Introduction: Avatar: the Last Airbender Wall Art

About: I mainly post cricut projects, fandom, academia, creative reuse, and projects I've done for my research. I'm a PhD student in the School of Information and School of Education at the University of Michigan. Fi…

Avatar: The Last Airbender (the tv show, not the movie) has easily been one of my favorite shows since the first time I watched it. Thanks to it being on Netflix, I was recently able to binge-watch it with my sister, and I was reminded of how good of a show it is! I wanted to make something for my work from home set up that reminded me of balance, which is one of the main themes of the show. I decided to make something based on the element symbols (earth, water, fire, air); this instructable is what I ended up making! It's four tiles that represent each of the elements, which are now posted above my desk. I hope you have as much fun making it as I did!


To make this I used a Cricut Explore Air 2 and the software that comes with it. If you want, you could cut it out by hand, but for me this was faster and easier to do. The other supplies needed are (pictured):

  • White foam core (or another color, depending on the background you want)
  • White cardstock (for painting)
  • Watercolors (I used a crayola pack)
  • Assorted brushes (you only really need one or two)
  • Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Exacto Knife
  • (Optional) One-sided laminating sheet

If you like to be precise, you may also want a pencil and ruler so you can mark how much to cut, but I wasn't being too precise with these.

Step 1: Getting Ready to Paint

For this step you'll need to prepare the paper, and make sure you have the brushes and watercolor. I used watercolor because I like the way it looks, but you can use a different type of paint if you like. To prepare the paper, take the cardstock and fold it into four rectangles (long ways and then short ways, down the middle both times).

Step 2: Painting

There are four elements that you can bend: water, fire, earth, and air. Typically, these also have colors associated with them. Water is blue, fire is red, earth is green, and air I've seen sometimes as light blue and sometimes as yellow. I used these colors, yellow for air, to paint the four quadrants of the paper after I folded it. You don't have to do it in this order, but it might be easier since the file I used (attached) is in this order.

Step 3: Setting Up to Cut Out the Symbols

Once you finished painting the paper and it is dry, you can go ahead and use it to cut out the symbols. If you are also using a Cricut explore, then you can use this link to my project on the Cricut design space. You'll want to make sure that the symbols line up on the mat with the colors that you used!

If you're not using the Cricut, then you can print out the file I attached in step 2 and cut out the symbols, trace them on to this paper, and then cut it out from there using an exacto knife or scissors based on your preference.

Step 4: Cut Out the Symbols/foam Core

Once you have set up the cutting space on the Cricut, you can cut it out (make sure it is set to the type of paper you are using!). While that is happening, cut a rectangle about 5in x 20in out of the foam core. This will be what we glue the symbols on to. When the Cricut is done cutting, take the symbols off of the mat along with the rest of the paper.

Step 5: Glue Symbols to the Foam Core

Cut the foam core rectangle into 4 5in x 5in squares. Match up each of the symbols to a square so you can have an idea of where the symbol will be placed on the square.

Once you've done this, You can start gluing the symbol to the square. For each of them, I started with gluing down the outer square, and then placing the symbol in the middle of that. I used mod podge to glue down the symbols.

Step 6: Finished!

Once you have finished this step, you are done! I went back and cleaned up the edges of the white foam core square, but if you are satisfied with your work then you do not have to do that.

If you want, you can add a laminating sheet on top of it to give a more glossy finish. I did not do this, but I will show you in the next step how to add it if you want. I hope you had fun making this!

Step 7: (Optional) Adding a Laminate Sheet

You'll only need one sheet of laminating paper for this step. I used a one-sided one since the foam core is thicker than regular paper.

  1. Cut the laminate paper in half longways
  2. Pick two of the squares to apply it to
  3. Peel the backing off of one half of the laminate sheet you just cut
  4. Place the squares, face down, on the sticky part of the laminating paper.
  5. Turn it over and cut the laminate paper down the middle
  6. Fold the excess over the back of the foam core, or cut the ends off (up to you)

Repeat for the other two and your squares now have a glossy finish! Hope you enjoy!

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