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!
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?
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. Other craft stores should also carry similar letters. If you can't locate the letters elsewhere, you may be able to order them from amazon.com, but they'll be a bit more expensive. You'll also need 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?
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