I know it might sound silly, but I've been thinking about making these letters for at least 2 years now. I can't tell you how excited I was to go buy the supplies and actually make them! Today, I'm sharing some cute polka dot and glitter letters. Perfect Christmas decoration! I mean, doesn't gold and glitter just seem like it is a perfect fit for Christmas? Or is that just me?
As I started the post, I have thought about making these letters for a couple of years now. I just never got around to it. Recently I was walking through Hobby Lobby and saw these huge wood cut out ornaments and trees for Christmas decorations. They were so cute! They had huge gold glitter polka dots on them. I either wanted to buy them or make something like them. So, I decided to combine the two ideas together.
Sadness occurred when I went to A.C. Moore and they were out of the super jumbo letters I really wanted to make. Those letters are twice this size! They are huge and I thought they would be so fun. Thankfully, they at least had this size in the three letters I needed. Truthfully, these letters are probably a better size to fit into my house, but maybe someday I will buy the super jumbo letters and make something else.
You will need to paint your letters with whatever you want for your base color. I didn't use primer. I recommend you do. It took me 5 coats of paint to get the even coverage I wanted. Blech!
Make sure you give your painted letters cure time before you start the next steps.
You will need something to act as a template or stencil in order get the polka dots onto your paper mache letters. I don't have the steadiest hand, so for me drawing and painting or cutting out my own circles is not the best option.
I used my Cricut (affiliate link) to cut out circles that were 1.75″. I have a tutorial on how to use your Cricut to make stencils in this blog post. As you can see above, I offset the adhesive vinyl to allow room around the edges for paint when the stencil is placed on the letter.
Next up, I placed all those circles onto my paper mache letter. DON'T do this! you will see why in a minute.
The video below will show you the method that I found that actually worked.
When you get your stencil onto your letter, you will do a quick sloppy coat of paint. I added gold paint to match my gold glitter. If you don't have matching paint and glitter, you could always use Mod Podge instead of paint. I just like using the matching paint because if you don't get perfect coverage with your glitter it all matches and makes the flaws less obvious.
While the paint is still wet, add glitter to your paint.
I like to lightly press the glitter down to make sure it has gotten adhered to the paint. I also use an old cookie sheet under where I am sprinkling glitter to contain the glitter mess.
AND this is the craft fail after I was done! The adhesive of the vinyl was too strong. I had put my stencils on and pressed them down well so that I wouldn't get paint leaking under. I had put them all on and left them while I did the painting and glittering. Then when I pulled them off they took A LOT of the paint with them. 🙁 This was NOT my vision for these fun letters.
Initially, I thought I would just paint and ‘fix' this letter. Probably the me of a few years ago would have done just that and settled with what I got, but the me of today has decided that it often is worth it to just re-do things and have the project that I envisioned and the Christmas decoration that I will really enjoy instead of the one that I will always look at and see the flaws.
I got busy re-painting and figuring out how to make things work. I've got a video below to show you. With how quickly I had to work a video was just easier than attempting to take pictures and ruining more letters. Pumpkin, my youngest daughter took the video for me…if you look carefully, you can see her PJ pants in one spot of the video. 🙂
Using the method in the video, I was able to get just the look I wanted and I didn't ruin any letters at all. Yay!
Bright shiny objects totally distract me. How about you?
As of writing this (which is the week of Thanksgiving), I haven't pulled out my Christmas decor yet. I will do that before this post publishes. So, right now, I haven't decided yet where these letters will go, but I love the look of them with lights and Christmas greens and ornaments.
I mean isn't glitter and gold a perfect fit with Christmas lights and the beautiful green and red of the season?! Love it!
As far as the time these took me to make, in all it really wasn't that much. Each coat of paint took me about 5 minutes. The painting and glitter was maybe another 10-15 minutes and if I subtract the hour that it took for my Cricut software to update (Grrrr), cutting the circles on the Cricut just took a few minutes. I would allow an hour or so to make these, but know that the time will be split up here and there because of painting the letters.