Pottery Barn NOEL Art Knock Off

December 06, 2010

I was inspired by this project months ago when I got a Pottery Barn catalog and saw this:

It is three by three feet, and it was one of those made me say “Oh come ON!” out loud. :) Especially because of the price – I can’t remember what it was, but it made me freak out just a little bit.

I knew I wanted to recreate it, and initially I was going to use some big honkin’ cardboard letters like I used for my giant Ballard-esque monogram.

But wow…they are BIG. :) So I got to thinking and went a new direction…and I love the new direction.

I had some luan scraps in the garage and cut one to the size I wanted:

Ignore the awful tree drawing on the back – that was a project that never happened. ;) Trust me, that’s a good thing.

I had some leftover paintable wallpaper from a built in project in the Bub’s room, and decided to cover the board with it:

I found some letters at Joann’s that weren’t monster size, in a font I loved. I spray painted them and some leftover trim a festive red:

But because I wanted to display this project in our family room (which has a slightly rustic vibe for the holidays), the bright red wasn’t the look I was going for.

I wanted to tone it down just a bit, so I used some burnt umber craft paint:

And I mixed a bit of water in with it:

Then just brushed it on with my foam brush, and wiped most of it off. The top is before, the bottom after:

I did the same with the letters, but didn’t wipe nearly as much off. The wood was rougher and soaked it up a bit more, which I liked:

I arranged the trim and letters how I wanted, then attached them with my nail gun (but you could also glue them on!).

I’m really pleased with how it turned out!:

pottery barn noel knock off

Is it still considered a craft if I used major power tools to create it? Hmmmm…

A trip to Joann’s and craft paint were involved, so I say YES. :)

I did a little rustic vignette with our new art on the Craigslist dresser. The sled was a find years ago at a farmhouse down the street that used to have the GREATEST sales:

It was five bucks and I love it so! The little mittens were supposed to be ornaments:

The little tree used to sit in the kitchen, but I thought it was perfect here:

DIY Noel sign

I know little candy ornaments don’t exactly scream rustic, but I’m working with what I’ve got here peeps! :)

I mixed some ornaments and pinecones in a lovely bowl I got a while ago from Meijer of all places:

I am loving their kitchen/serving aisles lately!

And all together, it’s a slightly rustic, Pottery Barn knock-off, using what we have Christmas vignette!:

rustic Christmas vignette

The letters were $1.99 each, I think? I had everything else. :) I luuurve that font for those letters, especially the little curl on the “O” – too cute! 

Altogether it took about 90 minutes to put together, but I did it over a few days.

Don’t you LOVE taking something you love in a catalog and making it your own for a few bucks?! 

P.S. Jess did a version of this too, and it’s identical to the PB one – for eight bucks!!

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  1. That is cute. I have been loving Pottery Barn lately, but the $$ can be a little bit of a joke considering you can actually make it for pennies! I am going to try to make the Advent Calendar for next holiday season.

  2. I LOVE THIS! It's so pretty! The warmth of the red, is perfect for your decor!
    (is it sad that I "think" I know what "goes" with the rest of your decor!?)
    hmm... blog stalk much?

  3. LOVE your take on it & the font you used - so cute! I also made one - like you, after seeing that I thought it was too easy to duplicate for very cheap! Mine cost like $5. :) Here it is: http://www.lifesweetlifeblog.com/2010/12/diy-pottery-barn-knock-off-noel-sign.html

  4. Very fun!

    Heather @ The Other White House

  5. I saw those at the catalog. I've been thinking about getting the big letter at JoAnn or Michael's to make my own.
    Yours look great.
    Love you blog by the way :)

  6. I did a project with letters spelling noel last year and changed it up a bit this year. I am about to blog about it. You need to check out my version. Your looks great! Love the mittens on the sled. http://ms-smartie-pants.blogspot.com/

  7. That is so pretty! The wooden letters were a fabulous idea. Thanks so much for this, I'll be spreading the word.

  8. Rock on my crafty friend, you are da bomb baby. Your NOEL is fab, your vignette is fab, YOU are fab fab fab. Have I told you lately you're fabulous?

    You're fabulous.

  9. A good alternative.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  10. You are so Adorable when in comes to creativity,The warmth of the red, is perfect for your decor!The wooden letters (NOEL) were so Great Idea.You are Fabulous Indeed.

  11. Beautiful!!! I love yours - it is so vintage and classic!! Very cute - and showing it with the sled is beautiful!! I just love it!! Thanks for the shoutout too! :)

  12. Girl! You are one A-MAZ-ING Chick!
    Im in Aaaaaaaaaaaaaawe of how you get all these projects done! WHEW!
    Come visit my 14 days of Christmas Trees...I think you would enjoy :)
    Again,LOOOOVE the PotteryBarn, BUT BETTA, project!


  13. Love this!!! I am also going to try and make this myself...the PB version was way too pricey!!! Looks so good!!

  14. Love your version too Sarah! Thanks for linking up to Beth's blog & giving me some Linky Love on this project! (I'm Beth's big sis).

  15. How cute is this??? I love it!

  16. Loving this project! Im trying to doll up my old decorations on the cheap this year, so yours really inspires me. Im running to JoAnns to see if they have those cute letters!Thanks for sharing with us~!

  17. Love the NOEL, Sarah. So pretty the way you painted the letters! I definitely say it's a craft. :) Visiting from Kate's today...

  18. Love it! The Noel is just darling & that sled with the mittens is soooo adorable!

  19. I think I actually like yours better because it's not so honkin' big. Great job! Cute little vignette too. I have a little sled that I am changing up a little bit this year. :) And Meijer...they also have a great Christmas section this year too. I find a lot of stuff at Meijer. And they've dropped their prices too.

  20. I love that this NOEL is a take-off the famous LOVE art work!

  21. I saw Beth's sisters Noel and it had my brain churning and now that i saw yours its definately a sign (pun not intended) I think i have a project for this weekend.Yippee!!

  22. That looks really great -- I love the font of those letters too! I love when I can 're-create' a PB or Ballard goodie...for way less of course! I posted my $2 PB Magnolia Wreath today!

  23. I did this one too! I just haven't uploaded my pics yet. I should probably do that tonight:)

    I did use the big honkin letters from Joann and yes, they're big but I love how it turned out!

  24. You did a wonderful job! I thought of something you could try for rustic..maybe use that same paint and go over the ornaments and try to get a deeper rustic look..???
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. Hi Sarah! Great job with the NOEL project. I don't have a blog but enjoy reading all of the ideas on other people's blogs....
    Here's one that you inspired in me: Do you know that feeling of blah when you take all of the Christmas stuff down at the end of the month? What do you put up to fill the void?? I never can find anything to fill the emptiness that January brings (Hobby Lobby is completely picked over and there are tumble weeds blowing around the place!)....welllllllll......how about decorating with stuff that evokes a wintery theme for Christmas (along with all the other Christmas decor of course). Then when you take down all of the really Christmasy stuff you can leave up some of the wintery stuff! For instance instead of NOEL how about "SNOW" or "Brrrrrr" or some other winter evoking word painted in a wintery color! Ha..... see, you've inspired an idea in this otherwise "idea-less" brain of mine (I need to start a blog....'nough said!)


  26. I love your version more than the PB one! Everything you did looks perfect!


  27. I love yours so much better than the PB. Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams Sonoma have really great stuff at exhorbitant prices. When I wrote to try to establish a trade dsicount they ignored me three times which includes a letter written to Laura Alber, the CEO. I say, keep up with the knock offs!

  28. I think the knock offs are better than the stores, you won't find them in another home!

  29. Hey I LOVE your Craigslist dresser display! Wish I were this crafty!! A thought on the large pic you have up there- wrap it in wrapping paper and tie with a bow!

  30. I just love how that turned out!! Better than the originals!!

  31. totally do knock off's too! will be posting a C&B wreath knock off soon. $100 for a wreath - puhleeze!

  32. I love it! I'm over the bright red and you provide such an easy solution for an alternative! You inspire me!

  33. It looks great! I wonder if the people from PB and other stores are getting a little worried about bloggers out doing them?

  34. I love it! The cute font is adorable, too. I'm going to try to create something like this when I get home for the Holidays. It's inexpensive and fun! Thanks for sharing, Sarah! (:

  35. Oh this is awesome. I love knocking off PB. Their stuff is great, but I'm cheap!!

  36. Love it!

    I ripped that page out of the PB catalog KNOWING I could do it myself... Love your version!

    I'm gonna try it. It may be July, but I will! :)

  37. Your Christmas decorations are looking great! Thank you for the heads up on the Wal-Mart glitter ornaments. They are just what I needed to fill in the bare spots!

  38. Love It! i want an NOEL now too! LOL

  39. Well I stumbled across another blog today with a similar project because the one at pottery barn was apparently $150. Yikes! Love yours.

  40. I wonder if Pottery Barn knows how many people in the world use their catalogs just for ideas and then go and make something just like it (or better!) for like 1/4 the price? I love how the letters turned out...what an awesome idea!
    Here's my take on a Pottery Barn style front door:

  41. I love it! Great job! I too love the font. I also like your front entryway.

    ~ Tracy

  42. This is fabulous! Love the letters and it looks perfect in your space.

  43. In case noe one's told you today, you're flippin' awesome. For real, badger.

  44. This is great! I love this idea! I found you through "take the side street," and am now a follower! I only wish I'd found your site earlier today, so I'd have more time before bed to peruse. Great ideas! :)


  45. WOW! Fabulous job! Thanks so much for sharing...it looks wonderful! XO ~Liz

  46. So beautiful & I actually really like the candy ornaments! They are so adorable!!!

  47. wow, this looks like a fun project! my own wheels are spinning regarding the wallpaper I just picked up from the thrift store :-D
    thanks for the inspiration!

  48. Greetings! Your interpretation of the PB Noel sign is awesome! It's funny, this sign has gotten SO much attention on many, many blogs in Blogland. I must admit I am a Pottery Barn shopper and yes, I did actually purchase the "real McCoy" for my home this Christmas. It was so unique and so different than anything I'd used in my decorating before. It is SO COOL in person and I know I will use it again and again through the years. Kudos to the inventive ideas I've seen in trying to recreate it. Happy holidays! :)

  49. Wow, I love your blog and especially this post! So inspiring and a quick, easy project that someone could even do with the kids! (minus the nail gun of course!). I'm going to follow you and look forward to more posts. If you have a chance stop by my blog sometime ;)

    "New England Style"

  50. I love your version! I did one a few weeks ago. Check out my version @ http://cowtownkc.blogspot.com/2010/11/pottery-barn-knock-off-noel-sign.html


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