3D Metallic Holiday Sign for $10

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
6 Materials
3 Hours
I know it is a bit early to be starting in on Christmas bliss, but who can help themselves? This is a fun and cheap way to add some metallic glitz to your mantle, or to hang on your door. To make this 3D metallic holiday piece all you need to do is save some cardboard boxes, grab some gold leaf and a box cutter, and get to molding. You could use the same technique to make any word of your choice!
Obviously this piece has a Christmas theme, but you could make someone's name or another word if you so choose!

-Gold Leaf


-Metallic Spray Paint (optional)

-Craft Glue or hot glue (I wound up using hot glue and it worked better!)


-Box Cutter

-Poking / Tracing Tool

-Print out of your word
STEP 1: Trace and cut out the word

Choose the word f your choice and trace it onto the cardboard. I used a knitting needle and just pressed around the words, so there was an indent in the cardboard.

Once the word is completely traced simply cut it out from the rest of the cardboard with a box cutter.
STEP 2: Cut cardboard strips

Cut several strips of cardboard out each with a width of 5.5" or so and in the longest lengths you can. Once you have these strips cut out, you will need to break down the rigidness of the board so that they are moldable.
STEP 3: Glue the thick strips to your work

Glue your strips of cardboard to the edge of the cutout word, so that it traces around the entire outer edge. Make sure to curve the strips where needed and bend the angles as well to ensure a crisp outline.

*I used hot glue instead of craft glue and it was much easier to work with
Once you are done, your word should look something like this. It will be able to stand on the strips you glued to the word cutout and will have a 3D effect.
STEP 4: Spray paint it

Spray the entire word with a metallic gold spray paint. Make sure to get in all the crevices. (You don't have to paint it if you plan on gold leafing the entire thing. However, gold leaf is pricier than paint, and paint is easier to apply into deep crevices where the gold leaf wouldn't even be seen, so it is a smart idea to paint a base layer and then go from there)
STEP 5: Cover it in gold leaf

If you don't want to cover your entire piece in gold leaf, you should at least cover the seams where the cardboard pieces meet. First you will need to apply a layer of adhesive.
tThen take your gold leaf and apply pieces over your adhesive.
If you only cover the seams it will still look pretty great and just has a more matte appearance with some fun glitz around the edge.
I decided to cover the front facing word cutout, so that it had a more metallic finish.
Part of me wants to make an entire quote this way and stream it across a wall in my apartment, but that would be quite a project!
Suggested materials:
  • Cardboard   (Recycle)
  • Gold Spray Paint   (Home Depot)
  • Gold Leaf   (Amazon)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 13 questions
  • Pamela Pamela on Oct 25, 2019

    This is absolutely beautiful. It looks like something out of a high-priced home decorating store. The gold leaf is expensive, so you could use ModPodge and stick tissue paper over the seams. That spray paint that gives a rough textured finish would also work. GREAT idea! Where did you get your cardboard?

  • Donna Donna on Dec 03, 2019

    Yes, I would try this project, but I would use the smooth,

    construction cardboard, which comes in many colors,

    including gold (skips the painting part) so that all parts

    are smooth and this cardboard is single layer and would

    bend easily around the shape of your word. Is the back of

    your word open, or did you cover the back of the word with

    another cut out word?

  • Eleanor Rossano Eleanor Rossano on Nov 12, 2021

    From where did you get the word to print out?

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  • Em Em on Dec 02, 2019

    Pretty neat. I would add a paper coating to the front before adding the gold. The lines from the cardboard would not be so noticeable. Or cut the front out of a smooth piece like a cereal box or tablet backing.

    It is really pretty though.

  • Halcyon Blake Halcyon Blake on Jul 22, 2020

    You can also find single sided cardboard which bends very easily saving the step of scoring leftover cardboard. (halcyonyarn.com/weaving/62702400)