We finally got the chance to make our inflatable Letterbox Sculpture from Evie & Ewe. Our kids couldn’t wait to open the box and get started. Here’s our review.
The Letterbox Sculpture comes in a very nicely packaged box. All the materials are presented beautifully and they invite you to pick them up. From the little tubes of glitter to the paint pots filled with thick luxurious paint, the quality shines through.
Contents: What You Get
- Unicorn Letterbox Sculpture Balloon [Double Sided, 20cm Tall]
- Instructions and decorating planner
- Gold and Purple Biodegradable Glitter
- Colouring Pencils
- Decoupage Tissue Paper Skins
- Kid Friendly PVA Glue
- 3 Minute Egg Timer
- 6 x Paint Pots
- 2 x Paintbrushes
- 1 x Wheat Straw
The Sculpture Balloon is double-sided and stands about 20cm tall once completed. It’s an unusual type of material, a combination of latex and papier-mâché.
Locally sourced Materials
Evie & Ewe have meticulously selected the materials. The paints and glitter are sourced locally in the UK. We are all for keeping things local here at Here Come The Girls.
Making The Letterbox Sculpture
The instructions are really simple to follow. Simply – Soak, inflate and decorate!
The biggest challenge is thinking about how to decorate the sculpture. Check out our Evie & Ewe’s product page for some ideas.
1. Soaking the Letterbox Sculpture
To being you need to soak the letterbox sculpture balloon in water for 3 minutes. We used a large lasagne dish to soak the unicorn. It wasn’t quite big enough but we were able to submerge it all. My youngest excitedly turned over the egg timer and we eagerly waited for the sand to run through.
2. Inflating & Drying The Letterbox Sculpture
Wheat straws are a genius idea. They indicate the attention to detail Evie & Ewe have gone to. Another example to show a conscious decision made to consider the environment footprint of the craft set. The balloon is easy to blow up and it seals itself once the straw is removed. So once it’s inflated it’s time to let it dry.
One thing the instructions don’t explain is how best to leave the sculpture to dry. We thought about where to leave it but the most logical place was over the sink. The balloon didn’t drip much after the soaking but it seemed the best place for it. The Letterbox Sculpture comes with a handy loop of string. So I hung it on the tap over the kitchen sink.
The instructions suggest letting the letterbox sculpture dry for 30 minutes before decorating. But it didn’t seem long enough. We went out and played in the garden for a few hours , had lunch and then started the painting in the afternoon.
3. Decorating The Letterbox Sculpture
Now the really fun part. The girls were so excited to start painting. Between them they divided the Letterbox Sculpture up into sections and each girl took an area each. The paint was thick and went on easily. Light can shine through the balloon sculpture so they put lots of paint to give a deep color. The set comes with some brilliant colors. The turquoise color is speckled with glitter and looks fantastic.
We left the paint on the Unicorn to dry over night before adding the decoupage skins and glitter.
Part 2: Glitter & Decoupage
Now for the fun part. The girls were very excited to do the final touches to the unicorn.
Glittering the Unicorns
For the glittering I put down a sheet to make sure the glitter didn’t get all over the kitchen table.
The girls loved glittering. There’s so much in the box that it seemed a shame not to us it all! Well, that’s what the unicorn would want… right?
A brush came in useful to move some of the glitter to fully cover the surface.
Adding The Decoupage
Decoupage isn’t something we do so it was a unique experience. First, the girls decided the skins that they wanted to use. In our case it was 2 different looks. One side would be sweets and the other leopard print.
Next, my eldest chose which eyes to use. Stylish yet subtle eyelashes of course!
For the final time we waited for the unicorn to dry. Once it was, I sealed it with a craft varnish. I felt it needed it even though it wasn’t mentioned in the instructions. Some of the loose glitter was already starting to drop off. But the varnish fixed that.
Here’s our finished Unicorn!
How We Would Improve Letterbox Sculptures
The Size Of The Project
The Unicorn is a large object to decorate, which is actually part of the appeal. What other way could you get a unicorn head through the post? Being a large object does mean however, that it’s a big undertaking for a toddler. My daughters didn’t seem to mind too much though because we broke the activity up into different projects as dictated by the need to wait in-between each stage. So the size of the project isn’t really a criticism it’s more of a recommendation that perhaps the instructions should mention the fact that people should be prepared to complete it in a few sittings.
My daughters couldn’t wait to start making the Unicorn. Admittedly I was keen to see how the revolutionary balloon papier-mâché technology worked. In our haste we didn’t change into our painting clothes. Which wasn’t a problem, until it was a problem.
The Gold and Green paints – vivid and rich colours – are oil based whereas the others are water based. We didn’t know that at the time and my eldest daughter got a blob of gold paint on her t-shirt. Needless to say it hasn’t come out. So be wary that those colours will be tough to get out of clothes. We wouldn’t want Evie & Ewe to change the colours because they’re rich and fun to paint with. But perhaps a small advisory label is needed.
The finished unicorn started to shed it’s glitter almost as soon as it was done. I sprayed a paint sealer over the sculpture to lock in the decoupage and glitter. Perhaps the box should contain a small bottle of sealant or at the very least the instructions should mention some top tips when finishing it.
What To Do With The Letterbox Sculpture Once It’s Done?
Right we’ve done the craft and the girls loved the end result. But where do we put it? It seems a shame to hide it away. But if we keep it out it will drop glitter. One consideration could be a base or someway of mounting the sculpture once it’s complete.
The girls and I had a blast doing our sculpture. It was a labour of love and we couldn’t be happier with the result. I was amazed at how much care the girls took over the painting and gluing. It was almost as if they knew it was something a little more special than a normal craft you can buy at the store.
Apparently, Evie & Ewe are coming up with some new designs in the near future. We can’t wait to make a friend for our unicorn.
Letterbox Sculptures are novel and packed with unique features. My kids certainly enjoyed doing the activity. It’s an ideal craft for kids. There’s a lot of theatre to it. Soaking the papier-mâché; inflating the balloon; and decorating the 3D unicorn.
If we had some feedback for Evie & Ewe it’s that the balloon takes a bit longer than 30 minutes to dry. It wasn’t a problem for us because we had other things to do. However, I could imagine if the instructions were followed to the letter then it may cause an issue if the balloon plaster isn’t dry.
Now we’re waiting for the next edition. We have been given an idea of what it might be but were sworn to secrecy!
Where To Buy A Papier-Mâché Unicorn Letterbox Sculpture?
Evie & Ewe have their own store at www.EvieandEwe.co.uk and they also sell via NotOnTheHighStreet. But we recommend buying via their own site as there’s a few additional extras you can’t get elsewhere.
Background To Letterbox Sculptures
Ben, the founder of Evie & Ewe and creator of the Letterbox Sculptures concept, has an incredible eye for detail and a strong sense of style. We interviewed Ben about his business, where he got the idea from and the journey to get this novel technology to market.