Introduction: I Love My Bear 3D Childrens Door Sign

Make a door sign for a child's bedroom or nursery.

I made this for my own personal use to compliment the rest of the 'I Love My Bear' accessories in my child's nursery (as Toys R Us did not make a matching sign) but it also works very well in it's own right.

I have designed it to have a 3D effect. The Bear, Bunny, Background Elements and Lettering are layered in a decoupage style and the Blocks are a more traditional 3D box model. The middle of the blocks are sunken to insert the lettering into.

I have included files for 2 different designs. Each design can have 5 or 6 letters. You can fill in blank spaces with an empty block, a heart or a star, found on the Misc File. Also on the Misc File are extensions to make names that are longer than 6 letters. For names (plus any optional heart/star symbols) with an odd number of characters, use the 5 block design, and for those with an even number of characters, use the 6 block design.

Due to constraints of my printer, I have had to split some of the bigger pieces into 2 or 3 parts that will need to be joined back together when cut out.

I have published this design as part of the papercraft contest - if you like my design, please vote - thank you! Either way, enjoy!

Step 1: You Will Need...

  • Several sheets of White A4 Card
  • Scalpel (or scissors)
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat
  • Suitable adhesive such as PVA or Glue Stick
  • The ability to print onto card (e.g. standard colour inkjet printer)

Optional:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Craft Robo or similar cutting machine plus illustrator plugin

Step 2: Files

Download the files as required. There are a total of 32 files - 16 Adobe Illustrator and 16 PDF files. You will need a selection of these files for each sign, depending on your choice: 3x Design files, 1x Block file, 2x Letter files and the optional Misc file - choosing either PDF or illustrator formats, dependent on the software you have available.

The files included are as follows (available in both illustrator or PDF format):

  • Design 1 (Bear to the left of the blocks) - 5 or 6 spaces (3 files per design).
  • Design 2 (Bear above the blocks) - 5 or 6 spaces (3 files per design).
  • 1 Page of 3D blocks in various colours.
  • 2 Pages of letters in various colours (each letter appearing 3 times except for Q and Z which appear twice).
  • 1 Page containing shapes and extension pieces.

Note about Adobe Illustrator CS4 files:

If you have illustrator, you can edit the files to create your own colour pallet, or to resize etc. In addition, the files contain up to 3 layers – a CUT, FOLD and PRINT layer. The CUT and FOLD layers are set NOT to print, and are useful of you happen to have a plotter type cutting machine and relevant plugin for Illustrator. For example, I use a Craft Robo cutting machine with the illustrator plugin (Print the image, then set the plotter to cut the CUT layer and lightly perforate the FOLD layer). If you don’t have a machine to do this, you can still edit the colours and set the cut and fold lines to a colour of your choice so they’re visible to assist with manual cutting (scissors or scalpel). Don't forget to set these layers to print.

Note about the PDF files:

If you don’t have either a cutting machine or illustrator, you can print the supplied PDF files, which have the cut and fold lines included – I have tried to keep these lines as thin as possible whilst still being visible, to assist with accuracy but also be non-intrusive on the finished model.

Step 3: Start Cutting

Lots of pics for this bit...

When you have selected your file set, print them out onto A4 Card.

Carefully cut out each shape along the indicated lines (or use a cutting machine if available).

Lay your shapes out to familiarise yourself with them and ensure you know the order that they're layered. Inspect the images of the in-progress and finished product to aid you with this.

Leave the blocks for now and start with the background elements, the bear and the bunny.

Referring to the images for guidance, glue each piece, one on top of the other, using a small amount of glue just to hold them in place. Try not to get any glue onto the exposed areas, as this may stain the finished model.

Note that for the 6 Block design, I have had to split some of the pieces, which you will need to stick together with adhesive tape.

Take extra care to align the pieces correctly, so as to leave an even, very narrow border around each section where applicable. and sandwich between two books or similar to reduce risk of cardboard warping. You may also wish to accentuate the 3D effect here by adding small scraps of card between layers or foam pads etc. Personally, I like it better without this extra step - very subtly 3D.

Step 4: Blocks

Next on to the blocks.

Fold the elements that make up the blocks along the indicated fold lines You will need to score them beforehand with the scalpel and ruler (or set the fold layer to a perforated line on you cutter/plotter plugin if applicable), ensuring you don't cut all the way through - don't glue them yet. Note that each block is made up of 2 pieces that are coloured specifically.

For reference, I'll call the outer piece the 'Frame' and the inner piece the 'Inner'.

Glue the inner section to the frame from the inside of each block. Again, use the images to aid you with this as they can be quite tricky - once you've done one though, the rest should be easy.

Once the inner has dried, fold the rest of the frame into place and then leave it to dry.

Step 5: Lettering and Finish

Next, select your lettering / characters.

Each letter is made up of 2 layers - the brown base and the coloured top layer. Cut the appropriate characters out carefully and glue them together in the same way as the other elements.

When dry, glue each letter to the inner of each block.

If you have a name made up up of 3, or 4 letters, you may have a spare block or 2 without a letter. You can leave these blank or place the supplied heart or star shape into the design - or create a shape of your own.

Apologies if your name has more than 6 letters, but I couldn't fit more than that onto a single A4 sheet. Options here are to shorten the name or print off the extensions and use them.

When done, glue each block to the main sign, paying attention to the orientation of each and leave to dry.

Attach to a door, wall, wardrobe, or bed as required.

Notes on durability/longevity:

The 'Elise' sign is 6 years old. It's been through 2 house moves, it's been on and off doors, played with, and has been exposed to the air more or less for the whole time - pictures taken today, showing it's still in reasonable condition, although is warped slightly (it did this from day one due to too much glue and not sandwiching it during drying). So these will last a long time if looked after. The 'Deacon' sign (which I have not quite finished yet as I write this) is brand new and will hopefully last just as long.

Good luck and Enjoy!

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