We all get the shiny design catalogs in the mail and salivate like hungry little children over the beautiful pages. I know I do for sure. But then we get sticker shock. Say what? That’s how much? Well… that’s why there are design/DIY blogs like Designed to the Nines to help you figure out how best to get the “Look 4 Less”.
Collective Bias and Elmer’s tasked me with getting a look from a designer catalog at a knock off price.
I have been long obsessing over Pottery Barn’s Moss letters, but they run $79 each!! I think… No. I know we can do better. A lot better!
So I headed off to some craft stores and found some letters. But none were quite right. They were either too small or too big… or not the right font.
These were as close as I could find, but they were still a little on the small side. Plus they were about the thickness of foam core board. So to get the thickness you would need you would need to stack 3 or 4, and since they are wood and $3.99 each, while still not $79, we can still do a lot better.
Did you know Elmer’s sells and creates more than just glue? They have TONS of fun products… here’s what I used for this project.
-1 Elmer’s White 20×30 Foam Board (depending on the size of letter you use… you may need one or two more)
-X-ACTO Designer Series Gripster Knife
-Xact0 Self Healing Cutting Mat
–Elmer’s Metallic Painter Markers (I used a sharpie in this tutorial and regretted it later… you’ll see why)
So I used a font called Times Weekday, but I think Times New Roman would have also been a good match. I printed it out and with my opaque projector blew the image up and traced it on the foam core board. Like I said, I used a sharpie this time, but I would totally recommend using an Elmer’s Metallic paint pen while doing this because as you can see I had several oopsies because I couldn’t see the sharpie very well in the dark. I did another project that you will be seeing in the next couple days and I used the metallic paint pen for it and it workd really well because it reflected the light while tracing and so I could see it so much better.
If you don’t have a opaque projector… then just blow up your letter on some paper to the size you want and glue it right on top of the foam core board and use that as your template.
Notice I wrote PAT and the first one. This is what carpenters do so they use the same template for any duplicates you make.
I used the X-acto knife and just followed along the line. I was surprised how easily it cut through the board. I made a total of 3 C’s. Then I used their heavy duty craft glue stick to glue all of them together. I liked the thickness, but you could easily stack up to 2 more if you wanted it a little thicker. Just remember the moss fabric will add a lot of volume too.
I laid my C on the moss fabric and cut out the moss. You will need to cut some relief cuts so it will form to the letter C. I just used the craft glue to adhere the moss and it worked great. I did reinforce a couple areas with a staple. There were a couple areas where you could see a tiny bit of the foam core. I just glued on some tiny little pieces and you can’t even tell where.
Here is the finished knock off letter. I love it. It looks good in the picture (I need a better camera, these photos don’t do it justice), but even better in real life.
I tried it out in my entry, but decided on the front door. Here is my first attempt:
You can’t really tell how bad the front door is in the picture, but it felt a little like putting lipstick on a pig because the previous owner’s paint job was terrible. I actually think they used flat interior paint on the door. So I couldn’t let that slide and decided to paint my front door.
Much better! A nice carmel color… not the color I would’ve picked, but I am limited by my HOA, so it was the lesser evil. I added a few “design diamonds” by way of a thrift store picture frame and some glittery ribbon. Perfection!
So for less than $5 you too can knock off the Pottery Barn Moss letters and save a ton of money! In Ballard Design’s Christmas catalog I noticed some large letters covered in evergreen spelling J-O-Y. You could used this same idea for that.
For more information on Elmer’s awesome products, check out:
*“This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias #CBias, but the project idea and opinions are mine only.