In the last post, I made 3D block numbers to use as table numbers. Though they were awesome and free (!), they weren’t exactly presentable with the large quantity of Scotch tape holding them together, and they were also incredibly flimsy. Thus, I needed to papier mache and decorate the numbers.
As a reminder, how the numbers looked after the end of the last post:
1.) First, to make them more sturdy, I papier mached the numbers with newspaper to give them strength. I made a papier mache paste by using the recipe:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup of Elmer’s glue
The salt is there to prevent the papier mache from molding, while the Elmer’s glue gives it a bit more strength. The overall batter ends up being very similar to pancake batter and will last in the fridge for a couple of days. You just have to stir it back together before using.
I used three-inch strips for my papier mache. I found that strips longer than that had a tendency to get more in my way than be useful. I did approximately two layers of papier mache on top of my letters in a cross pattern to give them more sturdiness. I think they’re sturdy enough after that point, but if you’re worried, you could do more than that.
After I covered the numbers with layers of newspaper, I did another round of papier mache with copy paper. Because the copy paper is white, it helps prevent all of the newspaper print from showing up and, thus, you can get away with a lot less paint. I will say, though, that the copy paper has a tendency to dissolve much more readily in the papier mache paste, so I wouldn’t shove a ton of paper in the paste as you could with the newspaper.
2.) Figure out how you want to decorate the numbers.
As soon as I saw these numbers, I knew what I wanted to do. However, because our numbers are not so uniform, I didn’t want to try to cover out the sides with paper. I decided to paint the sides, and just put paper on the front and back.
As much as I wanted to go buy some more pretty paper, I was good and used some scrapbook paper I had lying around the house. (Admission time: I bought this paper for the wedding before we got engaged and while I still had absolutely nothing in mind for their potential use. =/ )
I tried to separate the ones that were similar in color and pick vintage-y, pretty prints.
3.) Paint the sides.
I painted the sides a similar color to the colors inside the print.
4.) Glue the paper onto the front/back. Because I made my own numbers, and they aren’t exactly uniform, I just traced the numbers on the back of the paper and trimmed it until they fit well without much paper sticking out. Then I glued the paper onto the front and back with Elmer’s glue.
5) Mod Podge them to seal the paper. To keep the edges of the paper from sticking out and to give them a nice coating, I Mod Podged them and then let them dry.
Easy peasy when you only have seven tables
I really like how the sides give the numbers a bit of an outline and uniformity, and I think they turned out pretty well. I can see some of the problems with the numbers, but I like to think it gives them character. I also love that they stand up by themselves, due to their rocky innards, and are hard to knock over.
What do you think? I have this little voice in my head that’s saying they’re missing something, but what?
Am I just going crazy? I’m really loving Miss Armadillo’s ribbon border on her letters, but I’m afraid it’ll make these too busy? Thoughts?