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3D Paper Mache Letter

cardboard letters diyIf 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.


  • 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.
  • This cardboard 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.
  • 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 to each other so they it will stand and not fall over.
  • When all of the glue is dry, masking tape is used to close the sides. as shown.
    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
  • 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.