One of our most popular posts for 2012 was when I used a beautiful (but expensive) Restoration Hardware table as inspiration for a less expensive reproduction.  While flipping through a Ballard Designs catalog, I was similarly inspired to create my own versions of a couple of their ideas.

My first project was to recreate these great painted wall letters-

Monogram Art

To make my version of the wall letters, I gathered two 12″ squares of artist’s canvas (sold in packs at Michaels), acrylic craft paint, masking tape, and 2 letters cut from freezer paper.  I painted the canvases all over with cream-colored paint and let them dry.

The letter is formed using a “reverse stencil technique”.  Since I wanted the border and letter to be cream-colored, I had to mask those areas off before applying the background color.  I used masking tape to mask off about 3/4″ around the edges for the border.  Then the back of the freezer paper letter (shown in black below) was sprayed with stencil adhesive and centered on the canvas.

bf_stencilPaint the background with the color of your choice – I picked out this lovely bluish green color, Provence, from our abundant supply of Annie Sloan chalk paint.  Since it was such a large expanse of color, I used a foam roller to apply a base layer of the paint, then used a stencil brush at the end to get more texture.  Make sure your stencil is firmly adhered to the canvas before using a roller brush!

bf_letter art KG

Once dry, I waxed the canvases first with a clear wax, then a light coat of dark wax to give them an aged and distressed look.

bf_letter art distressed closeup

They turned out really cute.  Now that I have the technique down, we will probably try bigger letters next time.
bf_letter art display
My next project was to recreate this nautical-inspired cloche from the same catalog-Greenhouse Cloche

I had already bought this glass light fixture for about $4 at our local Goodwill.  It has  lovely bubbled glass and a hole with a metal disk.  Turned upside down, I felt it would be perfect for my cloche.

Using some jute rope from Home Depot…


…I cut the desired length of rope and made a Figure 8 knot, also known as a stopper knot, at one end.


For those of you without a Coast Guard spouse, here’s how to make a Figure 8 knot-

BeFunky_figure 8 knot

The Figure 8 (or stopper) knot provides a large knot at the end of a rope that doesn’t slip once pulled tight.  Thread the unknotted end of the rope up through the hole in the glass, so the stopper knot is inside the cloche.  Then just tie a regular overhand knot snug against the (outside) of the glass.  Tie a second overhand knot near the end of the rope.  When cutting your rope, be sure to take into account the additional length needed for the three knots.

cloche5     cloche6

And voila, a nautical-inspired cloche for less than $5!


This is how I decorated the same cloche for the holidays-bf_cloche

We really have fun with these inspiration projects, and will post more in the future.  In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you up to date on new additions to our shop and on preparations for our second Luckett’s Spring Market in May.   Thanks for joining us!