Christmas JOY- DIY Metal Salvage Marquee Letters- in Gold & Silver

3-4 Hours

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.
So, why not make a set of faux metal letters yourself?
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.
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 also dry brushed a bit of black acrylic in the nooks and crannies just to add a bit of depth to the texture of the paint.
So, what are your thoughts? Do you prefer these "metal" marquee letters in gold or silver?

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Joanne Anderson
    on Oct 30, 2016

    Where did you get the cardboard letters?

    • Christy
      on Feb 28, 2017

      Most Michael's craft stores have them, I have also found them at our local Wal Mart. However, I will say the quality of cardboard compared between these two stores was quite different. I chose to go with Michael's and pay a little more for the quality, I wanted my letters to last for several years... I did a couple different words with this project, the first being the word "joy" in the color silver. The second being the word "Noel" for it I chose a lighter blue with a little distressed black in the corners and finally the last being "welcome" in Christmas Red (where the lights are coming thru, I call this area the backdrop?) with glossy black on the inside walls of the letters. The welcome one really "POPS" when it is lit up at night! I will take a photo and attach here next december as it is March tomorrow and all my Christmas decor is packed away.. Thank you for sharing such a great project! My granddaughters are going to do their names next and can match the colors to their bedrooms. They are super excited to do this project! I am so happy that we can do it together💗

Join the conversation

2 of 31 comments
  • Amelia Jones
    on Oct 24, 2018

    Very helpful info! Your blog is very informative and creative blog. . I’m a long time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave a comment. Brilliant job.

    silver letters for wall

  • Pamela
    on Dec 7, 2018

    Love this !!! I definitely like the silver !!! After all the packages I have coming from on line shopping , I will have plenty of cardboard !!!! Thinking of lots of letter gifts throughout the year !!! Thanks for the post !

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