Monday, July 2, 2012

How To: Easy Faux Zinc Letters

Hey guys! I’m really excited to show you my latest how-to today, the easy faux zinc letter (emphasis on EASY!). Remember the letter “B” on my mantel in the Pottery Barn mirror knock-off tutorial?
Easy Faux Zinc Letter

Well, I made that letter “B” out of stuff I had laying around the house. Recycling, actually.
It’s cereal boxes!
I was super lazy efficient about making this, no glue or paper mache required. Yes, you can find cardboard letters like this at Jo-Ann’s. Their design of the letter B looked too much like a number 8 to me so I decided to create my own.

I got so involved in this quickie project that I forgot to take progress photos – oops! This took me only an hour from start to finish. It’s the perfect TV-watching craft.

First, I sketched out two “B”s on the back of some cereal boxes. I used two cereal boxes for this, making sure that the unprinted side of the cardboard was facing out on every side. To make it three-dimensional, I cut the remaining cardboard into 2” strips.

Now. If you’re following along at home, get out your painter’s tape. It was a little pain-staking, but I taped up the letter so that the tape on the front of the letter is invisible (tape inside). The tape’s on the inside of the letter. On the back, I could afford to be less careful and taped this mama-jama up!

Since the letter wanted to roll onto its side, I put a couple of rocks inside to weigh it down. I skipped the full-out papier mache, but if you want, just mix cornstarch & water together and slap some newspaper on that puppy!
Go to the store and get yourself some acrylic paint.

Make sure you absolutely absolutely get:
1) Plain black acrylic paint
2) Folk Art “Pearl White” – You’ll find it with the rest of the metallic acrylic paints. It’s a white metallic.
Take the black paint and cover everything. Let it dry.
DSC_0455 DSC_0456

Hooray! Here comes the MAGICAL part. I was like a kid in a candy store when I saw how cool this effect was… who knew that a layer of white metallic + black = metal look??  #WorthTheHype

Take a dry brush, and load sparingly – at first – with the Pearl White paint. Brush it on using straight strokes and dab it on to get the look you want.
Fun, huh?
Check out this close-up of the letters. I love how the edges look forged when they pick up the shine from the metallic paint!

So there you have it – a metal letter art for the cost of 2 bottles of acrylic paint and an hour of your time. Happy painting!
Easy Faux Zinc Letter

I linked up at:
   Liz Marie BlogHome Stories A2Z


  1. What an awesome tip! The same look as what other crafters have recreated with multiple paint colours accomplished with just two!

    I'm pinning the great project :) Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. Love the blog name!

    1. Thanks a bunch, Claire! I'm so glad you can appreciate the mantra of "work smarter, not harder" too! :)

  2. 1. I LOVE your Pottery Barn knock off - awesome!
    2. I think this recent creation is great - I will have to try it soon!

    I wanted to let you know I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award, to learn more information please check out my post at:

    I'm your newest follower :)

  3. Hi Steph!

    I just wanted to let you know that I linked to your project as inspiration for a guest post that I shared today on the blog Setting For Four! You can check it out at

    Thanks so much for inspiring me! I can't believe how easy it is :)



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