Friday, April 22, 2011

3D Letters

Have you seen all the fabulous letters popping up in interior design in the past several years?  I have always loved them, but did not love the price tag!  Anyway, I was in a fabric store a few months ago and came across these fabulous paper maché letters in several different sizes and a few different fonts.  Yeah- something I could afford and make look great!  I bought a D and B, which are our youngest son’s initials and my original idea was to overlap them above his crib.  When I got home, I put them up on the mantle so they wouldn’t get destroyed (with 4 boys one can never be too careful)!  They sat there for a few days, and I decided the B needed to stay there.  Then came the fun part- decorating them!  I wanted to make them look like slightly rusted metal letters, like they came from an old business sign.  First I painted them black- and only had to use one coat of paint, score!:
Then took and old sponge and ripped it unevenly (a sea sponge would work great, but if I have to go buy additional stuff to do a project- it never gets done!)  Then I took a little bit of bronze craft paint and lightly sponged the edges, and then went over it with a bit of gold craft paint here and there.  If you add too much, you can always go back over it with a bit of black paint:
The finished letter:

Loved it for the B that was going above the mantle!  But, then decided the D looked a bit too sophisticated for an almost 2 year olds room….  My vision for his room is a fun car theme that can grow with him, and I had seen these fabulous pieces of art made out of old license plates that I wanted to somehow incorporate.  So, I thought why not cover the D in license plates!  I looked on eBay for old plates and *gasp* $$$!!!  So paper maché it was.  I went online and found photographs of plates that I could use- making sure they were photographed straight on.  Then blew up the pictures to life size (about 12” long) and printed them out on plain paper our home printer.  If you do not have long paper, which I of course did not, you can print it on two pieces of paper and then cut them out and carefully glue them together.  Most of them you will not need to glue together as one side is usually long enough to wrap around the letter.
Then I took a black colored pencil and made the shadows more pronounced on them to give them more depth, and used a white colored pencil to sharpen the highlights just a little bit in order to add to the trompe l’oeil impression.   Though they would still look great without this step!

Next, I laid them out and used good old fashioned modge podge and a paint brush to glue them on.  On the rounded corners, you will need to make slits in the paper to get them to lay flat.  I made the slits and trimmed them before gluing them down to make things less messy:
After they were all in place, I painted an extra layer of modge podge over the top to seal it- with the added bonus of it making everything a little bit shiny!  Tada!:
Here is a close up:
This could work with family photos, or scrapbook paper, or material, or little trinkets, or a combination of all of those!  If you create one, please post a link to your picture- I’d love to see what you come up with!