How to Make Vintage Fairground Initials
Make a statement within your venue with unique light-up initials, to commemorate you and your partner. Using individual LED tealights rather than fairy lights means no trailing wires and lights which will stay cool to the touch.
How to by Interiors Stylist and Writer, Joanna Thornhill.
Suitable for: Intermediates
- Paint brush
Top Tip!…Take extra care when using a craft knife and always make sure to cut away from yourself. Also be extra careful when using a drill, a second pair of hands is advised.
- Paint your letters to create a vintage metal effect – to do this, paint the edges of each letter in green and leave to dry, then roughly paint over the top with your blue paint, using a semi-dry brush, allowing patches and flashes of green to remain visible. For the ampersand, I used this look across the front as well.
- Add in the copper detail over both the painted and unpainted sections by using an almost completely dry brush, (dab off most of the paint on a scrap of paper before applying to each letter) using a mixture of rubbing and sweeping brush movements – practice on a piece of card first if you’re uncertain. Try to work as lightly as possible, to avoid any blobs. Work in a little extra copper around the edges of each piece.
- Once completely dry, lay your tealights on top of each letter, spacing them out evenly.
- Make a small pencil mark where the ‘flame’ from each tealight will sit, ensuring your mark is central in that section so there is space for the tealight to fit.
- Turn each letter upside down, using your craft knife, cut out sections in the back of the letter roughly where each tealight will go (the letters are hollow, aside from some concertina folded cardboard, which you can easily remove).
- Turn each letter so the right side is facing you, then make your holes in the spots marked in each letter using a seven millimetre drill bit. Use a craft knife to tidy any excess card protruding from the hole
- Place the batteries inside each tealight and ensure they are working, then insert each into the back of the letters and push through the holes until held in position (if you’re struggling to get them to fit, try using a large pen to push through the hole first, from front to back, to slightly enlarge it). Don’t worry if the tealights look like they are causing the letter to bow slightly – once they are all in place, this won’t show from the front.
- Tidy up the front of each letter around the ‘flame’ – poke any protruding bits of card back through to the inside of the letter using your craft knife, or cut them off, and touch up with paint if required. Leave the tealights switched off until you’re ready to set them up in position.
Top tip!…If you love this look, go to town and spell out both of your first names, or spell out ‘Mr & Mrs’. They make brilliant and unique artwork for your home afterwards.