A sweet friend recently asked me about making 'scrabble tiles' with their family names. It took several tries to get them just like I wanted them to, but I think it's a success. The wood was a 4 x 4 post sliced into about a million 5/8 inch thick pieces. I sanded them smooth but after sealing with a water based sealer, the grain opened up and was roughed up again. I re-sanded and then used an oil based sealer and that was just what was needed. They really soaked up the sealer - ( probably because of the end grain) but the grain sure looks pretty. I cut the letters and the tiny numbers out of card stock with my silhouette and glued them down using a little Mod Podge and then coated them with another couple of coats of sealer.
http://www.remodelaholic.com I am not very good at following directions :} so I probably could have saved myself some time if I had read them again when I got ready to actually start these.