I was perusing Not Martha a while back and she was talking about a company called graypants, which specializes in products made from recycled cardboard. While that is totally cool and I am behind that all the way (someday I will make/buy these gorgeous scraplights), what struck me about this in particular was graypants’ company sign. It was the company name, carved out of several sheets of stacked cardboard. My first thought was that is so nifty. My second thought was I can do that.
So I did. With my nieces’ names. I get these sheets of cardboard stuffed into some of my book orders at work as packing material, so they were a good (and lightweight and small, thereby mailable) surface to work on.
First I picked fonts to work with. They had to be easy enough to cut out of cardboard, but also with enough difference in them to sort of semi-express my nieces’ very different personalities. Hard to do in a font.
I printed the names, in their respective fonts, out and from that created a stencil on card stock for each. This was easily done by flipping the name over and tracing it in pencil on the back.
And then flipping it onto the card stock and tracing it again on the front.
Which left a faint pencil outline for me to cut.
Then I got to work. Tracing the outline of the name twice onto each cardboard sheet, I carefully cut it out with an Xacto knife and some very small scissors.
This is definitely the most time-consuming part of the whole thing, and is tricky if you’re working with large or dull scissors. I regretted my choice of that G early in the game, but kept going because it looked good.
I made each name ten layers thick, and glued the layers of each letter together with Mod Podge, which I think is my new favourite substance.
Then I took some acrylic craft paint and coloured in the sides of the thing, just for visual interest.
And then I painted the surface of the letters in a slightly different colour, mostly to hide my accidents when I failed to colour inside the lines.
Then I glued all the letters to each other, in the way that they best fit in terms of a glue-to-surface ratio. I used hot glue to stick the letters to each other, just for security.
I left off hanging materials, because I’m not sure what the girls will want to do with them and so I wanted to give them some leeway.
But I think they turned out rather well. The girls can put them on their bedroom door, their wall, or their desk — whatever they want!