Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I LOVE the Kate Spade store at the South Park Mall in Charlotte... and not necessarily for what they are selling inside!  I JUST LOVE what they do with their wall space.  So, for the past year every time I would walk by the store {and stare} there's one thing in particular that would always catches my eye: the bright pink stenciled ampersand!!  I had to have it!  I researched all over the internet trying to figure out where I could by one to brighten up my own home!  To my dismay, nothing.

One day I was perusing a design blog by one of my sister's good friends in Dubia {caitlinwilsondesign.blogspot.com}  She had the Kate Spade Ampersand canvas on one of her artwork walls in her home!!  I begged to Tiff to ask her where she bought it.  

Turns out she painted it and recommended a fantastic DIY tutorial by another fellow designer {http://high-heelfootinthedoor.blogspot.com/2010/10/diy-kate-spade-ampersand.html} who painted one as well.  AND it turns out, several Kate Spade stores boast this beautifully designed ampersand canvas, but each one is hand painted as well... so in sum, the only way to get one is to PAINT IT YOURSELF!!

I love an artistic challenge so I went for it!  I found out the actual ampersand design comes from famed typographist Herb Lubalin.  Anyway, I downloaded a few versions from the internet, bought my canvas and paint supplies, printed and cutout the ampersand, traced it on the canvas, then painted away!  It's a little darker that the store's version, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

On to the next design element: State Hearts.  The idea is a print of your state with a small heart in it!!  Brilliant, colorful... another must have.  I saw these cute and clever prints on Etsy, but I wanted square ones, with different colors and closer stripes.  I designed mine in photoshop (CA for me and NC for Blake).  The frames, however are another story.  I found the bright turquoise ones I wanted at Pottery Barn for $34.99 EACH!!  A bit pricey for little square frames, don't you think!!  Instead I found these square ones at ikea in the sales bin no less ($3 each).  Next I bought a can of spray paint and went to work.  I am telling you, they look exactly like Pottery Barn frames.  Finished, I love the punch of color and touch of whimsy both projects add to the wall.

I think I went a little "Collage Happy" on my walls after I did this.  Either way it's fun to experiment w/ color and space and go beyond the simple photograph in a black frame or wall print from Kirklands (for example).

My next {DIY}project, these adorable alphabet prints I saw online today.  I'm going to make them for the shelves in the boy's rooms.  Will let you know how they turn out :)


Candace said...

LOVE!!! Great Job!

The Fredericks said...

yay! love it- so cute and creative- and maybe you have the cutest house ever!

Tiff and Dan said...


Brandi said...

You DO have the cutest house ever! Great idea and I love the DIY ya know? super cute! why buy it when you can make it? I've painted frames before too, so great to turn something cheap or old into something fantastic and new. :)

alisa said...

You've inspired me! Love it! Love the colors!