SPLISH SPLASH: DIY Faux Metal Letters

Hey, isn't it high time I share another room reveal?

This one won't take too much time, as I'll just be sharing about our main bathroom, which is slight of space and, until this weekend, bare of wall. I'd been wanting to complete a project to fill the bare wall in our bathroom since last fall, but just kept overlooking the space and finding other things I'd rather do. What I wanted was to fill the space with a big, graphic statement. And to do so on the cheap.

Enter: My faux metal letters, a cheap little knockoff of those oh-so fabulous metal letters you can find at Anthropologie. But those letters are a staggering $18 a pop, and, unless you're shelling out for an incredible spa bath or super-luxe toilet, I don't think anything in a bathroom should set you back more than the price of an iPhone.

I have no idea why it took me so long to tackle this project, as it took me all of one and a half hours, from the very first step to the last letter hung, to complete. And the result is one of my favorite projects I've completed for our house so far!

Here's how it went down:

I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and purchased 12 cardboard letters, which would spell out "SPLISH SPLASH" (as in "...I was taking a bath..."). As luck would have it, all ready-to-decorate letters were a dollar off over the weekend. So each letter was marked down to $2 a piece.

Then, I bought some metallic spray paint for $7, went home and set up my spray painting area outside.

Each of the letters got one coat, front and back, of the metallic paint. The paint dried SO quickly. We're talking within 10-15 minutes.

Then, I grabbed some sandpaper and distressed the letters a bit so they'd look a little more realistic and a little more rustic.

Then, I wiped down the letters with a damp cloth to remove some of the sanding dust, and here's what I ended up with outside:

The best part about using these cardboard letters (besides saving bookoo bucks)? They're light enough I simply hung them with foam mounting tape. And here's the result!
Pretty cool, huh? They really do look like metal, but here's the savings breakdown:

Anthropologie Zinc Letters: $18 per letter
Rachel's Knock-Off Letters: $2 per letter

If I would've bought the letters from Anthro, I'd be shelling out $216 (not including tax!) to spell "SPLISH SPLASH." My total project? 12 letters at $2 a piece, and a $7 can of spray paint = $31 total. And I'm not even including the 15% discount I got off my entire order.

That's a "win." In a big, fantastic, cheapskate way.

Now that I've finally got my "SPLISH SPLASH" up on the wall, I can share our bathroom with you! Brace yourself, you may want to grab a 5-Hour Energy, because it's going to be a long ride.
TA-DA! There you have it. Our bathroom. It's little, but it serves its purpose. Plus, the colors are fun! I picked up the shower curtain from World Market last year, and the bath mat from TJ Maxx. I am crazy about the bath mat (these are the things that excite me these days) - it's the plushest, softest mat ever, and it's been through the washing machine plenty of times and still retains its fluffiness. Wonderful.

In case you're screaming for more detail, here it is. On the wall to the right, we've got some shelving that neither Eric nor I are too fond of. It was here when we moved in, and it currently houses some baskets filled with hair products, lotions and travel-sized toiletries. 
It also houses two rectangular vases filled with California Raisins figurines. Because, well, why wouldn't we keep a California Raisin collection in the bathroom?

To the left of that is the bathroom vanity. All pristine and white and topped with a tall vase of Billy Buttons. Neither of us are particularly fond of this vanity, either.

And don't even get me started on this oddly-tilted mirror and outdated light fixtures above it. We will be changing those before 2012 is over, believe me.

But, hey, isn't the shower curtain cute?! I also like how we have a block window on the other side of the curtain. It brings in a lot of light, and there's a little screen door you can open to peek outside and check out what's going on in the backyard while sudsing up.

And, of course, the absolute best part of the bathroom:

So that's it, gang! A fast, cheap and easy project that you could make work in any room in your house, no matter how minuscule! You'll be amazed just how real the end result really looks!


  1. LOVE this idea :-) I've been looking for different ways to jazz up our bathroom space. Thanks for the inspiration.

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