Friends, just look at how crafty I am!
I'd been looking for the letter J to hang on baby Jack's wall, but the letter is actually harder to find than expected. Then I saw a brief tutorial on this blog showing how to make wall letters. It looked easy, I had all of the materials at home, and I had the entire afternoon free! Here are my instructions:
Do-It-Yourself Alphabet Letter
Materials: an empty cereal box or two, masking tape, scissors, ruler, pencil, water, flour, newspaper
Find a font you like and print the letter out. I chose the font ChunkFive. Cut that out and trace two copies onto the cardboard. Cut that out.
Decide the width of your letter. Mine is about 1 3/4" thick. Using your ruler, start at the easiest part and cut the sides out, taping them on with the masking tape as you go. (Basically it's just cutting 1 3/4" strips out of the cardboard and cutting them to the right height. The entire curve is one piece.) Don't be afraid to use a lot of tape!
Make your papier mache by mixing water and flour together. I like mine a little thinner than pancake batter. Whisk it til everything is smooth. Tear small strips of newspaper up.
Begin coating your letter by dipping a strip into the newspaper and smoothing it onto the letter. Don't overlap too much - you want to do just one thin layer at a time so it has a chance to dry. There's nothing worse than a moldy alphabet letter. :)
Once you've made a layer, let it dry completely. I found the fastest, most effective way is to "bake" it in a 170-degree oven for twenty minutes or so. Sunshine also works wonders.
Repeat with a second layer of papier mache, and voila! You are now extremely proud of yourself and have saved $10+ by making it yourself!
Not too shabby, eh? All of my paints and brushes are in Provo, so when we get home in two weeks I'm going to tackle decorating it. It's hard just leaving it be until then...