Decorative Cardboard Letters: Baby Shower Decorations

Idea:
My friend Dina is expecting her first child and her Bridesmaids and I are showering her with love! We had four weeks to get the decorations ready and went minimal and chic to make it on time.

I love letters and fonts. I will take any chance I can to make them and now that I had the time, I took a stab at creating decorative cardboard letters. The challenge: finding the right size and font letters. Michael’s and JoAnn’s carry at least one set of wood or paper mache letters ready to decorate but never have they carried letters in a font, size and price that really appealed to me.

Inspiration:
Jennifer Jones photographed the most adorable Vintage Lamb Themed Baby Shower and the cardboard letters used in the shower is probably the best execution of yarn-wrapped cardboard letters I’ve seen.

Ingredients & Investment:

What I love about this project is that I already had all the materials I needed for this project except for the yarn.  Yarn is fairly inexpensive and I needed it for two other yarn-based decorations I planned for the baby shower anyway.

  • Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
  • Mod Podge
  • Tissue Paper
  • Font of preference
  • Printer
  • Printer Paper
  • Knife: I LOVE the OLFA Utility Knife my sister handed down to me.  She regularly used it for all types of materials during her FIT Interior Design undergraduate days.
  • Cutting Board: Another hand-me-down from my sister.  She gave me two different sizes of the Alvin cutting mat.  Both get used for almost every project.
  • Yarn
  • Time
    • Cut cardboard into 4 Letters: ~20 minutes each
    • Assemble letters: ~15 minutes each
    • Wrap letters in tissue paper: ~1 hr each
    • Wrap letters in yarn: ~1 hr each

Instructions:

I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel so I searched the web and curated the best instructions by Serendipity Child for making cardboard letters from scratch.

I made a few tweaks along the way:

  • I wanted to make sure all parts of the letters were no thinner than 1/2″ but also didn’t want a chunky font.  So I picked a serif font and used Silhouette Studio to offset the letters until I achieved the desired 8.5″ tall letter.
  • I don’t have an eye for proper proportioning so I printed the letters, taped the letter to the cardboard and cut using the printed “stencil”.  Because the letters, at a height of 8.5″ were wider than the 8.5″ paper, I printed the same letter on the same sheet twice.  One print captured the majority of the letter.  The second print captured the remainder of the letter.  Once I got the majority of the letter cut, I moved it over to trace the remainder.  It’s hard to explain but I have a photo below with an example of the letter “A”.
  • Serendipity Child used gummed tape, PVA glue and tissue paper to wrap her letters.  As I said before, because I was wrapping the letters in yarn, I skipped the gummed tape step (also because I didn’t want buy gummed tape because I didn’t have it on hand) and substituted PVA with Mod Podge to affix the tissue paper to the letters.
  • Yarn wrapping serif font isn’t easy.  It was mostly trial and error but I found Let Birds Fly’s advice to ‘wrap in the direction you would write them’ helpful.

Images:

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