Giving store bought letters a custom look is easy to do. My friend gave me metal letters that spelled BAR. I don’t turn down free stuff, do you? I decided to give them a custom look by attaching them to wood.
They have a rustic look and a hanger on the back. So all that needs to be done is to hang on the wall. Now you know I am not going to do that. So I decided to give the letters a custom look.
Like every good DIY’er, I too have a stash of old wood. There was a bad summer storm and a portion of the fence blew down. I rescued a few pieces because I knew I would find a use for them. I sawed one edge of each board to get the correct size, I needed to distress the sawed edge to match the naturally worn edge that was in the ground. A chisel would have been great to get the clean edge to match the worn edge. Not having a chisel at the time, I used the hammer and a hatchet.
The wood splintered and became uneven so it worked. I sanded down the wood to take off the I don’t know what it was. It also smoothed out the rough edges where I distressed them. A clear coat of wax gives the boards a nice touch and it still looks worn and weathered.
Because the letters have hangers on the back, I took smaller pieces of wood that span the three boards to attach them together. That is after I used wood glue on the long edges. I used my brad nailer to secure the small pieces of wood to the longer boards. Then time to get out the caulk gun and use liquid nails to attach the letters to the wood. I actually ended up cutting the top of the tube because I think the liquid nails hardened in the tube. I didn’t want to take a chance of puncturing my leg like I did the last time I used it. Yup trying to get the liquid nails to come out of the caulk gun I used the awl to jam down the opening to loosen it up. It slipped and went right into my thigh. So please don’t do what I did, be careful.
So back to liquid nails. I got an old plastic knife and buttered the liquid nails on the small pieces of wood. I placed the letters on top. Then I took an old tee shirt and placed it on the letters to protect them from heavy pavers I placed on top. Once it dried I hammered in saw tooth hangers on the back. If you don’t have used fence pickets you can buy them at Lowes or Home Depot and distress the sawn edges. Granted they won’t have the nice weathered look like my boards, but they can be painted to resemble weathered wood or any color for that matter. A word of caution, when painting fence pickets, they can fall apart if they get too saturated. Why I don’t know since they are obviously out in the weather but I made an example board using chalk paint and a couple pieces of the wood did split in two.
This is an easy way to personalize store bought letters. I really like having original artwork in my home and this is a simple way to get that look. Don’t you think so?
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