DIY Upcycled Table Numbers

I am on a quest to not buy as little things as possible for our wedding reception. Decoration in particular, tends to be bought and thrown away after one use. As somebody who is trying not to buy things, but also have things look nice, it is a tough balance. Lately, I have been thinking about how to best number our tables for the reception, and I thought hmm…maybe I can just cut out numbers in some cardboard and make them look pretty with glitter. We finally found some time to do them, and they turned out better than I thought! This has easily been my favorite part of wedding planning so far (I hate planning). So if you’re having some kind of event that needs table numbers (wedding, baby shower, etc), instructions are below if you want to give it a try!


  • Cardboard (that you were going to recycle anyway)
  • Dowels (one for however many numbers you need)
    • Try a used craft/thrift store for these. I know in the SF Bay area, there is the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland and Scrap in San Francisco. I actually got my pack of dowels for another crafty project a long time ago at Creative Reuse for $0.50. I still had some leftover so I am happy I had a reason to use the rest.
  • Glue or Mod Podge for Glitter
  • Glitter (whatever color fits your theme)
  • Brush or sponge (for spreading glue)


  1. Print out paper numbers and cut them out. I used these number templates. They worked pretty well for me, but I’m sure numbers in any font that are printed big enough would work well too.20180316_175927.jpg
  2. Trace the cut paper numbers onto your cardboard.
  3. Cut the numbers from your cardboard. I found that sharp scissors worked pretty well. Box cutters were also helpful in cutting out the holes for numbers such as 0, 4, and 8.20180408_163046.jpg
  4. Glue a dowel onto each number and let dry.
  5. Now onto the fun part! Take your brush/sponge and dip into your glue/Mod Podge. Brush the glue onto both sides of your number. You can be pretty generous with the glue.20180516_100147
  6. Once the glue is brushed on, sprinkle your glitter all over your number on both sides. Place aside and let dry.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for additional layers of glitter. I personally found that 2 layers of glitter was enough.
  8. Optional: Brush on a sealant layer of glue/Mod Podge to prevent glitter from falling off your finished numbers. I tried this out on a couple numbers and felt like it dulled the color of my numbers, so opted to not do this for all my numbers.


  • Place some scratch paper under your work area when you start brushing on glue. This helps to catch any dripping glue/extra glitter.
  • The extra glitter will fall onto your piece of paper underneath as you are glittering your numbers. You can fold the paper in half and pour the extra glitter back into the bottle once enough accumulates.
  • Have a designated place to put your finished numbers because glitter tends to fall everywhere. A big empty box worked well for me.
  • I did numbers 1-15, and found that 4oz of glitter was enough for 2 layers on each number. This might vary depending on how big your numbers are and how many layers of glitter you want to put on.

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