I love vintage Christmas decorations. I enjoy found objects that you’ve searched antique stores, thrift shops, and salvage yards for. However, if you’re a treasure hunter like I am, then you know that sometimes you have a hard time finding just the right piece, or if you do then finding it to fit your budget.
Such is the case with my JOY salvage letters. I couldn’t find anything I loved, but I do love metal and marquee letters, so I just decided to make my own.
And, I’ve always said that the best thing about paint is, if you don’t like something or you “mess it up” you can always paint over it. Which is exactly what I did with these guys. Well, read on and you’ll see what I mean.
- Dimensional paper mache letters (I found mine on sale at Joann’s but most craft places have them)
- Metalic spray paint (I used gold, then changed my mind and used silver instead)
- Exacto knife
- A drill or even a nail and hammer for the marquee holes in the letter
- A ruler if you’re a stickler for precision when marking where to punch your marquee holes
First, start by cutting the front panel off your letters with your exacto knife. It’s not too hard, just be careful, obviously. How do you like my background there, huh? That’s the top of my craft table, it’s clearly seen a lot of use.
I thought the inside of the letters was cool, mine had these zig-zag pieces of cardboard for support, but they came right out.
My knife left my edges pretty rough, so I used a piece of sandpaper and sanded them down a bit. Not totally though because remember I wanted a rustic look.
Next, spray paint! I originally painted mine in gold metallic.
After the paint dries, flip your letter over and mark the back to where you’re holes will be. I put mine about every inch or so. Then drill your hole through into the letter. I did mine this way because I wanted the cardboard to poke into the letter for texture and dimension.
You can also use a thick nail and hammer if you don’t have or want to drill.
That’s it! I had originally thought of wiring some battery pack Christmas lights through the holes, and I guess I still could. Then I thought, these are supposed to look like they have a story to tell, if I had really found these marquee letters at a salvage yard, they probably wouldn’t still have their bulbs, only the holes.
Remember when I said paint is awesome because you can paint over it if you don’t like it? Well, I lived with these gold for a little while, but the more I looked at them, they still just looked like cardboard letters, not too much different than their original color.
So, I opted for my second favorite metallic color, silver. This silver is really shiny though, and didn’t look very old. I used my paint rub technique with a black acrylic craft paint to distress them further. It’s a little hard to see in the photos, but trust me, it’s there.
Here’s a glimpse at my vintage inspired Christmas fireplace. These are my favorite decorations I put out all year.
How lucky to get a real behind the scenes look at my fireplace and my crazy craft table in one post!
I wouldn’t surprise myself if I change them to a completely different color next year, you never know.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you prefer these “metal” marquee letters in gold or silver?
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