Google+ House Revivals: How to Make Faux Tin Letters and a Union Jack

Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Make Faux Tin Letters and a Union Jack

Okay, here are the instructions for making this project.


These "rusted tin letters" were swagged over a Union Jack collage in my British Invasion post.  For the cord, I just used some crochet thread finger crocheted to the length needed.  Really, anything would do.  Just use what you have on hand: twine, yarn, wire, chain, whatever you can lay your hands on.


I wanted to make sure the letters would not fall off, so I used good old Gorilla Glue to secure the letters to the cord.

To create the letters, I found a font I liked and printed the letters at the size I wanted.   Then, I cut out the letters and traced around them onto cardboard.  I did this twice for each letter.


After tracing the second set of letters, draw a new cutting line, a scant quarter inch in from the original tracing line.


 Cut out the letters, cutting the first set using the original line, and the second set, using the new cutting line.


 You should now have one regular set of letters, and one skinny set.


You need two different widths of letters to create this dimensional look.


For the next highly technical step, I just glued a couple of layers of scrap cardboard to the underside of the skinny set of letters....


.... and then just glued the built-up skinny letters on top of the regular letters.


The next step was to glue newsprint over the letters.  One or two layers is plenty.  I just cut out very generous letters and glued them over the cardboard, coaxing a gentle curve into the space between the letters.  You could also just skip the newsprint and run a bead of paintable caulk or spackle in the crevice, smoothing it out with your finger.  This step is key to getting that "pressed tin" look.

Do all your letters. In this case, I spelled "LOVE", but you can spell anything.  In fact, I think "ANYTHING" would be a wonderful word!


This is how the backs of the letters looked, before they were covered in newsprint.


I think the letters are perfect just like this, and might have left them alone at this point, using them with the newsprint exposed....


 ... but, what I really wanted for the British invasion collage was the look of rusty, painted tin letters, so I kept going.


All of the letters got two or three sloppy layers of paint, followed by some dark paint dabbed along the high points and edges -- anywhere you might expect to see some rust on a metal sign letter.   Just a bit of glaze to finish things off, and that's it.


 That's all she wrote, folks... she just wrote these LOVE letters....

To create the Union Jack inspired collage, I started with this thrifted piece. 


I have big plans for the large frame, but only needed the smaller, inner frame for the Union Jack inspired piece.


After prying it off, I took it apart and cleaned it up.  Then I turned the picture over and decoupaged strips of fabric torn from my husband's old shirts to create the "flag" (I used Mod Podge for this).  The flowers in the corners of the the flag were cut from a tatty old handbag.


Once all the Mod Podge was dry, all the parts were put back together and the frame was given just a touch of antiquing glaze.


The letters were strung from eye-screws on the back of the frame, and the collage was ready to hang.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Be sure to check out the British Invasion Post, here.

You might also like this post on how to make Anthropologie knock-off cabinet knobs.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!
Amanda

64 comments:

  1. wow girl, you have a LOT of patience for doing all that cutting, but the end product is fabulous! I rather like the newsprint showing too! Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, how very "crafty" you are to think of this clever idea.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very cool. The Union Jack is so much cooler than the previous piece. Great tutorial on the letters too. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sooooo darn cute...thanks for sharing them at my NTT PARTY!!!!

    Blessings,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm sitting here saying this is one of the most creative projects I've seen in a long time...and I can safely say I haven't seen it anywhere else!!! Super great job!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. that is just so super cute- great job on all the details. I hope you do another set of letters with the print though, for another project- those are awesome as well. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. SO cool! I've got to try this!! Thanks for the tutorial!

    Tania

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the tutorial! Can't wait to give it a go! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  9. You're inspiring me to get back to painting my beach signs :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow these are amazing, and what a great tutorial! By the way, I am visitig from Savvy Southern Style!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great looking idea and good tutorial. Thanks for joining the party.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This was a great idea and an excellent tutorial. Your banner turned out just wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great tutorial!!! This is such a great idea!!! Saw your link over at Shabby Chic Cottege...thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That was a great job and really easy to understand.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love those letters--they look amazing--love the news print version, too!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those are fabulous! You can't even tell they are just cardboard! They so look like tin! LOVE IT!
    Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
  17. WOW!! Never would have guessed those were cardboard!! Nice job!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow those letters are awesome! I had no idea you actually made the letters yourself as well. Would you share this at my linky party tomorrow?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love love love your love letters!! I am totally going to make a version of this and link up to you on my blog---pure genius!

    ReplyDelete
  20. You follow my mantra, "Never throw anything away". I love that you used old shirts, old handbag, whatever string you had. The letters are great. I pulled some cardboard out of my neighbor's trash yesterday. Can't wait to get started.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Amanda, I just found your blog and love all your projects! You are very creative and patient! I'm following along. Looking forward to getting to know you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is an awesome idea, and love how you have showed the different ways to use the look!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Well, how smart are you?? Those do NOT look like cardboard letters at all! The look fantastic! And the union jack is just too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a great project! I really love how you created your letters. Fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love those letters!!! Very cool!!!
    I'm your newest follower...come check out my blog when you get a chance :-)
    Shantel @
    www.itsapricelesslife.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the tutorial. Being a bit of an anglophile myself, I just love the union jack reference.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love this! I seriously cannot believe that those are just cardboard letters. You did an amazing job and I'm so glad you shared this at Inspiration Friday! :-)
    Vanessa

    ReplyDelete
  28. totally amazingly cool. awesome awesome - you'd never know they were just cardboard. rock on

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am bookmarking this right now so I can make these on monday. What a great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi there~ these are darling~I love the print on them and they look absolutely adorable draped across that mirror AND in front of the union jack! Love it- thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. what a great project! very creative of you! lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  32. What a beautiful job! I love the letters and everything came together so pretty!

    Roeshel

    ReplyDelete
  33. You have totally wowed me on every account. With using fabric right down to how you made the letters is so unique! Gorgeous finishing details!

    I've featured you in SNS #66's sidebar this weekend. :) Thanks for linking up!

    Donna
    http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  34. Absolutely fantastic...man that's a lot of thinking and making it happen. You are amazing!
    ~Pam

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a fantastic idea. I can't wait to give it a try. Thank you for the fabulous tutorial.

    Ruth

    ReplyDelete
  36. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  37. You are so crafty, Amanda! I love seeing all the amazing things you come up with. One day soon, I hope life will settle down enough that I can start making use of your wonderful tutorials.

    Thanks for faithfully linking to the party!

    Blessings,
    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
    http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  38. That is really a work of art {and love hehe} The tutorial was great, thank you, I just love it. Especially using your husbands old shirts, classic.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Just wanted to let you know I featured this project today!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Really cool technique. I must try this. You amaze me with all of your talents!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Featured this tonight- you can grab a featured button if you like!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Love, love, love, LOVE your LOVE Letters!!

    I want to stay home from work today and make some!!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

    inspiringcreativeness.blogspot

    ReplyDelete
  43. Amanda This is such a fantastic idea - I love the finished look. Great tutorial. The sign is simply fabulous as well! Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I'll be featuring this today. Hope you have a wonderful week ~ Stephanie Lynn

    ReplyDelete
  44. very creative! I love the look of the letters (the way they stand out) awesome project!
    gail

    ReplyDelete
  45. this rocks! featuring you tomorrow at www.yesterdayontuesday.com
    thanks for sharing! malia

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello! Great idea and perfect work! I love that 'painting'! Thank you so much for an idea, inspiration and showing how you made the letters!
    Sunny wishes from Crete! Teje

    ReplyDelete
  47. I 'LOVE' this! (Congrats on your Funky Junk feature, btw.) The way you made the letters is very cool. Love the fabric too. Thanks again for linking with air your laundry Friday!

    Hugs,
    Jami

    ReplyDelete
  48. SUCH a great tutorial! LOVE the letters. I'm trying it this week, I'll let you know if I am able to make mine look HALF as good as yours :)
    -Emily @ Crisp Interiors
    http://www.crispinteriors.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  49. I was so surprised to see that the letters were made of cardboard. What a great idea for making them dimensional!
    Love the sign, thanks for sharing.

    Laura

    http://lauranell.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. that union jack background is FABULOUS - just love love love it. And to think that these letters look so luxe and yet are so cheap is DIVINE!

    http://northerncottage.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. This is one of my favorite Mod Podge projects EVER. I'm totally serious!

    ReplyDelete
  52. This is simple adorable and very unique! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Ouuuuuu! I just LOVE this. You are amazing.I found you thanks to Mod Podge Amy & I'm so glad I did. Now I have something more funky to make with cereal boxes other than DIY embossing plates. :o) GRIN!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Yet ANOTHER one of your ideas I'm saving! Wow -- this is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Great job on these letters! I'm now a follower and I'm pinning it...

    ReplyDelete
  56. I've put together a round up of fun letter/monogram projects on Craft Gossip today and included your post. :) You can see it here
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/9-letter-monogram-craft-ideas/

    If you would like a Craft Gossip badge showing you've been featured, you can grab one here :)
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/grab-a-craft-gossip-button/

    Thanks for sharing your craftiness!

    ReplyDelete

We love to hear what you think!