Sunday, 12 March 2017

DIY Home Decor | Decorative Letters

These decorative letters can be used for all sorts of jobs - paper weights, bookends, mantle or shelf fillers and table top decor - they can be used on their own, or together to form words and how you decorate them is endless.

Plaster / Cup & Spoon / Gold Leaf / Letter Cutters [or mould here] / Glue / Brush


This DIY was a spontaneous make, so I used what I had - metal cookie cutters - which in turn gave the finished letters a unique finish, however; an easier option would be letter moulds - but here's how I made mine.

To protect my surfaces and provide a base to my cutters, I placed my cookie cutters on top of a perspex sheet:
Mixing my plaster to a ration of 2 heaped spoonfuls of plaster and 1 spoonful of water to create a slightly thicker, denser base than other plaster DIYs [photo holders / mini wire grid / pyramid ring holders] - make sure the plaster is pourable and smooth, before filling the cutters:
There was a little spread, as the perspex sheet and cutters had a small gap, but as the plaster dries quickly, it wasn't anything to worry about:
To remove the air bubbles, I held the cutters and bashed a jar on top to shake the plaster and force the air bubbles out.  Normally, the much simpler way, with a mould, it to gently tap the mould - but as I feared more spread of the plaster, I opted for this method.  If you wanted to turn your letter into a hanging, add a straw to the plaster and wriggle it a little as the plaster dries [to ensure you can remove it easily]:
Once dried, remove the plaster from the moulds.
This is where it became a little interesting.  Any shape with a centre [A, O, P, R, D, B, Q] became very difficult to remove without in turn making the cutter misshapen.  I only attempted an A, and even with subsequent attempts including vaseline and cling film, could not find a way round this :(
Smooth the edges of your plaster with a fine sandpaper.
As the cookie cutters didn't have a level to pour the plaster to, there's a bit of texture added to the finished look - different levels, some bubbles, dips and grooves - I like it as a contrast to the usual uniform finish I strive for.
For the decoration, I kept it simple with a little gold leaf.  Using a fairly dry brush of glue, I made a few brush strokes on to the plaster and then added my gold leaf sheet:
I removed the sheet and then, with a separate brush, gently brushed away the excess leaf to reveal a subtle gold leaf finish:
Your letters are now ready to be used and displayed:
What do you think? Did I get away with the cutters?


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