Mar 182015

I love typography art and I also love a great DIY Knock Off.

Left $2.00. Right $260 on sale for $130! (source)

Ever since I absolutely fell in love with this creation by Virginia at LiveLoveDIY, I knew I just had to “do” an ampersand art piece.

Isn’t this GORGEOUS!

I love her idea of a simple white background and a design created with only thumbtacks.  Brilliant!  And one day I may borrow this idea for a piece of my own.  A monogram perhaps.  We will see.

Then last fall, I received a home decor flyer from one of Canada’s biggest and most iconic retailers, the Hudson’s Bay Company.  There on page 3, just inside the cover was this great, mid-century modern inspired room.  As a furniture painter, I was immediately drawn to the chest of drawers with different stains and THEN, I saw the ampersand print.  (Note:  there are NO AFFILIATE links in this post… just the facts!)

ampersand001 bay ad

I love the multi-stained drawers of the dresser but the ampersand print drew me in

Again, I loved the simplicity of it.  However, when I saw the price in “the fine print”… $130!  on sale from $260!  My mind said

“Hmm… I think I could make this with my Silhouette Cameo and a cheapo dollar store canvas!”

I stashed the flyer on my desk but the plan was always in the back of my mind.  

I found the exact font on Google and some time ago, I picked up some black and white wrapping paper I thought would make a great pattern.

I didn’t get to this project until I was struck down with bronchitis a couple of weeks ago.  Bored out of my mind and not able to do anything too “busy”, I decided to tackle the project. 

I loaded and sized the ampersand font in PhotoShop, saved it, then imported the file to the Silhouette software.   I tried to cut out the black and white wrapping paper only to find it was just too thin.  You see, I am a newbie Silhouette user who, if I continue to screw up like this, will need a new mat.


Isn’t that pretty? Pretty YES but far to thin for this project.

Next, I checked out my stash of scrap book paper.  Why I have this stash is beyond me.  For years, I thought I would try scrap booking and 10 year later… not a single page.  Regardless, I did not find a suitable monotone paper but I did find paper in my favourite colours.  Colours that made me think about spring! 

The first paper, I ruined because like I said I am a newbie Silhouette user and I have the settings wrong. 

Next page was MAGIC!! and gorgeous!


The sewer in me told me to use pins to keep it in place. Go figure?

 Using Mod Podge, I glued it into place.  Easy Sm-easy!

For the label, I picked a nice simple font and, similar to the stencils I used for my glass etching gifts, I created a stencil out of cheapo dollar store contact paper.

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Stencil made with Silhouette Cameo and dollar store contact paper

First, I painted over the stencil with Mod Podge to seal the edges before applying the paint.  This step is IMPERATIVE to have crisp edges with no seeping.  Mod Podge dries very quickly so I was able to start to paint the letters.  I was thrilled to find I had the perfect green in my stash of craft paint.

IMG_0565 copy

It took about 3 coats of paint to make a nice solid colour.

I was SO PUMPED with the outcome.  Even with the mistakes, it took me about 2 hours of elapsed time! 


How cute is this on my mantle with my favourite green bird. I LOVE APPLE GREEN accents!


What a fresh addition to the mantle!


It even ties into the dried hydrageas I pilfer from my neighbours bush. (With their permission of course!)



Like I said the scrap book paper had my favourite colours in it. How cute is it on this side of the mantle with my turquoise squirrel?


So let’s re-cap the costs incurred:

  • 12 x 16 canvas from Dollarama   $2.00
  • scrap book paper  $0.00
  • craft paint $0.00

So if I bought the print on sale for $130,
I guess I saved $128

AND I think mine is more fun!


Do you love it as much as I do?

I am thinking of doing a “set” of labelled symbols  and putting them in the main / guest bathroom, a room in need of some colour!

Love to hear from you!  Would love it even more if you followed me on Pinterest or Bloglovin’ or whatever!





  30 Responses to “Ampersand Art Knock Off”

  1. Very nice. Still not sure I could make it!

    • The fact I had scrapbook paper and in particular a Silhouette Cameo, made this project a snap. Never say never!

  2. I love the way your ampersand turned out. Thanks for sharing the idea. I will be making one of my own.

    • Hi Elena! I am happy you love the Ampersand. It was super easy but the colours just bring a burst of spring to my mantel. I would be flattered if you make one of your own. Be sure to send me a picture, I would love to see what you do. Isn’t the Ampersand the coolest symbol?

  3. PINNED. Best wishes, Linda Crafts a la Mode

    • I am so happy to hear you loved the Ampersand Art Knock Off. It really adds a bit of Spring to our mantel. Be sure to drop by again!

  4. […] Joan at Nicer Than New was flipping through a catalog when a giclee print of an ampersand caught her eye. She had already been inspired by other bloggers to tackle her own ampersand art, and this gave Joan just the push she needed. She gave her artwork a fresh spring spin by using patterned scrapbook paper in springy colors. This DIY wall art only cost Joan $2 for the 12โ€x16โ€ canvas. Talk about a bargain! […]

  5. Love it! What font?

    • Hi Jeanne. Thanks for dropping by. I wish I could tell you what font. I just did a search on Google for “Ampersand Image” and found the exact font that was in the giclee print. Thanks for dropping by and I hope to see you again!

  6. I really like the colors. It turned out beautiful!

    • Thanks for the comment Brenda. I really love the colours too! I have been crushing on Apple Green for the past year and I have always loved turquoise. Be sure to drop by again!

  7. I am slightly obsessed with the ampersand! I love what you did with it. My house is mainly black and white, I am gonna have to figure out how to do something cool, you have inspired me. Yours looks great with your decor, envy!

  8. I love it! I love the colors ๐Ÿ™‚
    I would love for you to share it with our Link Up Party- Idea box:


  9. It’s fantastic. You chose a great color combo.

  10. This is so neat! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week! Don’t forget to enter the $5 Starbucks Giftcard Giveaway!

  11. This is brilliant. Love the way it looks. I will pin it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Liisi for the compliment and for pinning! I really love the colours and how it brightens up my mantel. Please follow me or drop by again soon.

  12. Such an easy way to make art! I just love ampersands. Thank you for sharing this tutorial with us!

  13. Great look! Thanks for joining HSH!

  14. Wish I had a silhouette just sitting around. The ampersand is awesome, and I love apple green too! Thanks for the great post! A successful undertaking!

  15. I love yours, the colors are so fun and I love the price SOOOO much better ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Love how it turned out! Thanks for linking up with us at Idea Box. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. […] DIY Ampersand Art from Nicer Than New […]

  18. What a fantastic piece of art! I have so much scrapbook paper that I don’t know what to do with but you have given me a few ideas. Love it. Thanks for linking up at Mum-bo Monday, I hope to see you again this week

  19. Such beautiful artwork for a fraction of the cost! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial on Talented Tuesdays!

  20. This is so fabulous! And, I love the colors! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at The Round-Up from the Before & After Wednesday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link so you can check out your feature. Hope to see you again tomorrow at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  21. […] Ampersand Art Knock-Off from Nicer Than New […]

  22. […] off The Round-Up is this fabulous Ampersand Art Knock Off from Nicer Than New.  She saved a ton of bucks creating her own! Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson shared her […]

  23. […] adore Ampersand artwork and this beauty by Nicer Than New is no exception! I love how she created this beauty for 2 dollars!!! How awesome is that! Drop by […]

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