We love doing art as a family and upcycling something like cardboard into art is just so artsy fartsy that we decided to bring that phrase to life in the form of dope 3D cardboard lettering!
Here are the supplies and tools needed to bring whatever phrase you fancy to life:
- corrugated cardboard (we used an old box)
- box cutter – with new blades!
- long straight edge like a metal ruler
- cutting board
- A dual temp glue gun (with glue obviously)
First, sketch out whatever phrase you’d like onto a flat piece of cardboard. Just be sure the letters are mostly, if not all connected.
(If you aren’t comfortable free handing it, no sweat! Print out your phrase in the font you want, cut out the letters, arrange them so they are touching, and then tape the letters together to create a stencil.)
After you’ve got the letters looking the way you want, place your cardboard on your cutting-board and cut out your letters with the box cutter. Use only brand new blades. They are safer as you cut because you will not need to force it through the cardboard. A new blade will also give you a good clean line. Try to keep the cut “square” by keeping the blade perpendicular to the cardboard. If your blade is leaning then you are making a beveled or angled cut. Those are handy cuts but not in a project like this. Don’t worry about getting the curves completely perfect with the box cutter the first time. You can always clean up the edges when it’s cut all the way out.
At this point, you should have your letters all connected in a 2D format like this.
Next, you’re going to take more corrugated cardboard and cut it into strips. These width of these strips will determine the depth of your 3D lettering. We used 2 inch strips for this project and cut them “across the grain” of the cardboard. Meaning – we cut across the corrugated lines instead of along them. This allows you to easily bend and fold that cardboard to fit around the outside edge of your lettering (shown below), and hot glue them into place. We used a dual temp glue gun on the cool setting so that the parts cooled quicker and held sooner with less burns. Lol.
All gluing should be done from the backside of the art, on the inside of the letter while the lettering is flat to the cutting board. This keeps the glue from showing and the lettering to remain completely flat during construction.
In order to keep the structural integrity of your lettering, glue the edges of the disconnected cardboard strips together after they’re glued to your 2D font.
On this particular set of words we needed to be careful to complete the middle sections of the lettering first (shown below). It would be difficult to get the glue gun into the middle of the project if we started from the outside. Continue gluing and checking your progress as you go.
And BAM! You’ve got a cute, “artsy fartsy” piece of decor that can hang on your wall or just stand on it’s own.