Project #8: Decorative Letters


Football season is upon us! My beloved Michigan State Spartans kick off the season tonight against Boise State. So, I decided my office needed a little more Spartan spirit (though, I’ll admit, it was already pretty spirited to begin with.) These letters are actually quite easy to make, but the project involves a lot of steps. You could spell out a little girl’s name in cute pink and purple, or “NOEL” in a Christmas design. Be creative, have fun! But don’t use my idea to make any damn Wolverine stuff.

Whatcha Need: Materials for this one are relatively cheap.  I say relatively becuase if you’re crafty, you already have some of them.  You’ll need the paper maiche letters (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for about $2.50 each… which is why my windowsill now says Go State instead of Go Spartans,) scrapbook paper of your choice, a stamp ink pad, an exacto knife, craft acrylic paint in your choice of color, a cheap foam brush, and modge podge.

First, paint the letters using the acrylic and foam brush. This is just so the original brown doesn’t show when they’re displayed.  No need to be Rembrandt here… just apply a medium coat using even strokes.  Make sure you get the top and sides of each letter.  Once it is painted and dried (should dry quickly), cut a piece of the scrabpbook paper to slightly larger than the width of your letter.  Feel free to protect your $99 dining room table with the ads you never look at and would otherwise just throw away.


Next, using the Modge Podge, glue the BACK side of the paper to the FRONT of your letter.  Most of my letters looked the same from front and back, but that E sure would have looked weird backwards.  Unless you’re a big Eminiem fan… then maybe a backwards E is cool.  Make sure the modge podge dries completely before you move onto the next step.


The next step is probably the hardest one, and it’s not even that hard.  Using an exacto knife, cut around the edges of your letter to trim the paper to the proper shape.  Don’t worry about it being completely perfect – we’re going to fancy up the edges a little later.  Crafty Tip: the sharper the blade on your exacto, the better.  Also, try to use a lot of T’s in your project because they’re super easy to cut.  The S and G, not so much.

Your finished cutout should look something like this:

As you can see, the edges aren’t perfect.  But, as promised, it’s time to make them fancy! Run your stamp ink pad along the edges to give them a finished/distressed look.  You may need to use an inky finger to get to some of the curves and inside edges.  I made these last night and there are still traces of ink on my index finger.  Looks sweet.

Your distressed edges should look something like this:

Last but not least, modge podge the hell out of the front to seal and add shine.  I used 5 coats – letting each coat try for about 15 minutes.  Follow the instructions on the modge podge bottle.  It’s not hard.  Just be sure to use even brushstrokes, because they will show a little bit up close.

You’re Done! Perch your letters in your office window so everyone knows just who you’re cheering for this college football season!


3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Halloween Idea « grahamcrafter

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