How to make polystyrene letters for the home or for hobby crafts.
The usual way to make polystyrene letters would be with a hot wire cutter. This is the way that we make them when we are making letters for our customers. If you want to make letters for domestic use for the home for putting onto the wall and painting them there is a way to make them without a proper hit wire cutter. You can use a scroll saw to make the letters instead. You can also use a jig saw with a (101a blade).
First make a paper templates of the letters required which you can make by printing them off from a computer. Tape the paper templates onto 1mm thick card. Cut the card with a craft knife, next use drawing pins to fix the card template onto the polystyrene. Use a scroll saw to cut the polystyrene letters, the card template will help you to get a better shape for the letters.
Once the letters are cut you can smooth the letters off with a medium grade sand paper. Paint the letters with a vinyl matt emulsion. Gloss paint will usually melt the letters. The letters can be finished off with a gloss finish but only if you cover the letters with a couple of layers of epoxy resin or exterior grade PVA.
To buy your polystyrene try contacting your local builders merchant or DIY store. They often keep sheets in thicknesses of 25mm and 50mm in stick.
When cutting the letters with a scroll saw please remember to use a face mask to stop you from breathing in any dust.
When cutting the card template you will find it easier to cut the straight lines first and then do the curves, use a ruler as a guide, if you try to cut a straight line with out a ruler you will end up with a wobbly line. Practise your cutting before you try to make the letters.