Ah the good ol lettered sign. Such a time honored tradition when it comes to the holiday season. I'm sure you have all seen this version
via pottery barn
or this one
again via pottery barn
So many cute varieties but so little time and so little money! The big retail names like restoration hardware, pottery barn and west elm have perfected such home decor, but that perfection will cost you a pretty penny, or two, or a hundred and two. So that's where this round up of tips and tricks will come in handy whenever you want to whip up some signage for your kitchen, office and of course holiday mantel.
*Spray paint primer is your best friend. A quick base coat will speed up the whole shebang. You will use less paint in the long run and your dry time will be much quicker. A base coat is a must if you are using any fancy accent like gold leaf or liquid leaf, otherwise the wood or chipboard will soak up your whole bottle and dull the sheen.
Vary the colors:
*Don't just use one color. Mix in a couple of accent colors or accent tones to add depth and character, otherwise it will look quick and cheap. My go to trick is to pick up a handful of house paint samples from Lowe's. I like how thick house paint is vs craft acrylic paint say from Hobby Lobby or Micheal's. Do one base color on top of the primer and then quickly blend in a couple of swipes of color before it dries. For my Peace sign I used a base neutral gray color and then blended in a light turquoise and light yellow color.
Shiny is your best friend *Who doesn't love a gilt edge or two? Or perhaps silver leaf is your thing? Especially when it comes to holiday decor, don't hold back when it comes to the glitz. Once you do a craft or two with it, a bottle of liquid leaf will soon take place as your most used craft tool. I know it has for me. From painting on fabric to glass to paper, the sheer multitude of uses is astounding!
Connection is key * When connecting individual letters you can do a variety of things. I love the popsicle stick trick, as I demonstrated above. But if you don't have the space to store such an awkward piece of decor then I suggest using the ribbon trick. Connect each letter with a couple of piece of ribbon, that way you can fold the letters up and store when needed. Just make sure to make the ribbon pieces long enough so you are able to fold the letters back upon themselves.
Clear coat conundrum *To sheen or not to sheen, that is the diy question of the day. I ALWAYS recommend sealing up your painted projects with a coat or two of clear coat. I prefer a nice satin to a high gloss, but that decision I leave up to you.
Hope this helps with your next letter diy. I know I stared at those rows and rows of letters in the craft stores for ages before garnering up the courage/inspiration to actually try something with them. They look full of potential, and when you know what to do with them they absolutely are!