Friday, November 2, 2012

NOËL sign inspired by Pottery Barn


Last Christmas I created a sign inspired by Pottery Barn's NOEL wall art.  A number of people have asked how I created it, so I'll share my simple technique with you.  You might want to buy your materials now so that you'll have plenty of time to make this before the Christmas season.


I love decorations that include the word Noël, which is French for Christmas.  Noël is derived from the Latin word natalis, which means birth.  For me, using the word Noël is a little proclamation of what Christmas is all about!

Here's the Pottery Barn version, which is beautiful but pricey:

Noel Wall Art
image courtesy of PotteryBarn.com

It struck me as funny to make this Pottery Barn knockoff, because the Pottery Barn version is a knockoff of the famous "LOVE" design by Robert Indiana from the 1960's.  His design skyrocketed to fame when it was incorporated into a postage stamp in 1973.  Does anyone else remember that stamp?
image courtesy of iStockPhoto.com

I guess imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery!

Making your own is simple.  You'll need some kind of lightweight letters (I used pressboard letters from Hobby Lobby because the shape is so similar to the Pottery Barn sign), balsa wood strips, and spray paint.

First, spray paint your letters thoroughly.  Mine took several coats to achieve a smooth finish.  I painted them with several coats of black, then sprayed a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze on top.  Allow the letters to dry completely.

Once dry, arrange your letters face down in a rectangular grid on a smooth surface.  To mimic the Pottery Barn design, place the N and the O side by side, then place the E and L directly underneath.  Now tip the O sideways.  Be sure to place the O so that the top of the letter is angled out.  Then cut your balsa wood strips into pieces that will span across your letters, like this:



Hot glue the strips in place.

You may want to spray paint the back of the sign at this point.  I recommend this if you'll be hanging it over a mirror.

This sign is so lightweight that it's very easy to hang simply by placing one or more nails in the holes between the letters.  I hung mine from a single nail in my kitchen window frame.  You can't even see the nail--it's nestled in the space between the N and the O.

Note:  I used very thin, lightweight letters to make my sign, so the letters are not actually attached to one another at all; they're simply glued to the balsa strips.  If you have letters that are thicker and heavier, you might want to glue them together at some points.  You may also want to use a stronger adhesive than hot glue.  For these very thin letters, hot glue is plenty strong enough.


This was my kitchen window last year, wearing a garland instead of its usual faux Roman shade:


And a wider-angle shot:


The sign would also look good sitting in a windowsill, propped on a tabletop, or on a shelf or mantel.  Best of all, it costs only a few dollars and a bit of time to make.

What do you think?  Are you ready to create some Christmas crafts?

I'm joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading 

Organizing Made Fun


28 comments:

Rustown Mom said...

I just got the Pottery barn catalog yesterday and that Noel sign is still in there! I remember the stamp, too. I think I'm going to have to put this on my project list for the holidays. Thanks for the easy tutorial!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Love it Richella! I'm so excited to start thinking about Christmas! :)

Stacey said...

I think that is such a good idea! I'd really like to do this. :)

Kelli W said...

I am so not ready for Christmas yet...but I LOVE your sign! And the garland over your kitchen window is beautiful! Is it real?!?

Erin {Home Everyday} said...

Oh my goodness so cute! I love it hanging in your window too, so pretty and cozy with the evergreens. Eeeee..... I can practically hear Christmas music.

Carol said...

This is so cool, Richella! I'm planning to make one of these for my kitchen window.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Richella, that was a great dupe! You have made it look so easy! Great job!

Suzy said...

This looks like a project that I might actually do! I love your version and it looks perfect in your kitchen window. Really catches your eye.

NanaDiana said...

Richella- I did not see this in the catalog. I HAVE to make one of these for my daughter- it is her last name. I LOVE it! Wish I could tip my O sideways in LOVE to show you HOW MUCH I LOVE it!;>) Thanks- xo Diana

NanaNor's said...

Hi there,I made mental notes this time for making it even though I just read it a week ago. Can't wait....thank you so much for this project. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Noreen

Recreate and Decorate said...

Thanks! I love pottery barn knock offs!

Fabrizia F. said...

I am following your blog! Love your kitchen, especially the wall color! Thanks for sharing! http://fabtwigs.blogspot.com/

Barbara Hiatt said...

So pretty! Love it, looks exactly like the PB version! Great job Richella!
Barbara at Chase the Star

xinex said...

Love it! Very pretty, Richella...Christien

Savvy Seasons said...

Beautiful Richella, I absolutely love it! XO ~Liz

Patti @ Pandoras Box said...

I am so ready to think Christmas decorating!! That stamp came out around the time of Eric Segals's Love Story, didn't it? It reminds me of the cover of the novel! Love your version of Noel - perfectly made!!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Thank you for sharing how you made this! Love it and it looks great hanging in your kitchen window!

Dewdrop Gardens said...

Love it!! And I have pinned it...perfect for the holidays. Thanks for sharing.
Debbie :)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

This is fabulous! I actually wanted to try something inspired by the Pottery Barn letters last year, but didn't ever get around to doing it. This is the year, I think! Thanks for the inspiration.

Stopping over from Serenity Now.

Crystelle said...

I love it!
The tipped "o" really makes it....
Good thinking to make your own....
Looks fab in your window...

hugs ~ Crystelle

Cara said...

I love this! Quick question though. What size letters did you use?

Lori said...

It is wonderful! Thank you for making it look so simple. Your kitchen is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Did you glue the where the letters meet together or just the wood pieces? I bought letters today at Hobby Lobby to do this but they are already painted and somewhat heavy. I hope it works with the glue gun and wood strips!

Richella Parham said...

My letter are very lightweight, so the balsa strips attached with hot glue were the only way I held them together. If your letters are thicker and/or heavier, you may want to glue the actual letters together as well. And you may need to use a stronger adhesive than hot glue, also. Good luck!

Sally said...

Love this! What a great idea. Thanks for the how-to's! Have a blessed Christmas!

Mary Neumann said...

Love your NOEL! Pinned! Thanks for the great share! New follower! Cheers!

Jen said...

Love this! Very pretty!

Anita Langford said...

I bought these exact letters at Hobby Lobby today and I had thought about decoupaging them with Christmas scrapbook paper. Seeing what you did changed that plan quick. Thanks for the tutorial.

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