Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Birthday I-Beam Display

Display this dimensional message 
at the birthday celebration. 
Composed of built up welded blocky 
'HAPPY' letters shape, with optional individual letter overlays, 
and a two-layer 'birthday' cursive word cut on front. 
Self "stand" is created with fold-together I-beam flanges 
with narrow side tabs that slide through 
slot back layer into an interior channel layer. 
Finished size is approx. 11.5" wide x 4" tall x 1" deep. 

ASSEMBLY:  1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A HAPPY word main shape (5)
B HAPPY individual letter overlays
C 'birthday' overlay (2)
D HAPPY channel shape (2)
E HAPPY slot shape
F tall I beam (4)    G short I beam
2. Glue the 5 main letter shapes together into a unified
stack, taking care to match up ALL cut edges as
precisely as possible.
HINT (here and throughout): 
Apply adhesive to one letter or section of one letter
at a time ONLY, then position, adjust that section,
before moving on to apply adhesive to the next section, etc.
Use a flat weight to help the assembly stay flat
while it dried after each layer is completed.
3. Glue the 2 channel shapes together,
taking care to line up all cut edges as precisely
as possible, taking particular care at the edges
near the channel cutouts so that the channels
do not narrow at all.
4. Attach the channel stack to the backside
of the main letter shape stack, continuing
precise edge alignment as before.
5. Position and attach the slot shape layer
to the backside of the stack, as precisely
as possible.
6. Position and attach each of the individual overlay
letters onto the front of the assembly.
7. Attach the "birthday" shapes together precisely.
9. Position the "birthday" stack overlay onto the
front of the HAPPY stack, and glue 
together the surfaces that touch.
10. Prepare the I-beam shape by bending back
at the center-most two perforation lines,
forward at the next two perforation lines,
and forward at the edge tab lines.
11. Apply glue to the center section . . .
. . . then bend the next sections to lay flat
over the center section, and apply pressure
until the surfaces are attached securely.
12. Apply glue to one side of the assembly's
next sections, then press the sections together.
13. Assist the I beam to take it's precise
final shape by pressing and pinching the 'L' angle
all along.
Bend the inner edge tab flanges outward as shown.
This is how the I-beam should look finished.
14. Position the top shaped end of the I-beam to align
with the slot on the back of one letter, slide upward
until the flange tabs fit under the slot layer
and slide into the channel layer space.
Continue to ease and slide upward until I-beam
is fully installed, with bottom beam edge and
main letter stack edges lined up.
Repeat for the other tall and short I-beams.
This is a view from the top of the assembly
to show the I-beams in place . . .
. . . and from the back.
Completed project:


  1. This is such a new and awesome idea! I love it!

  2. Perfect, just what I was looking for! I will add a "30" to mine.