I decided that instead of multiple letters I would do a giant number 1. Below is the final result. I loved how it turned out for invitations. (Who doesn't love a little girl in a tutu!)
I used the giant 1 as a party decoration and then gave it to a friend to use for her daughter's first birthday. It has now been to 4 girls first birthday parties and got destroyed by a little brother at the most recent one.
My friend asked if I would make another for her godson who is about to turn 5. His party is an angry birds theme. This project is really cheap to do but packs a big punch for party decorations. I also figured this would be a great thing to share with everyone on my blog.
All you need is a box, some tape, mod podge, some kind of paper, an x-acto knife, some scissors and a disposable paint brush. Any type of tape will do. You just want it to be 2-3" wide. You could use duct tape, painters tape or masking tape. When I did the 1 I used masking tape but this time I used painters type because I found it quicker.
First break down your box so it is flat. Choose the largest side and sketch your number on it. Ideally you want the width of the numbers to be about 4-5" wide.
Make sure if you are doing a number with a rounded bottom like the 5 I have done that you make the bottom of the number flat so it will stand properly. You can see here I used the bottom of the box as the bottom of my 5.
Once you cut it out you want to place it on your other piece of cardboard and trace it. Then cut out a matching number.
You will also want to cut out the edge pieces. I use the flaps of the box for this. Each flap was 8" wide so I cut them down them middle to get a bunch of 4" wide pieces of cardboard. Length doesn't matter at this point. 4" wide will be the depth of my completed number. If you want to make it thicker you would just make this piece wider.
Now you should have 2 cut outs of your number and a bunch of side pieces.
Next you want to create your 3D number by attaching the sides to the 5 cut out. Put some tape half way on the edge of the long strip.
To attach the next piece of cardboard strip, you want to place tape on both the bottom edge and the side edge like shown in the below photo.
Once you finish one side of your 5, turn it over and attach the other side in the same way.
Just keep taping as you go around like you did with the other side.
When I did this for the number 1, I used tissue paper. You can use anything you want here - scrapbook paper, print outs from the web, wrapping paper. Because I used tissue paper the first time, I painted the number white before moving on. The brown of the box would have shown through the tissue paper otherwise. For the number 5 I used wrapping paper so I didn't worry about painting.
Wrapping paper is great because it is cheap and has large pieces. I actually borrowed this roll from a friend because I was having trouble finding it. You don't use a ton either. I probably used 2 1/2' of wrapping paper.
Lay out your wrapping paper on the floor and place your 5 on top of it. Trace around the edges of your 5.
Remove the 5 and cut out the 5. Do not cut out the 5 using the lines. Instead cut out about 1" from the lines.
Now you want to take the overhang you have and mod podge it down to the sides. As you do this you will to mod podge under the paper and on top of the paper. You will also want to do a coat of mod podge on the whole front as you go to protect it.
Once you are done with once side, let it dry about an hour or so the mod podge is clear and it isn't sticky to the touch. Once dry turn it over, and do the other side. Remember the number should be a mirror image this time. Again just place the bar side down on the paper and trace around it, then cut out about 1" from all the edges and attach the same way.
Let dry. Once both the front and back are done, you will want to do the sides. To give it a finished look I cut out paper that was just a little bit narrower than the 4" side of my number and just mod podge this down. Mod podge on the box, then the paper and the more mod podge. Work your way around. You will probably need to stop at one point and allow it to dry so you don't mess areas up. Mod podge is very sticky and if you set the wet side down on something, it may glue to it. This would result in either newspaper on your on number or some of your wrapping paper left behind. Best to let it dry before turning it.
Now you have your finished 5! It would make a great centerpiece for any birthday party dessert table. You could even create two for a 25 wedding anniversary. Just think of the possibilities!