Do or DIY: Cardboard Picture Letter

So college move in day is rapidly approaching (THANK GOD!!!!!) and at this point last year I was looking to DIY as many things as I could to bring to school with me so I could have a super artsy room.

This didn’t happen. Because I am lazy. But here’s a pretty common DIY with a different twist to make it cost about 0 dollars.

I made this for a friend’s birthday/graduation present last year because I was broke (a common occurrence in the life of Colleen). Okay, for me it cost 0 dollars, but my mom is crazy into crafting so we have crafting supplies lying around the house everywhere. So if your mom isn’t craft woman, you might have to buy some supplies at the store, but it still shouldn’t cost that much to make.

Basically what you’re doing here is turning a cardboard box into a 3D initial to cover with pictures and hang up. Also a fair warning, if your name starts with a letter like C or D or S you will have a harder time with this DIY than someone whose name starts with H or A or K (I feel your pain).

Supplies Needed:


Cardboard Box

Knife/Box Cutter/Scissors



Hot Glue Gun

Regular Glue

Mod Podge

Step 1. Outline your letter in sharpie on the cardboard box


Step 2. Cut out letter using box cutter or scissors

Step 3. Use the first letter you cut out as a stencil to trace on the box for the other side of the letter.


Step 4. Repeat step 2

Step 5. Make sure the pieces line up, trim them if they don’t


Step 6. Decide how thick you want the letters to be and cut a strip of cardboard out of the box to connect the two initials.


Step 7. Hot glue the pieces together until you’ve completed and have a 3D letter that should stand on it’s own. Clearly curved letters are a little harder because you need a lot of small pieces, where other letters can just use long pieces.


Step 8. Paint the letter whatever color you want. It doesn’t even have to be a good paint job, just enough so that if any letters have a gap it’s not cardboard peeking through.


Step 9. Cut out your pictures, when I made this for a friend I used pictures of us, but today I’m just making a random collage of stuff from online and that I cut out of magazines


Step 10. Glue pictures to letter, they can overlap if you want. Do it however you want.

Step 11. Coat the whole thing in Mod Podge.


Step 12. Let dry!

If you’re about to start college, have fun and DIY away!


I MIGHT bring this to school with me, but I have to fly to campus so if I can’t fit it in my suitcase it won’t get to come and it probably won’t fit into my suitcase 😦



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