Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Decorative Letters DIY

Since the weather outside is FRIGHTFUL and I have yet another snow day (4th one this week!), I thought I would share a DIY from earlier in the year that I never got around to sharing. 
While in World Market this summer, I fell IN LOVE with these world map block letters.
I wanted them for my classroom (since my theme this year is maps and geography) as well as for my guest room when the year is over. They cost about $8.00 a piece but, having made my comic book ones for last year's super hero classroom theme, I knew they would be super easy to make.
So, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought cardboard block letters for $2.00 a peice - bought an old vintage, 1970's atlas at a thrift store for $0.50 and made my own.
First, you want to make sure that the map parts that will be showing are what you want. Check to make sure that sections of the land or water that you want are not going to be cut away. You may choose a different map depending on the letter you are placing it on. 

Begin cutting the map - make sure that you leave about a centimeter hangover so that you can fold it over once you begin gluing. 
Once you have cut the edges, take your knife and cute an angled slit at every corner - this allows it to fold when you are lifting the sides up to glue. 
Using Modge Podge, first, glue ONLY the back strip to the letter. 
Now, Modge Podge the top of the cardboard letter. Carefully, making sure to rub out any bubbles, pull the paper across the letter and let it set. 
The edges should still be up and unfolded. 
 Taking the Modge Podge again, glue down the edges, making sure to fold them tight. This is where your little slit cuts will come in handy. Notice how they form very nicely in the corners without bubbling up.
 NOTE: On circular letters, such as b's, p's, d's, you will need to make lots of little cuts all around the circular section so that the paper will form without bubbling. 
In the end, you are left with some very professional looking letters! Whoo hoo! 
Here they are displayed right now in my classroom. This summer I will be putting them in my travel inspired guest room :0) To see more of my geography inspired room visit THIS post for a tour. 
 
  On a humorous side note: I mentioned that the maps were from an old 1970's atlas. It was interesting to see how much has changed in the world since then. Yugoslavia was still on here, Burma, and the USSR! 
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