textured paper, paint, stamps, ribbon, felt, stickers, markers and card stock are often used on chipboard letters to make them unique, give them a personal feel and express an individual's personality.
One of the easiest ways to spruce up plain letters is to cover them with colored card stock or patterned paper. To achieve this, hobbyists begin by adhering a chipboard letter upside down on the paper. Then a pencil is used to trace the letter. Afterward, a cutting blade cuts the letter away and trims excess paper from the letter's small nooks and curved edges. Finishing touches are added when the letter's edges are sanded down to achieve smoothness and a professional look and feel.
While many arts-and-crafts lovers may consider decorating chipboard letters an important part of the arts-and-crafts experience, pre-decorated letters can also be purchased from stores. Hobbyists may opt to buy embellished letters like those that have been embossed or customized for special or professional projects. Though these letters are more expensive, they can save a hobbyist an enormous amount of time and help them focus on the bigger project at hand.
Those interested in unlimited supplies of chipboard letters may consider making their own. They can be easily manufactured in the comfort of one's home using a plain, thin chipboard sheet and printouts of letters as stencils. This is a particularly economical activity for hobbyists who require extra large letters or letters in a specific font. Special hand-held, home sanding tools can be used to smooth the rough edges of the freshly cut letter and help the letter look as if it were professionally made and bought at a store.