Saturday, November 19, 2011

i'm too cheap for pottery barn

i. love. pottery. barn. i don't even care that most everyone else does too. *in fact, i don't even care that it's like giving in to "the man" by purchasing things there. that is, after all, capitalism at it's best! as much as i love the style, i, in no way, love the cost to achieve the look. enter the internet. last year, while looking for a cheap art project to hang above my couch, (sigh. yes, this is the exact space i just redecorated in my previous blog) i found a great website that featured knock offs of many popular home furnishing stores . . . like pottery barn, anthropologie, ballard designs, etc. i was instantly inspired! immediately i honed in on a graphic black and white picture that featured numbers in different fonts.

here is the original . . .

(note: there are no actual photos documenting how i made this, as i had no idea i'd ever blog about it!)

i really didn't even know how to begin to make this. thankfully, there was a step by step tutorial to guide me. you can find it here. though i didn't follow it exactly, i appreciated the breakdown of which fonts were used, etc. that saved me loads of time trying to figure out which ones would give me the look i wanted. i also purchased a cheap roll of wood grain color contact paper from walmart. i opted for a color paper instead of plain white, so it would be easier to see when i placed it on the board.

the first step i did was chalk out and measure the size of each number i would need for the board.

i decided not to decoupage the papers on the board like the tutorial called for, and instead just skipped right to painting the entire board white. as each coat of paint was drying (i did two), i took this time to work at the computer. using excel, i made templates of each number in the different fonts, each one sized to my measurements. this ended up being a lot of extra work, as i didn't use half of what i printed. however, i tend to be a perfectionist and wanted it to look as close to the original as possible.

after laying out the paper templates on the board and choosing which ones worked best, i traced each one on the contact paper, cut it out and stuck it to the board. i don't have a rubber roller (that's a "brayer", for you technical folks!) for the edges like in the tutorial, so i just used my fingers and pushed the edges down as hard as i could. i then broke out the black paint and got to work painting the entire board. again, i did two coats.

after it had ample drying time, i carefully peeled off each sticker to reveal the number. unfortunately, some of the black paint had indeed bled under some parts of the stickers. perhaps i should invest in that roller after all? anyway, i easily fixed this by using a small artist's brush and some left over white paint.

finally, i was finished!

i l o v e the end result. i've received many compliments on the finished project and i have to say that i am quite proud of how much money i saved in the end!

here is where it hangs today in our dining room.

Project Cost Breakdown . . .

wood board = $8
black paint = $4
white paint = $4
contact paper = $2

Grand Total = $18!

* does anyone else remember the episode of Friends when rachel is trying to keep phoebe from finding out that her new furniture isn't actually from an antique store but is actually from pottery barn? ha! classic.

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