Cool StuffCraftGraphic DesignMePaper CraftTypographyMy Type of Decor โ€“ DIY 3D Letters

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I’ve had this post drafted since May but today I can finally share it with the world!

The reason it’s been under wraps is because I had planned to make 3D letters as housewarming presents for my housemates but obviously I didn’t want to spoil the surprise so I’ve kept it hush hush. Yesterday was the first day that all housemates were together in our new house (and also Danielle‘s birthday – Happy Birthday!) so I was able to finally give them!

I made 5 letters; b for Bobbins, h for Helen, a for Amy, d for Danielle and n for Natasha(because I like ns better than ts)

They are all lowercase Helvetica(controversial?) letters made from cardboard, masking tape, paper mache and wallpaper. It took me 3 days to make all 5 and I burnt my finger with my glue gun quite badly so I don’t have a fingerprint on that finger atm haha But I like to think it was worth it…?

Here’s a few pictures I took to document the process…

I printed out letters in the size I wanted them and then drew round the templates onto corrugated cardboard. I then cut out two of each letter…

To make the letter 3D I placed some card in between the two corrugated card cut outs…

… and then covered them in masking tape to make it more of a solid shape.

Next up was getting messy with the paper mache mix – 1 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt and water. Add some newspaper strips and it was a sloppy mess!

After they were all dried and a lot more solid I set about covering them in wallpaper which I got samples of from B&Q haha…

I burnt my finger when making Amy’s a! ๐Ÿ™

And finally the finished letters:

It was good fun and these are something that you can’t buy anywhere else (mainly because they aren’t perfect – not consistent widths and some lean to different sides haha) so they’re all one of a kind!

The guys seem happy with their letters andย now I have another n to add to my collection…

What do you think – Impressed? Inspired to have a go at making your own?

14 comments

  • Sapphire

    09/08/2011 at 10:06 pm

    Love the blue lamp. . . Where can I get one ?

    Reply

  • Creative Cowell

    10/08/2011 at 9:38 am

    Loved it, thank you!

    Reply

  • lestaret

    12/08/2011 at 8:35 pm

    Oh, go one then, I’ll send you a poster for your new house! email me your address…

    Chris

    Reply

  • Gareth

    27/10/2011 at 9:39 am

    Absolutely brilliant – been trying to find how to do this to make something special for my wife’s birthday – thanks
    Gareth
    X

    Reply

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  • Scritch

    30/08/2012 at 6:14 pm

    pretty darn impressed. i’ve NEVER invested so much energy in a flatmate’s gift – except one time i did a drawing. but that was it

    Reply

  • Jennifer Nichole Wells

    16/05/2013 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. I thought you might like to know that I used this idea to hand-build letters for an image for a book cover I designed (http://jennifernicholewells.com/2013/05/16/the-rebirth/). Without you I wouldn’t have thought to make the letters myself and out of cardboard at that.

    Reply

  • Stacy Renee

    07/08/2013 at 6:08 pm

    Where can we get the lettering to print if we don’t have Word to do them ourselves?

    Reply

  • Jennifer Nichole Wells

    29/08/2013 at 7:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Jennifer Nichole Wells and commented:
    This tutorial helped me come up with the idea to build my own letters for the cover of The Rebirth (http://jennifernicholewells.com/2013/05/16/the-rebirth/). Maybe it will help you with something too! Thanks again graphiquefantastique.

    Reply

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  • robert cornell

    30/07/2015 at 2:58 pm

    You inspired me to make a 5 and a 0 for my wife’s 50th Birthday. I’d like to paint a design on the numbers instead of using wallpaper. Should I just paint over the paper mache part with acrylic paint or do you suggest something different?

    Reply

    • Natasha Nuttall

      03/08/2015 at 10:10 am

      Thanks for stopping by Robert and I’m glad that my tutorial helped you! Yes, I’m sure that acrylic paint will cover the paper mache just fine. Hope your wife likes your creation – Happy 50th Birthday to her! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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ยฉ Natasha Nuttall | February 2020

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