Something you want OVERSIZED

Last week, when I finished the hallway with Mr. Poppin, an Ikea canvas, and an original piece, my mom called me up and said, “It’s just so easy for you, isn’t it?”  I had to laugh, because although the hallway wasn’t difficult to put together–other things are.  It definitely isn’t always easy for me.  The last 48 hours I have been working on a project that I would put in the “challenging” category.  I just could NOT figure out how to execute the oversized letters I fell in love with at Anthropologie.  Good news, it won’t take you 48 hours, a case of carpal tunnel, burned fingertips or even the $98/letter Anthropologie is asking.  I have to thank my sweet hubby, Chris, for being such a mastermind.  He thought of the final solution and we now have our own 25″ tall, 2″ thick HUUUGGGEEE letters to prop above our bed:

Pretty, huh?

But let’s back track (just for fun) so you can see the mess I went through before getting to this point.  First, I thought of cardboard.  I had a bunch of boxes in our storage closet, but only two were large enough to fit a 25″ letter.  Welp,  I only needed two.  Victory.  I thought, “Wow, this is going to look awesome.  So easy.”  I was taking pictures a long the way to show you how I was doing everything.  I burned my fingers a hojillion times trying to hold the pieces together while hot-glueing (not recommended).  I got this awesome spray paint that Rustoleum makes that is a “hammered metal” effect–perfection!…. …. ….until it seeped THROUGH the cardboard leaving it just solid silver and looking very cardboard-y.  Blah!

disgrace

So, day two rolls around (yesterday) and I went out and got foam core.  I figured if I made the front and backs of the letters out of something smoother, then I wouldn’t get the texture showing through the spraypaint.  I was also crossing my fingers that the sweet spray paint I found would actually stay on top of the surface–I didn’t get that far.  Once I cut out the “J” using a box cutter (I don’t know if that’s what it is technically called, but it has a different name in my book now.   I blame my carpal tunnel on gripping that sucker for too long.)  and glued the sides to the bottom (more burns) I realized, the top wasn’t going to fit exactly.  Arrrgggghhhhhhh!! AAAAAHHHHH!!  I was so close to giving up.

A mess
And then I called Chris and told him my sob story and he suggested using something that was already 2″ thick, like wood, and a jig saw (which we didn’t have…yet :) ).  Brilliant!  He stopped at Lowe’s on his way home and called me while he was there so that he could talk me through everything he was seeing and I could choose (so sweet, huh?).  He found a jig-saw for $40 and it is something that we will use often, so he got that.  Then he went over to the wood.  They don’t make 2″ wood that is atleast 25″ long and 20″ wide.  They just don’t.  We started talking about perhaps glueing two pieces together for thickness, yada yada.  Then he spotted insulation styrofoam.  A BIG sheet for $15!!  It was 2″ thick and smooth.  My voice was getting higher and higher with excitement.  He brought it home.  
He cut the letters out with the jig-saw and I sanded the edges a little.   You can’t spray paint styrofoam, so I put a coat of black acrylic paint on this morning:

The light is shining through my hair–looks faareaky!
followed by drybrushing Plaid’s Acrylic Craft paint in “Metallic Silver Sterling”:
And now we have zinc-looking oversized letters of our very own!  Once the styrofoam was in the house, it was easy-peasy.  I would totally do it again, in fact, I might.  Maybe a future giveaway or something.  We still have half of the insulation board left and I know at least one person that would love a big ol’ letter:
 
….maybe a “G?”  :)
(psst…see how it all turned out here)

11 Comments

  • Reply February 17, 2011

    Ems

    The letters turned out great! I love DIY solutions.

  • Reply February 17, 2011

    auntietina

    The cousin pieces to your styrofoam are currently cut to fit in my bedroom window. 1)because it leaks cold air like a sieve, and 2) my delightful neighbors have an outdoor floodlight aimed directly at the window. Pretty fantastic solution for the price!

  • Reply February 19, 2011

    Andrea Hernandez

    We wanted to do a word wall for our living room, all letters and typography stuff! So we went to the big craft store here, and can you believ ethey have a whole aisle of large styrofoam letters and numbers. But its foamy looking…they’re just about 2 inches thick too. If I buy some, what should I use to paint it with?

  • Reply February 19, 2011

    Julia

    Andi,

    It depends on the look you want to go for. These were styrofoam, but we wanted a metal look so I used a paint brush to brush on black acrylic paint and then dry brushed (did not dip it in any water) sterling silver metallic craft paint. A word wall could also look great with glossy solid color letters. This could be achieved with a bright color (like red) or even a nice white with a layer of gloss over top (like Mod Podge). Whatever you do, make sure to disguise the styrofoam for an expensive look. Hope this helps!

    Jules

  • Reply February 20, 2011

    Lindsey

    love! utterly fantastic!!!!

  • Reply February 20, 2011

    DecorandtheDog

    Cute letters. Glad I’m not the only one who struggles through these projects! :)

  • Reply February 21, 2011

    Holly

    LOVE these letters – the size if fabulous and you did a great finish too! I am a new follower.
    Holly
    504 Main

  • Reply April 3, 2011

    last minute lynn

    Brilliant!

  • Reply May 3, 2011

    Anonymous

    You can buy floral spray paint that won’t melt the styrofoam. Michaels has it.

  • I LOVE these! So awesome! And much better than the $98 price tag.

  • I am so glad you figured this out! I have been trying to get my mind around it for a while too! Husbands are the best!

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