DIY: Scrap Paper Ironwork Letter

IMG_6993I’ve been playing with black card stock a lot lately, which deposited a nice collection of paper scraps in my “use it this week or dump it” pile. I decided to use the Diy Craft Challenge as an inspiration to use them, and play with another thing that’s been catching my eye– quilling. (Although, in typical fashion I looked up a couple of tutorials on You Tube, promptly forgot what I learned, and did things my own way.)

Supplies

• A 5×7 Frame without glass, painted black to match the paper
• A print of a favorite letter, sized to fit inside the frame (I printed my letter backwards using a setting on my printer called “emulsion side up”. It works just fine to print it the right way round, you just might have to erase your tracing paper lines.)
• Black paper (I used 100# Cardstock)
• Tracing paper
• A piece of cork to pin to (A cork trivet like this works, or a bulletin board or pinning board. Styrofoam also works in a pinch.)
• Straight pins
• A few toothpicks
• Tacky glue
• A craft knife and ruler

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First I measured the depth of the frame, and cut a bunch of strips of paper that width using a craft knife and scissors.

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I cut the paper against the grain so that it would curl as evenly as possible. (Grain is very important, especially when working with thicker papers. For a little more about grain, and to find the grain on the paper you are using, check out yesterday’s post.) You will use less of the paper than you think, but it’s better to have too many strips of paper than too few! (I used about 15 pieces of 8″ lengths for mine.)


I used tracing paper to trace my letter onto a larger piece of black card stock,

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then carefully cut it out with a craft knife.

IMG_6819Next step was to outline my letter with a strip of paper. I dipped a toothpick in a pond of glue and drew a light line of glue down the center of a strip of paper.

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Then I slowly wrapped the paper around the letter, holding the piece down to give it time to attach. At sharp angles I either folded the paper (if I could) or tore the strip and started a new one there. This task is finicky, but forgiving. I found that as long as I went slow and worked with the paper, it turned out fine.

IMG_6830I made sure to outline the whole letter, then I gave it a few minutes to rest and dry.


Once it was mostly dry, I moved to my cork backing. I used straight pins to firmly place my black frame so that it would not shift around on the cork, and decided where I wanted my letter to fit in.

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I applied glue with a toothpick all the places my letter touched the frame, then used pins to secure it as well. I set pins up against the letter wherever it felt like it might flex or slide.

Finnicky steps done, now to the decoration!


To make the various curls I used inside the frame, first I ran the strip against my nail to loosen it up a little. (Kind of like curling that terrible plastic curling ribbon) Then I wrapped it around a clean toothpick to get the size curl I wanted. I also played with folding then curling, curling multiple pieces, and curling different ways. I basically went curl crazy.

IMG_6867When I had a nice pile of curls to choose from, I was ready to place and glue them.

Gently I squeezed each curl in place, and used my glue-toothpick to apply glue to any place a curl touched another part of the piece. I left the space around the letter pretty open so that the R would stand out. When I had everything glued in, I let the whole thing sit for an hour to let the glue dry.

IMG_6985bI really love the way these turned out. They’re crafty, but classy, and they are now hanging in our guest room for our two most frequent guests.

I bet you can do even better! You still have a few days to enter our DIY Craft Challenge by March 30th.

Comments

  1. says

    Wow! I love this project!! Your finished letters look amazing. Looks a lot more difficult than your tutorial makes it seem. I definitely want to try this 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful project!!

    • says

      The trickiest part is definitely wrapping the letter- but like more things, if you cut yourself some slack it all seems to work out okay!

      I’ve played with projects like this before, and the stabilizing cork backing with straight pins makes a huge difference.
      I’d love to see how yours turns out!