Paper Mache Letters Project

Last week, I mentioned Paper Source, a beautiful paper store with several locations in the area. With tons of pretty, covet-able products in stock that won't break the bank, paper stores are one of my favorite spots for little splurges. I rarely make it out of Paper Source without at least one goodie. On a visit a while back, I picked up three pretty paper mache letters/symbols. It seemed like a fun way to celebrate my relationship with Tal and decorate our shared home.

In true Kels fashion, I just used whatever felt right, trying out random techniques and materials to decorate the letters. As such, I can't really give you a comprehensive list of materials and instructions, but I'll include the basics. Besides, the whole point is to personalize it and to me, the fun of it is in trying whatever the heck you want!

General Materials
+ paper mache craft alphabet letters (available at Paper Source, $3.95 each)
+ Liquitex Gesso, white (I bought it at Michaels, but it's on super sale at Blick right now!)
+ Mod Podge, matte (available at Amazon and elsewhere)
+ various scrapbook papers (mostly purchased in 12x12 books at Michaels)
+ Liquitex Basics acrylic paints (available at Blick)
+ Jesse James buttons (available at Roadside Attractions - pink button assortment listed here, $2.39)
+ various Tim Holtz distress glitters, distress paints, and stencils (purchased on eBay)
+ Ranger ink blending tool (purchased on eBay)
+ Ranger Stickles glitter glue (purchased at Impress, $2.25 each)
+ E6000 glue (purchased on Amazon)
+ Loew Cornell 842 foam brush set, 1-inch (available at Amazon, $6.49 for 25)
+ various paintbrushes (I use the Princeton Series 3750 now, but just had random ones when I did this project)

If you have questions about anything specific you see, let me know and I'll see if I can track it down for you. Also thought I'd throw in this pic of the paper mache letters from Paper Source that didn't make it into last week's post.

Basic Instructions/Suggestions
1. Start with a color story in mind. I wanted pink and grey and I thought it would be cool to have the ampersand be a transition point. I gathered everything I might use that fit the color story - paints, scrapbook papers, and other embellishments in my chosen colors.

2. Use the foam brush for steps 2-4. Apply a layer of gesso (optional). Once that has dried, apply paint in whatever color(s)/pattern you want. They're 3D letters, so don't forget the sides and back!

3. After base paint colors have dried, add scrapbook paper patches next. I tore up pieces of scrapbook paper and used Mod Podge to attach them to the letters. I made sure to smooth out any bubbles that formed beneath the papers and let them dry.

4. Once the scrapbook paper patches were firmly attached, I sealed each paper with a layer of Mod Podge on top.

5. Add other embellishments! I did random paint splatters, added glitter embellishments, tried out distress paints with the ink blending tool, and used the E6000 glue to attach the buttons.

I had so much fun with this project and love how it turned out!

These would also make fun gifts! :) You could get letters that spell out something holiday-related and decorate them in a holiday color scheme, use them for wedding decor, or make a set for a friend. If you're making them as a gift, just keep in mind your friend's taste and the color scheme they decorate their home in!

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  1. Your finished initials are gorgeous! Thank-you for linking to me on your supply list. :)

    1. Thanks, Julie! No problem - I will share any future projects I use my cute buttons on with you as well!

  2. I really like how you made the & symbol ombre! And thanks for the comment on my blog.... you could totally hand cut all the pieces out to make the ice cream shaker, but the silhouette is much faster. Usually you can find a great price on Amazon in their online store isn't having a sale : )

    1. Thanks, Carrie! Yeah, I've had my eye on the Silhouette for a while... maybe someday I'll make it a reward to myself for something (business milestone, maybe)! :)

  3. wow i love this.


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