I have always been a big fan of typography. There is something special about letters…perhaps because I have always loved to read and write. But also because using letters and words can also bring a sense of whimsy to holiday decorating. Especially if the letters are oversized. This year I thought I would combine my love of typography, oversize letters and Valentine’s Day for a Valentine Typography project…what resulted was a Valentine’s Day jumbo Faux finished silver XOXO Letters extravaganza!
The first order of business was the letters themselves. I wanted oversized…at least 12″ high, sans serif, in a font which had a modern graphic feel (not too chunky). I had been working on Olympics Party decorations (more on that in a future post) and so was a bit behind in tracking down what I wanted. Normally I can find just about anything I can dream of on the internet but because of my Olympic project it was too late to order anything. Off to the stores I trekked. I say trekked because it is very much like Siberia here. Tons of snow and bitter cold. But I digress…
Four stores into my journey I finally found what I was looking for. Note to self, large letters = Jo Ann Fabrics. The selection of letters was quite something, a whole aisle in fact. There were even HUGE paper mache letters which had to be 3 feet tall. Another note to self, figure out that to do with those enormous letters!! Within that aisle of type I found the exact letters I had imagined. Oversized, san serif, modern looking wooden letters. I especially liked that there were very flat, it added to the modern appeal.
Standing in the “alphabet aisle” it suddently occured to me that I was in such a rush to find the perfect letters themselves that I neglected to finalize what I was going to spell. I did have a short list but hadn’t pulled the trigger on what exactly it should say. It came down to: LOVE, KISS, XOXO or I (some sort of large heart) U. As I looked at the letter shapes it became immediately clear that XOXO was the winner. There was something about the O’s that made me swoon. Oh shoot, that would have been a great one SWOON. I picked up two X’s and two O’s and off I went into the frozen tundra.
I knew I wanted something metallic looking, shiny, but not too shiny. After a quick sanding and a base coat of white primer the letters were set to be transformed. It took three coats of metallic Silver Craft Paint to cover them. They were shiny. Too shiny. I dove back into the paint drawer and mixed up my go-to glaze of black, burnt umber and water. The consistency should be of dirty water. Nice image I know but that is what it looks like! With a foam brush I covered a section of the letter and then wiped most of it away with a paper towel. Work quickly here because the glaze dries fast. In no time at all the letters had that patina I was looking for.
I love the way the letters look…especially with the contract of a huge red glittered heart between them. I could almost swoon.