Decorated Christmas Letters – Christmas in July

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One of the projects my kids and I did during on Christmas in July celebration was to decorate Paper Mache letters. We decided to decorate the letters to spell out “NOEL”, mainly because it is short and sweet. We used 8 inch high letters and decorated them in a diagonal striped pattern with mostly muted Christmas colors.

A set of decorated christmas letters on a table.

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They came out looking great, and we are thinking about doing “JOY” and “PEACE” next so we have letters for the whole fireplace mantle this Christmas.


  • Paper Mache letters
  • paint brush
  • paint in Christmas colors
  • Scrapbook paper and cardstock in Christmas colors
  • Paper Modpodge and Sparkle Modpodge
  • Paper trimmer
  • scissors
  • Xacto knife
  • cutting board


First step should be to paint the letters of the edges in colors that coordinate with your scrap book paper. We didn’t think of that, so we ended up painting after we started decorating the letters, which makes it harder since you have to be more careful with the paint!  So do the painting first.  We painted 2 letters with dark green and 2 gray.

For the next step we cut lots and lots of paper into thin strips using a paper trimmer.

A piece of paper is laid out on a table.

We didn’t try to measure the strips, so some are wider than others.  Then we arranged the strips in a diagonal pattern on the top of the letters, cutting them to size.

A person is making a box out of paper.

We changed the diagonal so the N and the E slanted to the right, and the O and L slanted to the left.  My oldest daughter is a perfectionist, and she spent quite a bit of time arranging the stripes and making sure they looked even.

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Once she was satisfied we used Paper Modpodge to stick the paper to the tops of the letters, letting the paper go right off the edges.  Then once the Modpodge was dry we used an Xacto knife and a cutting board to trim the excess paper off.  We tried scissors first, and the Xacto knife worked much better.

A person cutting a piece of cardboard to make a letter.

For the final step we went over the top of the letter in Sparkle Modpodge, to give it a glitter sheen.

This was one of our most time consuming Christmas in July crafts, because we choose a complicated design, but it was worth the effort!  This is a versatile project, and you could do it more quickly if you bought smaller letters and just covered them with one of two types of paper.

The word noel is sitting on top of a mantle.



Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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