How to make a giant number or letter

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I wanted to make a cool number for SNS’s number theme this weekend. So when I came across the perfect plywood scrap at one of my work locations, ideas danced around in my head on what I’d whip up!

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 I started by freehand sketching what I had in mind. Should I cut a decal to stencil it on?!? Nah… I’ll just wing it this time. Hmmm… which style…

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

I chose the bad side of the wood in case I left the finish woodsy. The other side was like brand new and we can’t have that! 🙂

The image was sketched on with chalk and tweaked to my heart’s content. It was even easy to wipe off wet and start over in some places.

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 Cut it out with the jigsaw… so far so good!

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 Huh… not too bad. A little squiggly but I’ll just palm sand that all off, no big deal. I kinda liked how it looked hand done anyway, as if ol’ Ned the Grocer banged out his own signs in the stock room right before he needed them.

 So thinking about colour, I climbed on FJI Facebook and asked the gang for their advice. Nearly ALL wanted RED. Here’s a small sampling of the comments. You gals rock! 🙂

And this is where things got veeeeery interesting. I envisioned a nice beat up coke red for where this was going. But I didn’t have the right red on hand. Drat! I’m fussy about tones so I did it anyway, hoping…. And didn’t like it.

And then the circus came to town.

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Oh good GRIEF. I kid you not. This is how many times I painted the thing. The middle one? I had given up by that time and Picaso’d it. But it didn’t rake in any good reviews from me. No quitting my day job that day.

Paint – I used any latex I had laying around. Craft and house interior. The finished paint is white house ceiling paint. 

 There was actually a reason for me going crazy on it. I later coated it out with white then lifted some paint. (bottom left image) The finish was pretty neat but NOT what I wanted that day. NOW what?!?

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

And then this little girl beckoned me to listen up. Ahhhh…. now THAT I like! One of my little authentic cow sign labels save the day.

I sanded the edges until they were back to wood, and slapped black on the edges and white on top, using pretty rough cross hatch kind of strokes and built up a texture. Then did a wash of watered down taupe paint. (wipe on, wipe off, nothing technical) The glaze sunk in nicely in all the right rough places.

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 MUCH better! Although I knew where I wanted the two hung, I couldn’t resist playing just abit.

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

junk coat hook wall HERE

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 This thing is BIG.

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
old crate stairway

 And this is where it ended up taking residence. There was nothing on these walls yesterday. And there may be nothing tomorrow. But for today, I had some fun!

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

crate stairway / How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

 That cog is not the real deal. Friend Dan created the design and ran it through his router as my name plate for the last workshop event I helped with. Pretty cool, huh?

stenciled stairs / How to make a giant number or letter out of plywood... for FREE! via http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/

Numbers numbers everywhere! I think I’m ready for the party now. 🙂

Making the number was actually VERY easy and looked neat in quite a few places. And the totally best part was not having to fork out a zillion dollars in order to have one. Give it a go!

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, How To Build, Junk Drawer, Tools & Building
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  1. LOVE what you’ve done to your stairway walls! I would not have been satisfied with the red number either. Thank you for the inspiration as I have been thinking about trying to free hand larger numbers on scrap plywood too.

    have a creative day! 🙂

  2. I love your huge number! You blow my mind! I think your staircase looks fabulous.You should certainly leave all of your fun decor on display.The 2 looks perfect in white, I liked the yellow too.

  3. Very cool, my friend! I’ve been wanting to make numbers and letters for a while now. But jigsaws intimidate me. I can’t cut anything straight to save my life.

    I love how it came out and it’s final resting spot. But seriously, you could have put on your head and it would of looked cool.

    “Lady” sign is cool too. Where does that one live? Hmm… Off to explore your site to find out.

  4. Woah! That soooo rocks, and guess what, I have a huge wood piece identical to yours that has been sitting in my garage for the past 7 years! Now, how to decide on a number? I love you for this : ) Stacey

  5. Very cool! I definitely like the soft white paint. Your steps are looking very junkified (in the best possible way.) I could never get away with the bunch of sticks on my landing. The would be taking a nose dive within about ten minutes!

  6. That stairway is looking better and better Donna! The stairs stand alone all by themselves, but I’m really digging that wall now too. It looks fabulous.

    Great job on the number. I’m working on a little something with numbers here, but slim chance of me getting finished in time for the link up…….I don’t think, but we’ll see.

  7. I’m so used to seeing houses that are so incredubly neat and sensicle that when I look at your photos, I am always surpsied (pleasesantly of course). I love your sense of style, old world, homey, and down right liveable.

  8. Okay, I need in no particular order: to know – what is paint lifting, can I use a free standing jig saw easily, what power tools should I buy, you are just doing this to try out the stuff for the restaurant – right?, what is that tool standing up outside next to the tool, can you get me one, do you use latex paint, or oil based and can you mix the two with different layers. I need you to: come to my house to style my stairways, convince Dan to make tons of cogs, plain is fine, with names is better, sell those cow name signs with custom names on them, get guest bloggers like Dan so you can keep creating great things like this. Have I exhausted you yet and thoroughly embarrassed myself? This stairway style is a wonderful aesthetic for the restaurant, especially if the walls are painted a soft apple green or sea glass color, or gray. You are supercharged. Every post is better than the last. Ann

  9. #25 Ann –

    paint lifting – tack something sticky (masking tape will work) onto non cured paint then tear off to lift some for a realistic distressed finish

    tools to buy – just a normal jigsaw will do. I don’t even know what a free standing one is.

    why I’m doing this – it’s for me until I deem it sale-able 🙂

    tool outside on woodshed – NO idea what it is. A weed picker thing maybe?

    paint – acrylic craft paints and the white is house ceiling paint. I never use oil. Always latex. I would not mix latex and oil but I would mix colours indeed!

    Dan as guest – I’ll have to see if he’d be up for it! What topic would you like for him to cover?

    Am I exhausted? – yes, but it’s a good exhausted and no, it’s not from your questions. 🙂

    Thanks all for the kudos! Now to finish that branch chandy I promised a week ago..

    Donna

  10. oh gosh. I’m worthless. not even worth a red cent.

    I got no numbers. none. zero. zilch. nada.

    but now I WANT some. at least 1.

    hmmm….I’m giving this some thought today.

    your 2 is so YOU!!!

    that stairway is rich and junkified!

  11. I may have to go out to our “bone” yard {it’s where we store all the left over parts from our projects at the Nut Company}
    You have inspired me to make a 5
    Happy Day
    Love how yours turned out.

  12. Wow ~ love what you put on the walls and you know how much I adore those stairs. I am still waiting for you to come to NB to do mine! I will supply all the seafood you can eat and a bed to lay your head at night! Have a fabulous week-end Donna.

  13. I love love love your huge number 2. Now, of course, I want one…in black…with white polka dots…:)
    I have my numbers post up..what time will Mr. Linky arrive??
    Thanks so much for hosting.

  14. I die for your stairs everytime I see them:) They are amazing!
    So, I’m sorry if this is a crazy question that I should know the answer to, but what is SNS that you are making this #2 for?

  15. Hi Donna, I just saw you pin this. It’s STILL awesome after all these years 😀 I totally want to make a giant 5 (special to me for a few reasons)
    I’m willing to give it a try with my $3.00 yard sale jigsaw. What do you think? Wish me luck!