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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Craft: Faux Bronze Wall Art

I was recently asked to participate in the Elmer's Look for Less Challenge. If you know me, you know I love a good craft challenge so without hesitation I said yes. The challenge was to make a copy of something you would find at the store for a fraction of the price. The other stipulation was that I had to use the Elmer's Foam board.

Photo credit: Pottery Barn

I really wanted to see how I could manipulate the foam board and decided on recreating this PB bronze Noel wall art. This piece sells for $149 (currently sold out). My art piece only cost $19 (Foam board - $7, Spray paint - $8, Copper painter's pen - $4). Here's how I did it.

Elmer's Black 20x30 Foam Board
X-Acto Scissors
X-Acto Gripster Knife
X-Acto Cutting Self Healing Mat
Elmer's Painters Copper Leafing Pen
Nail file - you can use fine grain sand paper too
Bronze oil rubbed - spray paint

Print out letters N, O, E, L in Bell MT font (size 100o pt). Cut out and tape together. Attach to foam board with low tack tape. Trace letters with pencil onto the foam board.

Cut out letters with x-acto knife. Don't worry if you're letters are not perfect because you're making a rustic art piece . Cut away any stray strips. Gently file edges to make them smoother.

To get the hammered look, I pressed a supper ball into the foam board with a layer of fabric in between. The fabric prevents the foam board from cracking or wrinkling. I recommend testing the process out on your scraps first to figure out the best pressure. Do this all over the entire piece of wall art. Apply less pressure around the edges as this is where it will most likely wrinkle/crack.

To get that metal finish, apply two coats of bronze oil rubbed spray paint. Let dry for 30 minutes. Dab some of the copper paint onto a paper plate. Dab paper towel into paint. Lightly rub the paint in a circular motion over the entire sign. Avoid getting the paint into the dents of your sign. Do this until it's completely covered. You should still be able to see the bronze paint a little. Make sure to apply copper paint to all edges as well. Apply one more coat of the spray paint but only mist it this time so the copper paint still shows through.

Your final piece should looks something like this.

So I'm sure you all have the same question, does it really look like metal? The answer: yes it really does! I asked my husband too for an unbiased opinion. If you have it in a bright sunny room it may look questionable. But, I'm confident it will fool most people. I would suggest displaying it on a high shelf.

I'll be hosting a giveaway tomorrow for some of the Elmer's products. Please come back Thursday to enter!


Donna@Collage Ideas said...

I saw something similar in Berlin. Almost the same font, and it said LOVE. It was placed outside in the grass. Of course, it was bigger. Great suff.

Michelle L. said...

Seriously? It looks real! Using a ball to make the 'hammered' dents was so clever. Gorgeous project, J!

Alvina said...

Wow that looks great! And really, who looks at wall-hangings too closely? :)

Deanna said...

Looks fantastic!

zakkalife said...



Caca said...

what a pretty craft project!

Designed to the Nines said...

Same idea I had. But wow. Your version is way better! Not ashamed to admit... now I'll have to redo mine...


Susan@FruitfulWords said...

Gorgeous! I love how this turned out. I NEED to make this too.

Sara&Eva said...

It's perfect :)

Lissa (Bellenza) said...

Just love the bronze effect! Even your design for the "Noel" is great!

Michele said...

I think your wall art looks better than the original and your picture is much better staged too.

I've been wanting to decorate my bedroom in a southwestern, country, cowboy sort of theme and can see so many great variations of this idea working for decorating my room. Any metal stuff is just so darn expensive.

I've included a link to zakka life and this post on this week's Tutorial Thursday - Tutorial Thursday. If you keep coming up with such great stuff, I might just have to leave a space for your latest project each week. ;)

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