CREATE Paper Mache Letter Fun – Part 1

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Explore several ways to decorate paper mache letters and spell CREATE in rainbow colors. Today’s posting will cover ways to embellish the C-R-E of CREATE with the Red – Orange – Yellow colors of the rainbow.

Decorating paper mache alphabet letters has been a DIY trend for awhile now. Pinterest is loaded with creative ideas for ways to embellish them. So, when I started working at CreateForLess this summer and found some 8″ paper mache letters to spell CREATE, I was inspired to try my hand. I decided to use the colors of the rainbow R-O-Y-G-B-I-V (minus the indigo) and cover the lower 2/3 of each letter with a method representing different popular crafts. Another design element was to choose monochromatic colors with low to medium contrast (especially no whites).

Painting the Letters

Paint choice was easy. The six rainbow colors needed were found in our paint supplies shown above – the gorgeous Color Shift colors are on the bottom shelf on the right. The rich metallic luster shifts color in changing light.

Using a foam brush, I painted the back of the letter first and then usually two coats on the front (yellow took four). A handy paint drying rack was devised using a 2″ x 12″ x 28″ FloraCraft Smooth Foam Sheet and some toothpicks.

Red “C”

For the red “C”, I chose to decoupage tissue paper and cardstock to the paper mache letter.

Here are the supplies I used:

I was inspired by a blog from found on Pinterest using decoupaged tissue paper to achieve a lovely transparency effect on paper mache letters.

Squares of the papers were glued to the letter with a toothpick – cardstock on the bottom and tissue paper on the side. The Mod Podge I grabbed turned out to be the Sparkle version, so another design element was added – glitter!

While not a complete “Pinterest fail”, the transparency effect of the tissue paper was lost on the red background. Still, it does meet my other design criteria and represents decoupage and paper crafts including scrapbooking and card making.

Orange “R”

The next letter in CREATE is the “R” and the next rainbow color is orange. Since I had collected some orange scraps of fabrics for another project, I decided to do something fabric and quilting related for this letter. After considering miniature piecing with small squares, I chose to do English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexagons with 1/2″ hexagon paper pieces (refers to the length of one side).

Here are the supplies I used:

After punching a small hole in the paper (optional step), I placed the paper piece on the wrong side of the fabric and trimmed – 3/8″ worked well. The fabric was folded over the paper, one side at a time, sewn with a basting stitch, and repeated for all sides. Since I did not sew through the paper, the threads can stay in place when the paper is removed.

Holding two pieces right sides together and carefully aligned, I whip stitched along the edge, securing with a knot at the beginning and end (and in between occasionally). A knot is made by taking the needle through the thread loop and pulling. I used monofilament thread (unusual but works for me) but an orange thread is what most people would use.

Ideally, the stitches do not show from the front, so stitches should be small, catching only the edge of the fabric, and close to each other.

I continued sewing EPP pieces together until I had two shapes that would cover the area needed on the lower 2/3 of the R. I removed the paper pieces by inserting a small steel crochet hook in the hole, hooking the paper edge, and pulling gently. The paper pieces can be reused.

When the paint was dry, I glued the EPP sections to the painted paper mache letter.

An extra hexagon was glued on so it appears to be floating away – or into place.

Yellow “E”

Since stickers, washi tape, and glitter tape are common embellishments for many crafts, they were chosen for the yellow “E”.

Here are the supplies I used:

After the paint dried, I applied the glitter tape in parallel diagonal lines. The adhesive on the back of the stickers did not adhere well to the glitter tape, so I used a glue stick and toothpicks to apply some glue, which worked well.

The monochromatic yellows of the tape and stickers work well together – and decorating this letter was easy!

Please check back soon for the remaining A-T-E of CREATE in the cool colors of the rainbow.



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