Finally getting around to my tutorial for DIY 3D Harry Potter Letters to spell out your child’s name (or yours!) for their nursery or room! Just warning you now that these are very time-consuming and tedious but so worth the outcome.
Supplies you’ll need:
• Poster board
• A ton of clear tape
• A Silhouette Cameo (or printer and scissors if you don’t have some sort of electronic cutting machine)
• Silver or gold leaf
• Mod podge or gold leaf glue
• Paint brush
• Silver/gold leaf sealer
• Command Strips
Step 1: Get the Harry Potter font
Download the Harry Potter font off of dafont.com here.
Step 2: Cut out your letters
Type out whatever letters you need in the Silhouette Studio software (or whatever electronic cutter program you have) in the size you want and have your machine cut out each letter on poster board. If you don’t have an electronic cutting machine you can just print out the letters on computer paper, trace the letters onto poster board and cut out with scissors or an xacto knife. As a size reference the “L” I used is 11.3″ tall. At this point you’ll have the letters you want cut out flat.
Step 3: Cut out thin strips of poster board
This is where the instructions get a little tricky. It’s kind of a trial and error type of thing where I can’t tell you exactly what size and how to do it because every letter will be different. For the size letters I used I started out by cutting long 1.5″ strips of poster board. The strip width kind of depends on how high you want the peaks of your 3D letters to be. And the length depends on how tall your letters are. I also used different width strips throughout the process depending on what area I needed to fill to make it 3D. It’s kind of like a giant puzzle and it’s definitely not easy.
Step 4: Build using tape!
I started out using masking tape because I thought I’d paper mache the letters but the masking tape wasn’t sticking too well and I decided against paper mache anyway. I ended up taking the masking tape off and using clear tape instead. To know how to build each letter the correct way I looked up “3D Harry Potter letters” on google images to see how each letter should be shaped. I’ll do my best to explain how I did the “L”.
I started off the build with the longest straight area of the letter. Taped two long strips on each side of the letter. Then brought those two pieces together to form a peak. Then tape the crap out of it to make sure it stays together! At the top of it I cut the excess length off the peak at an angle anticipating there being a triangle at the top of the letter to finish off the 3D part. This is kind of the part where it’s handy to look at letters already done so you can see what shape pieces you’ll need. To know what size triangle you’ll need at the top I held up a piece of poster board where it needs to go and traced on the bottom of it where the peak is to get the triangle shape. You just kind of repeat this process over and over to get all the pieces you need and tape it together. You can’t always trace the shape you need so it’s just kind of trial and error of cutting the shape out. You can piece together what you need too if you miss a little section because you’ll be covering it up with silver or gold leaf. You want to try to make it as smooth as possible though because while the silver or gold leaf will mask some of the imperfections you’ll still be able to see some of the tape underneath if you make it super messy.
Here are the letters after I finished building them.
Step 5: Apply silver or gold leaf
I used silver leaf to cover up the 3D Harry Potter letters rather than spray paint because if you used spray paint you’d see all of the tape and imperfections very easily. I think the silver leaf also adds a sort of vintage look that goes well with Harry Potter props. This part was very tedious to me. Silver leaf has a mind of its own. It likes to flake off and go everywhere and not stick where you want it. To apply I cut the silver leaf in strips that were about the size of the area I wanted to put it. I then painted mod podge where I wanted to stick the silver leaf and stuck it on. You then rub the back of the sheet to make it stick and slowly pull the paper away. It probably won’t apply exactly how you wanted it to because that’s what silver leaf does!! So just fill in the holes until it’s completely covered. I would also occasionally use the mod podge on top of the silver leaf to make it stick.
Step 6: Apply silver/gold leaf sealer
This stuff is stinky so do it outside or in a well ventilated area! Apply light layers or it gets sticky and gums up. This clear sealer will make sure the silver/gold leaf doesn’t flake off your letters
Step 7: Stick on your wall!
Stick your letters on your wall using command picture hanging strips and enjoy!
I hope this tutorial helps you make your own DIY 3D Harry Potter letters! Good luck 👍🏻 I made these letters for my son’s Harry Potter nursery…check out all the details of his nursery here!