Faux Zinc Letters

If you've been hanging around Pinterest or the blogosphere, you've probably run across a few knock-offs of these fun Zinc Letters from Anthropologie.  (Like: here and here and here and here and here.)  This is understandable because, a) those letters are pretty cool and, b) they're also $18 a pop.  (Which is kind of pricey if you want to, oh, I don't know, maybe spell something with them?)

As much as I enjoyed those projects, I never really planned on making my own.  It just wasn't on my project radar, so to speak.   That is until one day when I spied these in Target's "One Spot" bins.  (Curse you, Target!  I cannot walk through your doors without getting sucked into the One Spot's vortex.)

The letters are three dimensional and made of cardboard.  They cost a dollar apiece.  The weirdest part is that there were exactly two left.  

And they happened to be my initials.  

If that is not a sign from the One Spot Gods I don't know what is.

I brought them home and they sat in the garage for awhile while I pondered their fate, but in the back of my mind I knew what I wanted to do.  You see, some friends of mine are having a little party.  It's a spray paint party.  And while I've already established that I am kind of a lousy spray painter, I also love a good party.  So I decided to start with a small project, something that would at least get my foot in the door.

How fortunate that I already had these cans of spray paint in my garage.  The one on the right is gray primer.  On the left  is a silver metallic.  

I poked some thumbtacks in the letters to keep them elevated while I spray painted.  (Yes, they left little holes.  No, I don't really care.)

Then I sprayed a thin, even coat of the primer.  Unfortunately there must have been some dry paint in the nozzle because the first spritz blasted my "E" with little flecks of paint.  I was able to sand most of them off but since part of the charm of zinc letters is their "imperfections," I wasn't too worried. 

After the primer I sprayed a few coats of silver....

And this was the end result.  (That spot on the left side of the E isn't as noticeable in person.)

I love them and can't wait to find them a permanent home.

Thanks, One Spot Gods!



  1. Sooooo NIFTY THRIFTY!!! How cool that onely your letters were left:)


  2. Love it! I have my knockoff hanging on our dining room wall and people always stop and look at it. Your way is so much easier then mine though! haha!

  3. They turned out great! I have a bunch of letters hanging around I bought a while back when I thought I was going to get crafty. Obviously I slacked. But now maybe I can try these out :)

  4. $2...wow. You are amazingly impressive. They turned out great. I love that you used pushpins to elevate your letters while spray painting...brilliant. And, I would agree, it was a sign that those letters were meant to be yours. They look GREAT.

  5. Love these, Elena! How perfect was it that your initials were the letters that remain. They look beautiful. Megan

  6. Smart thinking on the tacks to stop it sticking.

  7. They look wonderful. I love the look of these letters too; but haven't decided where I would put them. I am pinning this for when I figure it out. Thanks for posting this.

  8. The imperfections add great character! Love the look! Saw you at Debbie Doos...happy Monday!

  9. Hi Elena. I love the metallic. Push pins to lift, great idea:) I posted vintage aprons to the party. Following you now. Follow me too at www.sewsweetvintage.com and share a face book like if you have a minute:) Thanks for sharing!!! Pinning this!!

  10. I LOVE this! So sad I didn't see this in our One Spot at Target! Ugh! Beautiful job!

  11. I didn't see these at Target! They must have gotten picked up pretty quickly. I just love that One Spot. :-)

    Great job!

  12. Oh wow those look very nice!! Well done! :)

    Thanks for joining my link party!!


  13. You go girl! I love me some Anthro knock-offs! You are the best!


  14. It was destiny - that E & S were calling to you, "give me a makeover".

    Glad you had fun at the Rose Bowl!
    Happy belated b-day - hope it was amazing!

  15. SO AWESOME! Thanks for linking up To Whimsy Wednesday!

    Smart! School {House}

  16. What a cute idea! You come up with such great projects, I love reading your blog :)


  17. Very nice! Great idea and great zinc look!
    Saw you partying at Whimsy Wednesdays.
    Debbie :)

  18. They are great. I totally understand the Target One Spot Vortex. It suck's me in also. Thank you for sharing at my Our Favorite Things Link Party.

  19. Those are some pretty cool letters - I like the chrome look

  20. Great job! Weird thing...I've never seen these at Target. Look what I've been missing! :)


  21. Oh my goodness - that certainly was destiny!! Love them now - all shiny!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  22. Super pretty and I love your trick for propping the letters up. Thanks so much for sharing at our link party. Take care, Laura

  23. That silver really shines! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

  24. The One Spot Gods would be proud of your amazing spray paint creation my friend! So happy that you linked up to our spray paint party!



  25. These look great! I am so into initials right now! Thanks for sharing at my party!

  26. The One Spot Gods certainly smiled upon you. And it was good. ;)
    Love how the letters turned out.

    Thank you for linking up at the Wildly Original party! <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  27. These would add a great pop of bling to a room, fun!
    Hello, new follower here! I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
    I hope to see you there!
    The Chicken Chick

  28. Wow they turned out beautiful! I love the metallic look. Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful week.

  29. Target always manages to get me in that little area as well ;) Your letters turned out beautifully so it must have been meant to be! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity at Mom On Timeout. Hope to see you back tonight!

  30. LOL you are so funny! Love your letters - god or no god! Thanks for joining up with the Its a Party party.


  31. Those are great!! I've been wanting to try some and now might get the nerve up to do it. Super job!

  32. Good work! Target get's me too...I don't want to think about how much I've been on $1 items! I love the letters. I need to try this out!

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  34. These are perfect! I love how easy this is. And I am a spray paint kind of girl!


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