Monday, September 2, 2013

Comic Book Letters - DIY


My birthday is December 30th.  Then I married a man whose birthday is on New Year's Eve.  Fast forward to 2009, I had a January baby.   Now this little guy is expected at the beginning of December.  This all means that our life is pretty much crazy from Halloween until mid January.  At the same time, birthdays are a big deal to me.  I know what it is like to have your birthday get lost in the shuffle of holidays and winter break so it is really important to me that my kids' birthdays are amazing.  I also realize that I can't go all out every year because it is a lot of work so I decided that I would do an over the top home party every other year and on the off years our kids can have a party at a place that does it all for us.  This is a good plan except that this coming January, just 5 weeks after our little man is due to arrive, I will be throwing an over the top party.  Yes, I am crazy!

In order to make this all possible, I started working on the party this summer.  Jake decided on a Superman party so I've spent the past few months pinning away and planning.  Now it's time to start working on the details.  Obviously there are some things I won't be able to do in advance, but as much as I can, I plan to.  That is where today's post comes in.  Having never used Mod Podge before I used this great video tutorial by Being Geek Chic.

To make these letters you will need a comic book you don't mind cutting up, paper mache letters (I found mine at Hobby Lobby), scissors, a pencil, a paintbrush, matte Mod Podge for paper (the one with the light blue label), and Golden's medium gel gloss (optional). 

I made the J and the S before I started this blog so these pics will focus on the M which I decided to add later.  I only used Mod Podge on those, but then I bought the gel gloss for a project for the baby's nursery and found it less ripply, so I decided to use it for the M.  It's pretty pricey though so I wouldn't buy it just for this.  (I used a 40% off coupon to make it more affordable.)

Start out by picking the images you want to have on the front of your letters.  For the letter J, I decided to use one large image that would cover the whole front.  For the M and S I picked more of a collage style.  Once you have picked your image you will need to trace your letter onto the image and then cut it out with your scissors.  *Elizabeth recommends attaching the full page to your letter and then using an exacto knife to trim it, but when I did that I ended up with a bunch of ragged edges so I pulled it off and redid it by tracing the letter on the comic page and cutting it out with scissors.

Paint a thin layer of gel gloss (or mod podge) directly onto the letter.

Then carefully lay your cut out comic piece on top smoothing it out as well as you can. 

Repeat this process until you have covered all sides of the letter.  The inner parts of the letter are a little tricky (I used my paintbrush handle to help press them down).

Then let it dry for 2 hours.  After 2 hours have passed you will paint another layer, of Mod Podge this time, over the top as a sort of varnish.  If you wanted it to have a glossy finish you can use the gel gloss for the top as well but I wanted matte so I used the Mod Podge.


That's it.  You are done.  If I'm totally honest, I ended up with a few ripples and it drove me crazy but Jake thinks they are the coolest thing ever so I am embracing their imperfection.



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