30 August 2009

big letter DIY

draw a big letter on a piece of paper, cut it out, trace it onto a piece of stiff cardboard, flip over the paper trace a mirror image on to another piece or stiff cardboard. cut out both.



find some bendable cardboard for the middle section.
tape it in between the stiffer cardboard cutouts, if you are doing curves or 'O's or 'S's the cardboard will need to bend around the curves.

Tear up small strips of newspaper and mix up some paste. You can use regular store-bought paste for the papier mache part or just mix some flour, water and salt (I use the latter with a bit of PVA glue mixed in). Dip a small newspaper strip in the paste and apply.
cover the entire cardboard contraption with at least two layers of papier mache, letting each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next one. for a smoother effect you can do the final layer with tissue paper
let it dry completely.
optional coat of texture paste or modelling compound (helps smooth things out)
then give it a light sanding with fine sand paper.
paint it!
try to use matte paint as anything too glossy will only accentuate all the lumps that you can't really avoid with paper mache.

VOILA!
hang it up or put it on a shelf!

This is a big "M" I made in 2004, no round bits, much easier. Still going strong.

23 comments:

a painter said...

Thanks for the tutorial. The letter M that you made looks great!

Kirby3131 said...

Via Folding Trees...

What a neat project. Thanks for the tutorial :)

Kristin - The Goat

Is@Hz said...

A mi también me ha gustado mucho y me gustaría ponerlo en práctica. A ver si tengo tiempo!
Me encantaría saber dibujar aunque fuera sólo un poquito como tú! Un saludo.

judy said...

Very nice! Thanks for the lesson. Beautiful letter!

Estazia said...

That looks great. I wanted to get wooden letters but my craft store only carries a beveled alphabet that is too small. Now I guess I will try to make own. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

this is awesome, thanks!!!!

Zan said...

thanks to everyone for the lovely comments :) much appreciated

charm said...

looks totally awesome!
thank you for the great idea :)

Let it Shine said...

Awesome idea, looks great!!

Vintage Dutch Girl said...

Ooo, good idea! I'm thinking a scrolly E for Lil Chick's room would look divine :)

Richardson's Randoms said...

Awesome Tutorial!!! Can I ask what font you used? I love the letters.
Thanks so much for sharing!
~Kimberly

Zan said...

font is "JF Ferrule"

cheers!

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me know if that's OK.

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

Jennifer DeDonato said...

this is wonderful...your z and m look great!

Katie @ Cheep Ideas said...

I am in love with these letters! I've added it to my Recycled Paper Crafts post today. Thanks for sharing!!

Me! said...

Love it! Especially the font too! Great Idea

Dina @ Honey & Fitz said...

Can you share what other fonts you considered for this project? I see a bunch of Z's in a sheet at the top and would love to know what else you looked at. The K in this font is awesome but some of the legs are really thin and I'm worried about it holding up structurally.

Zan said...

Dina, other fonts I considered were "Cast Iron", "Circus", "Romantiques", "Tropicana", "GungsuhChe" and "VTK No Name" ...Cheers ^-^ Z

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

thanks for this tips

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am certainly delighted to discover this. cool job!

Anonymous said...

Love the tutorial!! Loving the M but was wondering what font that came from?? Would like that for my daughters initial :)

Zan said...

I didn't use a font/template for the M, I drew half of it on a piece of paper, cut it out, then re-traced it on to cardboard then flipped the paper half over to make the other half of the M and traced it, so that it was symmetrical. Hope this makes sense