DIY Ballard Design Acanthus Plaque

While I’m off in NYC, my friend (in blogland and in real life) Beckie is guest posting for me. She’s sharing one of my very favorite projects of hers – enjoy!!

Hello Thrifty readers!  I am Beckie, from Infarrantly Creative

I am a red-headed, left-handed, frugal-living, roadkill-rescuing, furniture revamping, creative-minded, spray-painting, fun-loving Midwest girl living in the land of corn and the Colts.
I came to share a thrifty project with you.  Just like Sarah I love perusing through catalogs for inspiration.  Ballard Designs catalog is at the top of the pile. I saw the Acanthus Cut-Out Plaque from Ballard’s about a year ago. Isn't it gorgeous? I looooove it. Did you see the price tag? I haaaaate it. So what does one do?
Recreate it of course for 3.54% of the price (yes I am a math nerd)! IMG_0922
Their version is made out of tole metal. Unfortunately, I am not a metal fabricator, nor do I pretend to know what tole metal is. However, I do have some wood and a jigsaw.
1. I got a piece of 1/4" luan plywood cut to the size of 24" x 36". They sell a 2’ x 4’ piece for $5.47 at the Home Depot.
2. Then using a pencil and my catalog for inspiration I drew the design on the wood. 
3. Then I got out my electric drill and using a large bit I cut holes into each of the scrolling vines as a starting point for my jigsaw.
4. Then I took a jigsaw and using a new scroll blade I followed the lines and cut out my pattern. IMG_0906There were a few pieces that broke off that I had to use wood glue and wood putty to fix. Don’t be intimidated by a jigsaw.  Of all the saws they are the easiest to maneuver.5. Then I got my Dremel tool and used a sanding bit and sanded down the cuts to make them smooth.  You could also use a sanding sponge.
6. I wanted to cover some of the blemishes give the piece some texture. So I thought and thought about how to give it a little texture with the supplies I had on hand. about Mod Podge? So I went and got a test piece of wood and a sponge and pounced Mod Podge all over it.
I liked it...
7. Since the Mod Podge sealed it I didn't need to primer it so I spray painted it Canyon Black. It still needed something. I used a glaze mixed with some brown craft paint and painted it on and then used a damp paper towel to remove some of it. It gave it the depth of color that I was looking for and almost resembled the “tole” metal of the Ballard’s one.IMG_0927 8. Then using a $5 miter box and saw I cut molding to frame it out, spray painting that also.
Then I nailed everything in place.  I love how the blue walls show through the vine cut outs. 
Note: Next to the Acanthus Cut-Out is 2 blank canvases with fabric stapled to them and also trimmed out.
What do you think? If I would have ordered one it would have cost $253.95 with shipping. This cost me $9! Move over Thrifty Decor Chick ;-)
I would love for you to come visit me at Infarrantly Creative.  If you like this process I will give you a sneak peek of a new project that I am working on…IMG_0914
You will have to come to “my house” to see the rest.  See you there!
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