We've all seen those beautiful zinc letters from Anthropologie with just the right amount of industrial charm. For $18 a pop, I decided to pass on the real thing, but I did make myself a nice cheap knock-off.
Anthro's version: $18 each
My version: $3 each
Starting with some $2 cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby, I used an Exacto knife to cut a little slot for each brad. I thought the brads gave the letters a little more authenticity, like they had been welded together or something,
Once each brad was in place, each letter got a double coating of Krylon Stainless Steel.
I used a black chalkboard paint for "grease" and a copper acrylic paint for "rust" to give each letter its own character.
Brushing off almost all the paint on to a plate before touching the letter helped me not to over do the distressing.
I focused on the corners and edges, to give the letters a more "worn" look.
By the end, I swear they looked like real metal. For now, I'll let them add a little industrial charm to the top of my mirror. Maybe they'll give me the nudge I need to pick up a book every now and then and work on that growing stack on my nightstand. I always have good intentions when I buy a book.