In honor of our beautiful little bun bun that passed away 2 weeks ago, I wanted to create a little memorial for her. The corner where her cage was is looking rather empty, and it’s always sad to notice the emptiness… so I came up with an idea that incorporates lots of photos of her to help bring a smile to our faces and keep our memories strong.
Yes you can go and purchase a cardboard letter from your local craft store. They aren’t that expensive. But say you want a specific font, or size, or you just like crafts and saving money (like me!), you can make your own at home!
- 2 cereal boxes (you may only need on, depending on the letter, 2 to be safe!
- Exacto Knife/Scissors
- Scotch Tape
- Newspaper or Phonebook
- Water (for Paper Mache Mix)
- Flour (For Paper Mache Mix)
- Acrylic Paint
- Mod Podge (Get DIY homemade version here (SeeKateSew))
- Paint Brush
- Photos (optional)
First, I started by opening the box up by just ripping it apart where it was glued together, no cutting needed.
Second, I free-handed the letter “E” (for Ellie) that I wanted. You can find one on google, print it out and trace it. That’s the easier way to do it, especially if you don’t trust your free hand skills, but we also have no ink in our printer lol
Next, using the Exacto Knife, I cut out the cardboard that wasn’t needed, only the area in the middle, do not cut off the tabs/nutrition labels, etc. I then traced the E on the other side of the cardboard, and cut out those scraps as well.
As you can see, I did not cut the center piece already connecting the two E’s where I was going to have to connect them later anyways, saves some hassle! As you will soon be able to tell from the pictures, I’m essentially turning this cereal box inside out.
Once both sides have been cut, start taping everything together to make a solid E.
Now, using the remaining scraps of the Cheerio’s box and some pieces from the other cereal box, measure and cut and tape so the E becomes a solid structure.
Mix equal parts flour and water to create a pancake-batter-like consistency. I recommend starting off with 1/2 cup flour & 1/2 cup water. Rip (not cut) the newspaper or phonebook paper into strips of varying lengths about 1-2 inches wide.
Lay down something on the table/ground, this will get messy.
Dip the strips into the mix, wipe off as much excess “batter” as possible and start applying it to the letter in a random, mismatched, criss-cross pattern. I try not to overlap too much so that it dries quicker. Once you have completely covered the letter with one layer it is very important to let it dry completely. If you put on a second layer while the first is still wet it could get moldy. Be patient, let it dry.
Now I only did two layers of paper-mache, but I’ve seen people do three or more. I am just too damn lazy.
Sorry I couldn’t get pictures of this process, my hands were SO MESSSYY!!
Wait a full 24 hours for it to dry, and then take some sand paper to it. I used whatever we had, it was a fine grain sandpaper. I then painted the letter (using acrylic paint) everywhere that I didn’t decide to paste pictures too (i.e the sides & back). Here is the E sanded and painted!
You could just paint the letter and be done here!
If you want to make it more personalized, continue on!
Buy or make Mod Podge using glue & water, See tutorial here (SeeKateSew))
The final step was the toughest. Choosing, cutting, and positioning the pictures. Be patient, put on some Doctor Who, and get to work! I put a coat of Mod Podge on the E, then on the back of the picture, let it air dry a little, waved it around for about 10 seconds, and then stuck it on and held it for about 10 seconds.
Seal the pictures on by by using some Mod Podge on the front of the pictures where they overlap or meet the edges.
VOILA! You can hang this or just sit it in a window sill like we did. If you have any questions, please comment and I will answer :)