3D Paper Mache Letter

3D paper mache letterIf you like those cool 3D paper mache letters seen at Pottery Barn, but not crazy about the price, make your own. With a little cardboard, cups and paper mache you can create your own and recycle some materials too.
• Corrugated cardboard, about two 12″ squares for each letter
• Styrofoam cups
• White glue
• Masking tape
• Paper mache
• Acrylic paint
PREP: Prepare mache, see recipe below.
1. My son’s letter is about 9″ tall. Start by drawing a big block letter on corrugated cardboard and cut out. Trace a second letter and cut it out also.
2. Use styrofoam or similar cups and cut at least 5 to the same height. Glue them to one side of the letters. When dry add glue to the edges of the cups, and in effect make a sandwich with the second letter. Make sure the letters are aligned so that it will stand.
3. When all of the glue is dry, masking tape is used to close the sides. as shown.
4. Mix up a batch of paper-mache and cover the entire letter with several layers of paper strips. If you really want a sturdy letter, have another mache session and let dry for at least a day.4. Paint the letter with acrylic paint. I’ve found it best to paint the background first and then come back the following day to add details. When finished, paint with Mod Podge to add polish and protection for the paint.
Paper Mache Recipe
1 cups all-purpose flour
4 cups cold water
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
In a bowl, combine the flour and cold water. Add to the saucepan of boiling water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let it cool and thicken before using.






11 Responses

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  2. Anonymous

    Great easy tutorial! I’m going to use this for a few monogram items for our wedding!

  3. Anonymous


    I’ve trawled the internet for days on end trying to find a cost effective way to create 3d lettering and your guide is absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for this, it’s an ingenius and brilliant way to create them!

  4. Anonymous

    love your website… i a artist 2 and ilove your site because icould find anything i need 🙂

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  7. Kathy Barbro

    Hi Char,
    As I recall, I did not give any stencils and deeply regretted it. Some kids made really skinny letters and had to do it over. Fat stencils that are at least the width of any cups you are going to use, are definitely the way to go.

  8. Char

    Did you provide a stencil for students to trace or did they design their own letters?


    Thanks for sharing the JoAnn Fabric’s tip – I didn’t know they had letters too. I also saw some fabric covered letters at Anthropologie, which I didn’t have the budget for…but I sure am considering copying!

  10. labelleavenue

    My kids love painting letters. If there are parents or teachers short on time you can also pick unpainted paper mache letter at JoAnn Fabris. They are fairly cheap $8-$3 and even cheaper if you pick them up on sale like we did.
    I love all the idea you share.

  11. christine

    Hi Kathy. I have been an art teacher (preschool through eigth grade) for the past thirteen years. I was very lucky and found your blog trough a search. THANKS SO MUCH. You have fun, neat, beautiful, and great art projects. I will be using some of them in my new school year.
    I will be back many, many, more times.
    God Bless, Christine

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