Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign

I love the look of this Noel sign from the pages of Pottery Barn:

Noel Pottery Barn image

Source

I’m not so enamored with the price tag, however. Cue brainstorming for a thrifty, DIY version.

I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up four, large MDF letters for $3.50 apiece. I also used a 40-percent-off coupon that brought the price down further.

Hobby-Lobby-MDF-letters

As soon as I got home, I took the letters outside and gave them each a coat of my favorite black primer.

Rust-Oleum-primer

I brought the primed letters inside to dry in warmer conditions.

Primed-MDF-letters

Here’s where I veered a bit from the Pottery Barn version. My goal was to create letters that looked like aged metal. I used this Etsy sign I saw online as my inspiration:

il_fullxfull.564789187_qu8x

Source

Next, I lined up a bunch of containers of Modern Masters® Metallic Paint.

Modern-Masters-Paint-inspiration

The main colors I used for this project were Copper Penny, Pewter and Black Pearl.

Modern-Masters-Metallic-Paint

I gave the letters a base coat of Copper Penny first, since it was an opaque color with fuller coverage.

Modern-Masters-Copper-Penny

Copper-Penny-Noel-sign

After that dried, I used a sponge to apply the Pewter color randomly.

Mixed-metal-sign

Then I used the same technique to dab on two more coats, one of Black Pearl and one of a mixture of Black Pearl and Copper Penny.

Finally, I turned the dried letters over and stuck on a few Command™ Strips to hang them on the wall. I’m not a big fan of punching holes in my walls, especially for seasonal decor.

Command-strips

Here’s the final result:

Noel-sign-1

Mixed-metal-Noel-sign1

Mixed-metal-Noel-sign

What do you think of my “aged metal” Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign?

Special thanks to Modern Masters for proving, at my request, the metallic paint needed for this project. As always, all opinions – and sweat equity – are 100 percent mine. 

Before I go today, I want to announce the two winners of the $100 gift cards from Duluth Trading Co. Merry Christmas to:

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Free and easy holiday chalkboard art

I came across a post recently from the Thrifty Decor Chick showing a simple way to DIY chalkboard art. It looked so easy, in fact, I figured it must be too good to be true. But it was true. I made the most adorable holiday art for my refrigerator using her method and I just had to share it with you today.

Easy-holiday-chalk-art

I started by printing out on regular 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper letters that I typed in a Word document. I chose three different fonts: Academy Engraved LET for “JOY”; Blackadder ITC for “to the”; and Gill Sans MT Ext Condensed Bold for “World.”

Then I trimmed out the letters and positioned them on the black chalkboard vinyl on my refrigerator until the design looked right. (The vinyl came from Kohl’s a few years back. It usually has my weekly menu on it.)

Paper-letter-printouts

I marked where each piece of paper was positioned, then removed the letters.

Marking-where-letters-go

I turned the letters over on the counter. Taking a regular piece of chalk, I scribbled all over the backside, completely covering the backs of the pieces of paper with chalk.

Chalking-the-back-of-paper

Then came the really cool part. I retaped the letters onto the vinyl, positioning them where the tick marks were located. I used this pencil with a blunt end …

Fat-pencil

… and traced the outline of each letter.

Tracing-letters

The pressure of the pencil point transferred the chalk dust to the vinyl, creating a perfect image of my letters! After pulling up the paper, this is what the first letter transfer looked like:

Traced-chalk-letter

Here are all the letters after I was done tracing:

Traced-holiday-chalk-letters

After that, I simply cleaned off the excess chalk dust and tick marks with a damp paper towel and some Q-tips. Then I colored in the outline with a set of chalk markers to make the design look more intense and “finished.”

Chalk-markers

I also decided to free-hand draw a sprig of holly berries to give the sign a pop of color. Here’s the finished result:

Joy-to-the-World-holiday-chalkboard-art

What do you think of my DIY holiday chalkboard art?

Easy-holiday-chalk-art

Now all I have to do is hope nobody leans against it. ;)

Holiday home tour

Today I thought I’d share some of the Christmas decorations we’ve got going on around here. Believe it or not, this is the first year we’ve added a live tree to the decor, which makes a total of three trees in our house right now. Whew! However, one is in our daughter’s bedroom and that space is not fit for pictures, so you won’t see it featured in this holiday home tour. ;)

I’ll start with our dining room. I decided to go with primarily red, green and gold accents.

Dining-Room-Christmas-decorations

I really wanted to incorporate some plaid napkins this year. I got the ones you see in the pictures online from World Market (with a 10 percent off coupon). Plaid seems to be having a moment right now.

Dining-room-Christmas-decorations-1

I went with a traditional look in the dining room, which means I also tried to incorporate some traditional treats for dinner guests, including this bowl of mixed nuts.

Holiday-bowl-of-nuts

Every year, I have a vision of what I want the main rooms in our house to look like for the holidays, based on inspiration I see in magazines and online. Of course, the vision in my head is often not how things turn out. But at least the basic idea is achieved, hopefully. I’m calling this year’s dining room “Chevy Chase Traditional” because it reminds me of decorations you might see in his home in that movie. Would you agree?

Moving on to our living room, I went for more of a natural, rustic look.

Living-Room-Christmas-Decorations-1

This is the room with the live tree. Gosh, a real tree is a lot of work!

Fur-stockings

The mantel includes my DIY wooden tag ornaments as well as my Pottery Barn knockoff DIY birch candles and eBay snowshoes.

Flocked-mini-Christmas-tree Birch-candles-on-mantel Snowshoes-on-mantel Wooden-reindeer Santa-and-sign

If you’re interested in where I got any of the other mantel decorations, I have a detailed post here.

We displayed our Christmas village on the TV stand in the living room.

Log-home

My favorite decoration by far is the tiny nativity set I got while on a mission trip to Guatemala.

Living-Room-Christmas-decorations

In the kitchen, I try to keep the counters pretty clear so there’s plenty of room for holiday baking. :) I focus mainly on decorating the area above the cabinets.

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations-2

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations-1

Kitchen-Christmas-decorations

I try to dress the staircase because it’s the first thing people see when they walk into our home. I’m still in awe of what a difference my poor-man’s wainscoting makes in our entryway.

Holiday-staircase

Speaking of thrifty transformations, it still makes me smile every time I look at our front door. It is amazing what some paint and hardware can do!

front-door-redo

For details and jaw-dropping before and after photos of our front door redo, click here.

Before I go, I want to remind you that Duluth Trading Co. is giving away $200 worth of gift cards on the blog right now! To get your paws on one of them, hurry over and enter to win here.

Happy holiday decorating!