I can’t find our 8GB SD card. Ugh. Said card contained some of the photos of my tutorial for this week. Ugh. I see that the new year has not dampened my propensity to over-dramatize.

Ugh.

Back to this week’s late DIY project. Today, we are making 3D cardboard letters. This is not a novel thing. There are 3D cardboard tutorials all over Pinterest. I needed to record the steps, though. For me. I forget these things, you see. Not the general “doing/making of things” but the useful tips. This is not over-dramatization; a few weeks ago, I found myself checking out my own tutorial for sewing a clutch with a zipper.

The line is from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Well, the original line is “We’re all mad here” but my DIY powers don’t cover floating apostrophes. If you’d like to make something similar, you will need the following letter templates: TEMPLATE 1, TEMPLATE 2. 

Other materials: cardboard (a gazillion), cutter or Xacto knife, cutting pad, scissors, pen/pencil, glue gun, masking tape, ruler

1. Print and cut the letters. For the letters with holes in the middle sections, simply cut a straight line from the edge, make the hole, and “heal” the letter with masking tape.

2. Trace the letters onto the cardboard, making sure that you get two pieces of each letter.

3. You will also need to cut “sides” for the letters, making sure that the corrugation cuts cross-wise. I used my metal ruler as guide, with the width of the ruler the same as the width of the letter sides.

4. Take several of these sides and bend or curl with your pen.

For the following steps,  I illustrated the assembly of letters with straight and curved sides.

5. Making a 3D cardboard letter with straight sides is simple. Glue gun a side to the edge of the letter…

6. and continue to the other sides…

7. making sure that you cut the appropriate side length as you glue along. Note: the sides have to be perpendicular to the front/back of the letter.

8. Glue some more.

9. Take the back of your letter and make sure that it’s still a good fit to the sides that you just glued.

10. In gluing the back (or front) of the letter, I have found out that a “slowly but surely” tactic works best. What I do is apply glue and attach by section until the whole back (or front) is glued nicely.

11. For letters with inner sides, starting with these sides is ideal. If you start with the outer sections, you will have a hard time maneuvering the glue gun by the time you work on the inner sides.

12. Now we construct a letter with curved sides. This is where you will need the sides that you curved on step 4.

13. Take a curved section and cut what you need.

14. Glue and attach an inch or two at a time.

15. Finish the letter following steps above.

Let’s say that your have a side that is shorter than what the letter calls for. So what do you do?

16. Take one side and split the end, up to an inch inward.

17. Glue this side to your letter. Put glue inside the split end…

18. and insert another side section, completing your letter beautifully.

After many hours (5 or 6 in total, methinks), you will have 3D WE ARE ALL MAD HERE. You can paint these letters or cover with pretty paper or fabric. Or leave them as is.

Our plan was to display the letters on top of the wall that divides my office (turquoise paint) and the dining area. But Egg has long ago made the top of this wall her favorite resting place. She promptly knocked over some of the letters after we displayed them. Make no mistake, she is L MAD.