It’s Neon Week here and I’m continuing my love affair with Duck Tape in today’s tutorial. Do you have to have a door decoration for your party? No, of course not. But I think it can be a fun way to set the tone and theme of your event from the moment guests arrive.
- Paper mache letter (A is our birthday girl’s first initial)
- Neon acrylic paint
- Acrylic gesso
- Foam brush
- Neon Duck Tape (two shades for flowers + green for leaves)
- Neon buttons (I found a pack of 6 buttons by Favorite Findings for $2.29 at Jo-Ann’s.)
- Hot glue gun
- Pipe cleaner
1 – If you’ve never painted paper mache before, the thing to know is that this surface eats paint. You can add coat after coat of acrylic craft paint or spray paint, and the kraft paper will still show through. The solution is gesso, a sealer and primer all in one. (I’ve tried using Mod Podge as a sealer for paper mache and it doesn’t work as well.) Gesso is white, so tint it with you final color (just like if you were painting a wall in your house).
2 – Paint the front and sides of your letter with the tinted gesso. (There is no need to paint the back since it will face the door.) To avoid the streaks I got, you may want to brush in an X pattern. This will help you avoid more coats of the final color later. Let your kids help — they’ll love this.
3 – Allow the gesso to dry, following package instructions. It dries very quickly, as does the top coat, so this is a project you can complete in an afternoon. Add a first top coat, using the X pattern. Again, you’re trying to avoid a streaky look. Add a second top coat, painting all in one direction. I like to paint the sides and save the front for last. (If your kids have been helping with the painting, I’d suggest you do the final coat, just to get a really neat look.)
7 – With your two halves folded in, trim away the corners, leaving a gentle curve. (For the smaller orange flower, I rounded the opposite side of the tape as well.) I didn’t get a photo of this, but to make the green leaves you just fold the tape onto itself and then cut out a leaf shape.
11 – Hot glue your flowers to the bottom of your letter. Tuck the leaves in place under the flowers and hot glue them in place as well. Hot glue buttons to the centers of the flowers. Top it all the wax paper and a heavy book until the glue sets.
12 – Take a length of Duck Tape, at least 12″. Fold it in half long ways. This will be your hanger. Fold the tape into a loop and secure it to the back of the letter with another piece of Duck Tape. Since the letter is so light, this will be enough to hold it.
And that’s it. I honestly think it takes more steps to describe that it does to make. It’s really a pretty easy project.