I made these gold glitter yard letters for my daughter’s sweet 16 birthday, and love how they turned out out! They were a fun surprise for her, and they just added a little something special for her big day. If you’re looking for sweet 16 birthday party ideas, or want to add some party glam to your yard, give this birthday sign a try! DIY Gold Glitter Yard Letters: Sweet 16 Birthday Ideas.
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DIY GOLD GLITTER YARD LETTERS: SWEET 16 BIRTHDAY IDEAS
I purchased most of my goodies from Hobby Lobby and Home Depot.
- (4) Foam boards – 32 x 40
- Electric Knife
- Pencil & Black Marker
- Tape Measure
- Gold Spray Paint
- Elmer’s Glue Adhesive Spray Bond
- Gold Glitter
- Cardboard Box
- 5 Bags Large White Pom Poms
- 5 White Pom Pom Garland Strands
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Wooden or Metal Stakes
- Duct Tape or Clear Packing Tape
- 2 Bottles of Wine (1 for you, 1 for your husband) while you work on these 😉
DIY GOLD GLITTER YARD LETTERS: SWEET 16 BIRTHDAY IDEAS
STEP 1: Trace and Cut Letters & Numbers
STEP 2: Spray Paint Letters & Numbers Gold
STEP 3: Spray Adhesive Bonding & Add Glitter to Letters & Numbers
STEP 4: Glue Pom Poms and Pom Pom Garland
STEP 5: Tape Wooden Stakes and Insert Into Ground
Here are the 4 STEPS: DIY GOLD GLITTER YARD LETTERS
STEP 1: Trace and Cut Letters/Numbers
For the first step, you will take your foam board and mark off the middle measurement. You can either cut the board in half, or just draw a line (so you know where the middle is).
Next, trace or sketch the “S” on one side and “T” on the other side. Try to use as much of the length (height) as you can so that your letters will be taller.
Then repeat this again, and do both “E’s. You can make the “W” a little wider (more than half) because it won’t have to share space with another letter.
I sketched mine by hand, but click here to find a similar font to what I used.
***NOTE*** PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN USING THE ELECTRIC KNIFE!! NOT INTENDED FOR YOUNG CHILDREN OR EVEN TEENS.
Using an electric knife, cut out your letters.
I recommend starting out at the edge of the board, and just doing a test run so that you know how the knife works. Then once you get the hang of it, cut directly inside your black marker line of each letter.
For the E’s, just trace and cut one out first. Then use that first “E” to trace the second E. This will help – so that they are identical.
FOR THE NUMBERS:
For the “16,” I turned the foam board longways so that these 2 numbers would be a little bit taller than the “sweet.” This way both of the numbers will fit onto one tall board.
Now, using some scissors, gently poke a small hole in the middle of your 6. Then cut out a small line, just long enough that your electric knife can fit into it.
This will help when cutting out the bubble part of the 6 – see below.
***TIP*** I would recommend cutting half of these letters and numbers one day, and then the other half another separate day.
The electric knife vibrates pretty good, and kind of makes your arm tired.
And when you’re arm gets tired, you WILL NOT CUT as straight – trust me!!
STEP 2: Spray Paint Letters/Numbers Gold
Now that you have cut out all of your letters, it is time to move on to painting them.
Spray paint all of your letters and numbers with the metallic gold paint, and let them dry for 30 minutes to an hour. Do 2 coats to make sure you cover all of the letters.
The spray paint helps so that if some of the glitter falls off in certain spots, you won’t have a big white area peeking through.
***TIP*** DO NOT SPRAY TOO CLOSE, or your foam board will bubble up like mine. UGH!! (see pic 3). One day I will have to go back and fix these!
Let your letters and numbers dry for a full day before moving onto the next step.
STEP 3: Spray Adhesive Bonding & Add Glitter
After your letters have dried, it is time to add the glitter. For this step, I recommend using a large box so you can keep the glitter contained.
Spray a little bonding onto a small section of each letter (not the entire letter), and then sprinkle the glitter on top. Repeat this process until each letter and number is covered with glitter.
Once each letter/number is completed, gently tap it on the box to knock the excess glitter off.
***OPTIONAL*** Spray paint clear gloss onto each glittered letter to seal them.
I added the clear gloss to all of mine, but some of the glitter will still come off in certain spots. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that.
This is what it will look like after.
I just wanted to show you some steps that I tried first, that DID NOT work, just so you don’t waste your time too.
MISTAKE: Don’t use glitter spray paint!! It goes on more like a glaze, and will not give you the GLITTER look that you want.
Before with just the metallic gold spray paint:
After with the gold glitter spray paint:
Can you even tell that there’s any glitter on it? Not really – right? This glitter spray paint will work for other projects – but just not for this one!
And here it is with the ADHESIVE BOND AND GLITTER – MUCH BETTER!!
STEP 4: Glue Pom Poms & Pom Pom Garland
Now it is time to hot glue your large pom poms onto the letters, and the pom pom garland to your numbers.
Make sure to put down some type of painters cloth or plastic to keep the glitter from getting onto your floor.
***TIP*** To make this step easier, space out all of the pom poms first…. and mark the spots. This will help when you are gluing them, so that you know exactly where to put each pom pom.
This step took about 1 1/2 hours – just to give you an idea of time frame.
This is what they will look like with the pom poms – too cute – right?
STEP 5: Tape wooden dowels or stakes
For this part I used wooden dowels and wooden stakes that I found at Hobby Lobby. I attached the dowels to the letters, and the stakes to the numbers (since they were taller and heavier).
***NOTE*** You may want to use metal stakes if you have some or even metal skewers would work. The dowels worked ok, but I had to tap a hole into the ground with a screwdriver into each spot first. And this was A LOT OF WORK!!
MISTAKE: DO NOT PUT THESE UP THE NIGHT BEFORE.
I went against my better judgement (my honey told me to do this – ugh) and put these up the night before. It was VERY humid causing the duct tape to fall off AND the letters to warp – double UGH!).
So, put these up in the morning if you’re surprising your daughter with these.
And let the smiles begin!! They were definitely a lot of work – but completely worth it!! The sun dances off the glitter and really makes them sparkle.
If you need them for a night party, just add some lights. They are really fun!
Here’s a closeup picture.
Happy Sweet 16 to My Girl & Your’s!!
Love & Sweet 16 Hugs 🙂
Want to use these letters inside the house AND for Christmas – double duty yes please? Click DIY Let it Snow Christmas Wall Decor, 5 Tips: Christmas Tree Snow Village Table Setting, and Christmas Home Tour: Let it Snow.