Easy Letter Separation Guide
Anybody who has used a felt letter board before knows that removing the letters from their plastic mould can be a pain, unless you know how to do it quickly and easily, without leaving little plastic nubs on the end. Fortunately, I do, aaand I'm going to tell you all my secrets.
Some people don't mind the plastic nubs! If you're one of those people, you probably don't need to read this! Go on your merry way.
If you're like me... They drive me NUTS... Read on!
I recommend settling down with a big flat surface, any tools you're going to use, and some nice coffee and Netflix while you're working on this.
There are several methods, using various tools. The first method I'll teach you involves only your hands, but I will also teach you a few other good methods using scissors and small wire cutters (which is the absolute best way). If you have wire cutters, skip ahead to #3!
1. The Pinch & Twist Method
This method involves your hands only. I use this method when wire cutters aren't available - especially for letters that are wide, like O, P, R, S, emoji, you get the idea. You can use this method for any of them though.
I will start off by saying that if you use this method for all of your letters, you should take breaks when you need to, because it will probably make your hands a little sore. If you don't have wire cutters, I recommend using this method only when needed, and using scissors for the rest.
Start by pinching the plastic connector with your non-dominant hand, as close to the letter as you can manage. If you have strong fingernails, use them. If you want, you can also use a small pair of craft pliers, like the ones shown here for this part, which will be easier on your hands.
Then simply use your dominant hand to twist the letter until it separates, making sure not to pull away as you twist, this can create a bigger "tail" of plastic than you will get otherwise.
You're thinking "Duh", right? But wait… I find that using regular scissors on the wide-bottomed letters works really badly because it leaves ugly plastic nubs sticking off the bottom! Use the scissors for the skinny letters only, like the I, A, N, M, W, etc.
Hold the letter (or a few at the same time, to make it quicker to do two in a row) in my non-dominant hand.
Then using the scissors in your dominant hand, take the scissors behind the plastic, and snip as close to the base of the letter as you can.
3. Wire cutters
These are an absolute must-have for anyone obsessed with felt boards, like myself.
You can buy them from any department stores with a craft section for a few dollars. They really make this process much easier and more fun!
This works much like the scissors technique, except you can use these on all of the characters and emoji, leaving no tail or nub whatsoever.
Hold the character (or a few at the same time, to make it quicker to do two in a row) in your non-dominant hand.
Then using your dominant hand, take the wire cutters behind the plastic, and snip as close to the base of the letter as you can.
4. The Devil
You might have seen these garbage little scissors advertised as a "feature" of many felt letter boards out there... When I was designing my product, I specifically DIDN'T include these because they are GARBAGE.
They should be melted down and tossed into the ocean as far as I'm concerned.
In all seriousness though, please don't use these. They suck. They pinch your fingers. Your teeth would probably work better.
If you see or come up with any other techniques, please let me know so that I can update this guide!
If this guide helped you, please let me know!