Summer and Emma gave their Papa a 3D cardboard letter K for his birthday (K for Kayo!). We worked on it the week before and it was made from scratch. You can actually buy them in gift shops and craft stores pretty easily, specially online, but I decided it would be a great idea to make our own. It’s inexpensive, more personal and, as I discovered, quite easy! It’s also a fun activity to do with the kids.
There are three phases to make your cardboard letter: First is making the actual cardboard letter, second is covering it with paper mache and third is painting and decorating it, which is the fun part where I let my two toddlers get involved.
- Cutter and metal ruler
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Masking tape
- Newspaper or brown paper bags (Not in photo)
- White glue
- Small basin (Not in photo)
- Poster paint (Optional, not in photo)
PHASE 1: Cardboard Letter
1. From your cardboard box, cut out your letter and make two identical pieces. I just drew the outline of my letter straight onto the cardboard, but I suggest, if you plan to make several to form a name or word, you should first print out your letters on paper using the font you like, cut them out and trace them onto the cardboard for consistency. I made mine approximately nine inches tall.
2. Cut out long strips of cardboard using the same width as your ruler, which is generally an inch and a half.
10. Pretty much anything goes in this final phase. After painting the whole letter with a base color of your choice and letting it dry, you may use many different things to decorate it. You may doodle on it using Sharpies. You may wrap it in washi tape, magazine cut outs or gift wrapping paper. You may also cover it in ribbon, beads or pom poms. For the one I made, I took out some poster paint and let my kids color it the way they wanted. They absolutely enjoyed doing so.
Our DIY 3D cardboard letter K turned out to be a great gift and Kayo really appreciated the effort we put into making it for him. He placed it on his shelf in the bedroom so it will always remind him if his creative and adorable daughters.