DIY: 3D Type

So to make your own 3d type you will need the following:

• Mountboard (or cardboard, at least cereal box thickness) • Thinner card or cartridge paper • Print out of letters you would like to make • PVA glue • Masking tape • Cutting ruler • Cutting Mat • Craft Knife • Biro • Pencil • Paintbrush (or finger for glue)


Start by placing you printed letters on top of your mountboard. Draw around your letter with your biro so it marks the board below. Don’t worry if this isn’t done too neatly as long as you cut it neatly later!

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Use this as a template to cut out your letter carefully with your craft knife and ruler. Make sure your blade is sharp and don’t apply too much pressure, let the blade do the work. Then place your newly cut mount board letter on top on your board again, trace and cut out, so you have 2 identical letters. The front and back of your 3D type.

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Next cut strips of card at your desired thickness, for this letter I cut mine 1.5cm.


Mark and measure your outer sides, and cut your 1.5cm strips to size. I’ve left out the middle edges for now, I’ll explain why later. Also don’t worry about any little bits at the moments, like the top of the A or the edges of the serifs, they are easy to cut off as you need them.

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Liberally apply your PVA to your first side, apply this to the edge of your letter so you can hold your side on easily while your waiting for it to dry a bit. Make sure to move your letter around if your doing it on a surface as you don’t won’t to stick to that as well, you can see in the photo below where I nearly stuck to my craft mat.

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Then continue with your other sides and the small edges.

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Here’s what the back looks like, nice and neat!


Now cut another strip of mounboard, the same as your last strip but minus the width of your mountboard. So my mount board is 0.2cm thick, so my new strip will be 1.3cm wide instead of the 1.5cm I used for my edges. This is because we will stick the inner edges ontop of the card instead so it’s a bit easier.


It’s ok if these pieces are a bit longer than needed, anything extra inside just helps to support your letter more. I decided not to finish the inner of the A with mount board as the curve is too sharp to do neatly, we will attack this later.

Now liberally coat your 2nd A’s edges with PVA and squeeze it onto your base. The inner part with help hold it in place while you wiggle the stencil into your frame. All big gaps fill with PVA and smooth over with your finger.

Little Tip: If you want your letters to stand, pop some rice or beans in the bottom before popping the top on, so they are weighted at the bottom!

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So now my shortcut for those sharp inner angles, masking tape!


And then trace around this once more onto your thinner card or cartridge paper and cut out. Then stick on the front of your letter to make it neat and have a smooth finish.

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