Thursday, December 29, 2011

DIY Cardboard Letter

I wanted to make a gift for my very good family friends, but wanted to make something they can use year-round, not just for Christmas. I decided that since I’m obsessed with letters right now, I’d make them a letter for their last name that they can hang on the wall. Here is how you can make your own!
What you will need:
-Cardboard Box (you will need to use one that is tall enough for the size of letter you want)
-Box Cutter Knife
-Glue (I used E-6000 glue for holding the cardboard pieces together, and Elmer’s for putting the paper on)
-Paper (a base paper that you will cover the letter with, and pretty paper to decorate it with)

I started with the side of a cardboard box. I drew the letter on using a ruler to make all the lines equal width. If you’re not good with freehand, check out this site for large printable letters. Just remember to scale them to size before printing :)


After outlining, I cut the ‘P’ out. One layer is simply not thick enough though, so I traced the first cutout and cut out two more. So all together I have three layers. I used the heavy duty glue first (E-6000). I put a little on both pieces and waited about two minutes for it to become tacky, then pressed them together. I had to hold them in place for a few minutes. I did the same thing for the third layer.


It’s important to cover all the raw sides so that the pretty paper will lie flat and smooth later. I started on the back of the "’P’ just because it’s the straightest and easiest part! Then I did the bottom, and the second straight side. Getting all the easy parts done first can save a lot of time later so you don’t accidentally bump or move the harder part and have to start over!
After the inner glue was dry, I started covering the letter with the base paper. I used the leftover Christmas wrapping paper I had. It’s just Kraft paper I bought for about $2 at Fred Meyer! I measured the length, and made it wide enough for 1/2in. to fold over the sides on both the front and back. MAKE SURE YOU CUT THE PAPER AN EXTRA INCH WIDER THAN THE DEPTH OF YOUR LETTER. It can always be too wide, but if it’s too small, you’re just out of luck!


The curved part of the letter is a little more of a challenge. You almost need three hands! I started by measuring out a piece of paper that was long enough to stretch the entire length of the curve, and wide enough to allow 1/2in. on either side that you will fold down.
Start by cutting small (1/2in.) slits on both sides down the entire length of the paper strip- making them approximately 1/2in. apart . Once  you are done with the cutting, it’s time to glue! I found it was easier to start with one line of glue down the middle of the paper (lengthwise). Press the paper all the way around the curve so middle holds while you’re gluing the sides down. *You may have to hold it for a few minutes to give the glue a chance to take hold and harden*
Once that glue is dry, draw a line of glue around the edge of the letter where you will lay all the little flaps down (It’s much easier to put the glue on the letter than on the paper itself). Start pressing the flaps down, and once they are firmly in place on one side, complete the same process on the opposite side.

The inside cutout curve was done the exact same way, but instead of overlapping, the folds spread away from one another.


Once the base paper is dry and all in place around the edges, you can start making your letter lovely! I chose to use old book pages for my pretty paper. I ripped and tore them because I like the raw edge look, and I just plain love using old book pages for everything (like ornaments and present labels)! I would love to make one and use some old  buttons or paper flowers to decorate it and make it a little more fancy!

And here is the finished project!


Merry Christmas Pimentel Family!

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