Collecting | Typography

I love typography.

Not all typography, mind you. I am a firm believer that the world would be a better place without Brush Script or Cooper Black or a lot of those weird gimmicky fonts. (I’m looking at you, Hobo and Papyrus.)

But, for the most part, I can (and do) stare at type all day. Call it an occupational hazard: I work in the newspaper industry.

Off duty I spend a lot of quality time with type, too.

Here’s a (before) photo of a little letter opener I found at a thrift store a couple weeks ago:

I wasn’t a fan of the grey plastic or the promotional advertising on it, but I needed a letter opener and I liked the shape.

I spray painted it black when I got it home. It works like a charm and looks nice sitting on my desk when it’s not in use.

Also by my desk is a shadow box that I have a few blocks of wood type displayed in. I buy type blocks at antique stores here and there whenever I find some that I like.

type blocks
This letter holder hangs in my kitchen, next to the back door. I bought it years ago at a thrift store, painted it black and stenciled the numbers onto it.

Faux metal letters that spell out “EAT” hang on another wall in my kitchen.

faux galvanized letters

The letters were cheap paper mache ones that I bought at a craft store, basecoated in black paint, then drybrushed some silver over, letting the black peek through so they’d (hopefully) have a vintage industrial vibe (without the vintage industrial price).

And speaking of vintage…

A few old glass canisters with words or letters on them sit on my kitchen counter. All were thrift store finds. (And, yes, I know the “P” jar is supposed to have pepper in it. I swapped it for some sea salt so the contents would contrast with the black letter for the photo.)

On the far wall of my kitchen is this ampersand that I showed off in a previous post.

stenciled letter
Before I stenciled the type onto it, the wood bore an image of John Wayne. My husband still doesn’t understand why I painted over the Duke.

I have a gallery wall on the stairwell going up to our second floor, where this “etc.” sign hangs.

It was originally a stained knotty pine piece with lots of straw flowers and bunches of wheat attached to it (somebody’s craft project from 1985, I’d guess). I bought it from a thrift store, ripped off all the embellishments, sanded copious amounts of glue off of it, painted it black and then Mod Podged houndstooth-patterned paper onto it.

This C monogram sits on a table in my living room:

I bought it from a vendor at Cranberry FestĀ in Warrens a couple years ago. (If you’re ever in western Wisconsin the last full weekend in September, check it out; the whole town turns into one giant flea market/craft sale.) The letter is cut out of a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book, which I thought was very clever.

Also in my living room: a group of pillows bearing the date of my wedding anniversary.


I made them last summer. (Tune in tomorrow for a post detailing how.)

In my den, you’ll find more numbers, including these that I printed out on cardstock and inserted into the spines of some scrapbooks.

This typewriter key picture also hangs in my den. It’s a Pottery Barn knockoff that I made a few years back after seeing different versions of it floating around the Blogosphere. Holy bananas, was it a lot of work. I spent weeks planning/painting/finishing the beast.

A few of the letters are noticeably crooked (Exhibit A: the letter B). It drives me a little crazy every time I look at it, but it was such a time-sucking project, I decided I’d rather live with its imperfections than go back and redo any of it.

And the sign pictured below might be my absolute favorite example of typography at my house — more for the sentiment than for the font.

When we added on to our deck a few years ago, my husband cut a hole in the lattice that hangs underneath it to allow Calvin (the cat) and Steve (the dog) access to the area. Then Jim (the husband) asked me to make a sign to hang over the top of the hole, so people would know it was intentional, not the result of some shoddy carpentry work on his part.

3 Replies to “Collecting | Typography”

  1. I've also seen the typewriter key board done where you paint mason jar lids black, stencil on the letters and symbols,age them then glue them to the framed board. After seeing how cute yours is, I may have to give it a try.

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