DIY Ampersand

I’m pretty excited to share with you how I made this ampersand!  This was one of those projects that came to my mind and I thought “wow I am genius”.(just kidding)  But really, I saw the whole project flash in my mind from start to finish and it came together so flawlessly.  Not the case.  Don’t get me wrong I love how it turned out and I actually went and bought another Styrofoam board after I was done making this one so I could do another one. So it wasn’t that bad.  Hopefully I can share some tips to make this project go easier for you.

First of all, can you believe that this ampersand is actually made of styrofoam!!

Pretty cool, right?!
Today I am going to show you how you can make this DIY Ampersand.

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Floracraft smooth finish (found mine at Walmart)
small push pins
putty knife
I have had my Styro Cutter for almost 10 years and have used it a number of times, I have never had any issues with it at all.  It looks like they have updated the style, since I purchased this one, to look better than a used toilet paper roll….hahah.
I added links to a pdf of the ampersand that I used.  Print both pages, overlap them a little to get them lined up good, tape the two pieces of paper together and then cut it out.& Sign 1
& Sign 2
After I was done cutting out the paper, I laid it on the styrofoam and used pins to secure it in place.
Next, grab your styro cutter because it’s time to cut!

 It’s pretty easy to use, but please read all of the directions before you begin.  Also it might be a good idea to use a corner of the styrofoam to practice and get a feel for how fast it cuts through the styrofoam.

Caution! The cutter cuts by melting the styrofoam so be careful not to burn yourself.
Cut out the entire perimeter of the ampersand.  Then make three additional cuts as you can see in the picture below, where the three red lines are. You might have to tear the paper in order to cut the holes of the Ampersand out.

When done cutting,  remove the paper and apply the Smooth Finish product on the front and sides of the styrofoam.  I didn’t bother doing the back since I knew I would be hanging it up.  To apply the Smooth Finish use a putty knife, or in my case, a butter knife to evenly spread the white puffy stuff.  Keep in mind the directions say to “add a thin layer.”  I thought that a thin layer would not do the trick, so I added a thick layer.  I ended up sanding waaaaaayyyy too much.  A thin layer will work.  If you want to add more layers it’s best to let it completely dry before adding more.
Allow the Smooth Finish product to dry overnight.
When fully dry use sandpaper to lightly smooth the entire surface.  Then use the styrofoam glue to stick the two pieces back together.  You may need to add a small patch of Smooth Finish to cover up the glue seams.

Here is what mine looked like after sanding it.

Here is what it looked like after spraying it with gold spray paint. .

When I showed my husband the finished product he asked, “is that a piece of metal?” The not-so-even areas of the Smooth Finish also added character, and apparently made it look like metal.  Not exactly what I was going for, but I LOVE how it turned out.
This will be an accent piece for my command center.  What do you think? Have you ever cut styrofoam before?

 Thanks for stopping by today!!

To see some of my other projects check out my project gallery here, or click the image below!

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  1. says

    Love, love, love this Shonee! It looks like the concrete ones that I've seen in terms of texture around the edges and looks like metal with the finish…..A perfect combination!
    I have never seem a styrofoam cutter before. A couple of Christmas's ago, I made large gingerbread cookies cut out of styrofoam and coated with joint compound, but it was such a paint to cut the styrofoam…..I totally need to get me one of those tools!
    Thanks for sharing this great project!

    • says

      Jamie if you have cut styrofoam before and you didn't use this cutter, it will change your life when you do get to use it. It is sooo easy! Too bad you didn't know about it before. Let me know if you get one and make an awesome project. I want to see it.

  2. says

    This turned out gorgeous – I bought one ( a white one ) and it was expensive – AND I like yours better – beautiful job!
    Hopping over from An Extraordinary Day where this caught my eye first thing

    • says

      Suzan thanks! That is one of the reasons I decided to make one myself, it was really inexpensive. I am so happy you like it! Thanks for stopping by!

    • says

      Amy thanks for the invite to your link party!! I just linked up. This project was totally new to me too. I have cut styrofoam before but never used the smooth finish. It is pretty cool stuff

    • says

      Thanks Beth! I really like how it turned out. If you asked me a year ago if I liked gold I would have said no. Now I cant get enough of it.

    • says

      If you would have asked me a few years ago if I liked gold I would have laughed out load and said it was for the older generations. I hate to say that now because I am totally with you. I am really digging it. Thanks for stopping by Kristi!

    • says

      Colleen what a great idea, that would look so cool. There really are some many options. I almost tried using that textured spay paint that makes it look like rock, maybe next time.

    • says

      Thanks Kim! I feel bad, I think I missed your party this week :( We had family here and I got out of my routine. Next week I should be there!

    • says

      Honestly Jessica I can't believe it turned out so great either…did I just say that!! Sometimes my projects actually turn out ok 😉 Thanks for stopping by to say hi!

  3. says

    Hi Shonee,
    Just wanted to lyk that you are one of my features for the Merry Monday #16 link party. I appreciate you linking up with us each week and I hope to see you at the party again.


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