At the local Hobby Lobby, I recently came across large chipboard block letters. While they were on a scrapbooking aisle, my mind instantly went to the decoration of my home.
The letters come in a few fonts and hover right around the $1 price range. At anywhere from 3 1/2" to 8" tall, they are an extraordinarily cheap alternative to wood or metal options. Create your own sign and choose a look. I could see painting these a glossy bold color for a striking accent or maybe a matte black for a wrought iron appearance. See all available options at Hobby Lobby.
Seems I'm not the only one to equate these letters to home decor instead of scrapbooking. At the blog Frame Fanatic, an "EAT" sign was made using this exact product (pictured below).