Friday, January 25, 2013

Pottery Barn Inspired Noel Wall Art

I know this post is late. Very late. Here we are on January 25th...exactly one month after Christmas and I am just now posting a Christmas decoration that I made. But there is a reason....and tomorrow my lovely blogosphere friends you shall find out why. We did not put up a tree this year. We just had too much to do. But I could not just not have ANY Christmas decor, so I did just a little.....and of course I DIY'd something. 

I made a knock-off of Pottery Barn's NOEL wall art. Yes, you've seen tons of them around the blog world, but I haven't seen that many there as large as Pottery Barn's. And I wanted a BIG statement, so I wanted the Pottery Barn size....and I had one other requirement. I don't own a jigsaw, so I couldn't cut one myself. 

Finally, I found some letters of the perfect size at Hobby Lobby.
They are in the unfinished wood section. The letters themselves are really large....I think measured around 15 inches tall each. Regular price they were $12.99 each, but I bought them during a 50% off all unfinished wood sale. $6.50 a letter is a good price in my opinion, because #1- they are made from 1/2 in thick hardwood plywood (which isnt cheap) and are quite large and #2- I did not have to take the time to cut them and sand them to make the letter look perfect. 

Here's my supplies:

Supplies I had to buy:
(4) Precut letters from Hobby Lobby @ $6.50 each- $26.00
(1) Rustoleum Paint and Primer in Oil Rubbed Bronze- $7.98
(2) Packs of 1/2 in long wood screws- $1.18 each- $2.36 (b/c the screws that come with the mending braces were for 3/4 in wood rather than 1/2 inch)

Supplies I had on hand:
Leftover baseboard molding
Wood Filler
Kilz Spray Primer

Step #1- Lay out your letters and decide how you want them to look. 
I decided I wanted my letters to be spaced out just a bit more than bumping them up together, so I cut a piece of scrap molding I had. I cut a small block with my miter box and hand saw to fit between the letters. Here's a close up of the block:

And then heres how I laid my letters and blocks out:

#2- Screw Letters Together Using the Mending Braces
I put the E, the bottom block, and the L together first. I placed a yard stick on the floor and the put the bottoms of the letters and block flush to the yard stick. This way the bottom would straight. Then I added the  block between the top of the E and L. Then I joined the N to the E. I did the O last. That way I could make sure I got it at an angle that looked good to me. I know this all sounds really confusing....but really I just eye'd the whole thing as I went. Also, notice that I bought different screws. This is because the screws that came with the mending braces were too long for the letters.

And here it is all joined together:

#3- Fill All Holes with Wood Filler and Sand
Put a nice layer of wood filler in the cracks where all of the letters and blocks join together. My wood filler was starting to dry out....but I was too lazy and in a hurry to go to the store for more. You know you've been there before too.

Then sand everything until it's all smooth. So smooth that when you run your finger over a joint, you cannot feel the joint.
See the hairline crack in the joint above??? Yeah, I left I figured once it was painted you couldn't see it.

#4- Prime and Paint
So even though I bought spray paint with primer, I still prime. Because I didn't have wood conditioner and plywood soaks up the paint. So I spray primed a quick coat, then did a quick sand with 220 grit. Then I spray painted.

And here she is:
It kind looks striped in the picture, but it's not. I think that is the can lights shining down on it.

And here it is in the built-ins in our hearth room:

and Here's the Pottery Barn version: (image from pottery barn's website)

So I know the letters are exactly like PB's, but I LOVE mine....and it fits where I needed it to fit.
Plus, cost a LOT less than PB's $149 version. :)


  1. Thanks so much for posting this, very easy decor fix. Working on this and other this weekend!

  2. Awesome tutorial!!!! So going to do this....the options are endless!!!!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Thanks for the kind comments! I really appreciate the feedback!

  4. I absolutely love the way my Noel Pottery Barn inspired wall art came out. Your tutorial was so helpful! It inspired me to make my own :) Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love these! Definitely doing this asap!