Pottery Barn knockoff Noel sign

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

Noel Pottery Barn image


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.


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


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


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:



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


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


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



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


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.


Here’s the final result:




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.


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.)


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


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.


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 …


… and traced the outline of each letter.


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:


Here are all the letters after I was done tracing:


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.”


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:


What do you think of my DIY holiday chalkboard art?


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

No-cost, DIY evergreen centerpiece

So I was in Walmart yesterday stocking up on supplies for an upcoming, epic Christmas cookie bake off, when I was suddenly and completely distracted by the store’s display of evergreen holiday centerpieces.

I’ve been known to get hit by lightning strikes of DIY inspiration at random places, and this was definitely one of them. It was an “Oh my goodness, I have to do this project today” strike, in fact.

So later that afternoon, I headed out to the yard to collect some evergreen branches. I cut sprigs from various pine trees as well as our arborvitae and boxwood shrubs.


The base for my holiday centerpiece was an old sleigh basket that once held a Christmas floral arrangement years ago.

I grabbed a few floral foam balls I had on hand and jammed them into the sleigh.


Then I placed the clipped evergreen sprigs in and around the foam.


My goal was to create a full, rounded, professional look. For a pop of color and texture, I added a few branches from a faux berry spray and two large pine cones.


If you’re wondering why the yellow dish gloves, I really have no good reason. I was probably doing dishes, prepping dinner, and putting this centerpiece together at the same time, cuz that’s how I roll.

The good news is that this project was quick and easy. It only took about a half hour total. After filling the sleigh with evergreen sprigs, I added some water to the bottom of the container (it had a plastic insert already in it). Done!

Here’s my fresh, holiday evergreen centerpiece.




The best part of this project was that it was totally free using stuff I already had in the house and yard. Holiday centerpieces with real greenery like this are not cheap to buy. But you can totally make this yourself at little to no cost, if you’ve got shrubs in your yard (or you can steal some branches from your neighbor’s yard). ;) If you have a container but it’s missing a plastic insert, you could try using a few layers of Press ‘n Seal to keep the water from leaking out the bottom. That’s what I would do. ;)

What do you think of my DIY evergreen holiday centerpiece?