How does it work? I make the first letter of your child's name with their name on the letter:
This is such a popular and unique concept and yet simple and straight-forward to make. It is a little bit fiddly and if you are like me, your hands will get a bit dirty, but they can be fun to make. So here is a step-by-step tutorial with pictures on how to make your own personalized letter:
What you will need:
- Papier Mache letter - in Australia, I buy mine from Spotlight, but similar letters can be purchased from any number of craft stores including the Hobby Lobby or Joann.
- Colorful paper - there are some beautiful gift wrapping papers out there which work really well. I also use vectors which I can match to my customer's decor and print off myself.
- Mod Podge - this like a decoupage/glue sealant that I use as an adhesive and sealant for protection. If you know a similar product then you are welcome to try it. I use the matte.
- Acrylic Paint - in the colors of your choice.
- Craft Letter Stickers - I use foam alphabet stickers that are actually intended for children's crafts. You can get something similar at any craft store.
- Standard crafting supplies - scissors, pencil, ruler, paint brushes, fine sand-paper etc
The first step is to paint your letter in the color of your choice.
TIP - I find it works best if you pick a color from your patterned paper so that it is coordinated. If there are any bumps on the papier mache use a fine grade sand-paper to gently sand them back first:
Paint both sides and once it is dry you can attach your paper to the sides. I use Mod Podge for this (although I am sure you could use any crafting glue).
TIP - apply the Mod Podge to the side of the letter then attach the paper, don't be tempted to put the glue on the paper first (otherwise it will curl up and be harder to manage):
Once you have attached the paper to all the sides, allow it to dry. Once it is dry I then seal the whole thing (over the paper sides and painted faces) with Mod Podge. This protects it, stops the paper peeling away over time and gives it a nice finish. Mod Podge goes on milky, but dries clear so don't be concerned by this (I was a little bit the first time!). Just make sure it is smooth and consistent, then allow it to dry:
Once the Mod Podge is dry, you are ready to attach your letters for the name. Peel off the backing first (if there is one) and glue it on.
TIP - even though the letters I use are stickers, I secure them on firmly using a PVA glue.
TIP - These types of foam letters come in a range of colors, but if yours don't match the color scheme that you have chosen, you can paint them in advance using acrylic paint. This can be a little fiddly so if you can get away with the letters as-is then I encourage you to do so. I do paint the foam letters most of the time, to get the best color match.
I then paint the foam letters with Mod Podge for extra protection but this is not necessary unless you want to.
Here are some examples of the finished product, your options are endless:
Or you can add embellishments, as well as or instead of the name:
I sell them with a small 'A' hook at the back but don't find it necessary for the ones that I have used in my own home. As they are very light, I adhere them to the wall with Blu Tak (removable adhesive putty).
These are a fantastic gift idea for:
- Baby Showers
- Kids Birthdays
- Naming Days
- Christmas etc
I have even used them for ABC letters in the kid's playroom: