Introduction: DIY Cardboard Typography Art

About: Multi-crafter, jewellery maker, card designer and frequent procrastinator.

I decided I wanted some art for my craft room, and since I am a terrible procrastinator I thought 'Get It Done' was a good motivational message for me! For this DIY, all I really ended up using was some cardboard and paint, so this is an extremely simple project to have a go at. I hope you like it :)

You Will Need:

- Cardboard: I recycled some packaging/boxes.

- Paint: I used an array of acrylic paints, but anything will do really.

- Scissors

- Craft knife & cutting mat

- Marker pen

- A piece of paper

- A ruler

- A short piece of thread or string

- Superglue

- Tape

- Paintbrushes

- Computer & printer (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the Base

First, cut out a piece of cardboard that is the size you want your finished art to be. Mine was 18 x 26 cm.

Make sure the corners are 90 degrees.

Then paint the front of the cardboard white.

Note: I will be writing the instructions for what I specifically did, but obviously you can choose whatever paint colours/text/designs you want to use :D

Step 2: Paint Your Abstract

I used all of the acrylic paints I had in my house (which happened to be gold, silver, white, shades of blue and shades of pink) to paint my abstract.

Once the white paint was dry, I added "random" brushstrokes in blue and pink. I used different paintbrushes for different colours, and tried to paint over a different colour as little as possible. The main aim here is to not produce muddy colours (dark, unattractive, usually brown colours).*

Try and use colours that complement each other.

* 'Mud' is created when you mix any forms of red, blue and yellow together. So in this example, pink contains red and blue, and the turquoise blue and gold paints I'm using will contain a little yellow, so there is a danger of creating 'mud' if these colours mix. Therefore, I tried my best to keep the colours separate.

A little bit was creeping in towards the end of the painting, but I managed to avoid it mostly by trying really hard not to mix the colours together.

I then added the metallics in the gaps that were left, and then more white on top to give it some 'highlights', which stop it looking too flat and boring.

The leave to dry.

Step 3: Create Your Stencil

Either type out your message on the computer and edit it until you produce the result you want to use (then print it out in the size you want) OR draw the message out by hand onto a piece of paper.

The simpler the font the easier to cut out, so I would recommend a 'sans serif' font.

Once you have the message on paper, place the paper on a cutting mat and carefully use your craft knife to cut out all of the letters.

Place this stencil over the top of your painted board so that the words are positioned how you want them on the final piece, and then use a marker pen to transfer an outline of the message onto the paint. Make sure you keep the paper stencil held still when you do this.

Step 4: Reveal the Corrugated Card

We now need to uncover the cardboard innards!

Take your craft knife again and carefully cut around the marker pen outline - cutting through the top layer of cardboard only.

Once you have cut around a letter, pull the top layer of cardboard away to reveal the wavy layer underneath. Repeat for all the letters.

I think that doing this just adds an extra layer of texture and depth, which makes the art a bit more interesting.

Note: If you manage to preserve the painted letters you have cut out, you can create a second piece of art using these letters if you like! I thought the look of them was really cool; they look a bit like fabric to me.

Step 5: Cut Out the Letters Again

Use the paper stencil once more to cut out all of the letters from cardboard.

I used scissors to cut them out this time.

Step 6: Paint & Glue the Letters

Paint the letters in a contrasting colour to the background; in my case I chose white.

Once the paint is dry, glue the letters onto the base board.

My idea was to have the corrugated cardboard sections representing the 'shadows' of the letters, so I placed each letter a little to the bottom-right of the corrugated letters (as though the 'light' was being shone from the bottom-right corner).

Step 7: Adding the Support

How you display your art is up to you; you could add a DIY cardboard frame, mat and frame it, add a ribbon loop at the top, or even just use blu-tack. However I wanted mine to sit on a shelf, so I added a support.

To make the support I cut out a narrow & slightly triangular section of cardboard that was just over half the height of the main cardboard piece.

Then I scored across the top of this piece, about 1.5 cm from the top, to allow it to bend easily along this line.

To attach this support, I then glued (and taped) the 1.5 cm section to the back of the art, making sure that the bottom edges of both cardboard pieces lined up (see 2nd photo above).

To stop the support from bending too far back, I taped a short section of thread between the card pieces to hold it at a balanced angle.

Step 8: Finished!

And that's it; my colourful motivating message is complete!

I really hope you like this Instructable, and thanks for reading.

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