Ballard Designs-Inspired Monogram Art

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finished A

Above: My DIY version of Ballard Designs Monogram Art. $1.00 + I used extra paint supplies I already had at home. 

Below: Ballard Designs original = $169.  

T_WithoutZoom (2)

Found on the Ballard Designs website.

Do you ever stop and think to yourself, “My house doesn’t have enough signs telling us to “EAT”? Or “RELAX” or to “ENJOY THE LITTLE THIGNS?”  Same here. I always need reminders.  Or even maps. One can never have enough maps.  I

Well, I may be going slightly overboard with the whole “directional sign” thing in my house.  But I’m not ready to let go of the trend just yet.

How I Knocked Off Ballard

Pictured below, my ORIGINAL inspiration behind my knock off project.

Monogram Art - Large Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs Monogram Art.  25” x 25″ specifications. Original price = $169.00 / each.  Images (above) courtesy of Ballard Designs. 

So, it was time to knock off a department store, and this time it was Ballard. My husband wanted it to say “BEER”. We compromised. It will soon say “BAR”. But right now, I’ve only completed the “B” and the “A”….

 I visited my local ReStore. I saw these tiles (25 of them).


After some investigation, it turns out they were for coffered ceilings for only $1 EACH! Dimensions of each tile was 24″ x 24″.So I bought all 25 of them.

Then this happened.

base coat

When life hands you unwanted coffered ceiling tiles–you make ART.

Before I spazzed out with the paintbrush, I had to figure out which font to use to reproduce these Ballard Design-inspired beauties. So I studied them. My assessment told me that Ballard Designs used “Times New Roman” fonts on the original art. So off I went…

Step 1:  Tile Print Your Monogram Letter

If you’re not sure how to tile print, let’s just say this is what people do when they don’t own a Silhouette die cutter.

tile printed B

Or, you can visit my tile printing tutorial here.  If you would like topic covered in a live class, please leave a comment below.   

Let’ s use the “A” from this point forward. The B was my prototye.

monogram untaped

Step 2: Trim & Tape Your Monogram Letter

I taped my monogram letter together with Scotch tape. I trimmed the white parts off, any excess tape and made sure it was a clean stencil…then set aside.

taped monogram letter

Step 3:  Prepare the Canvas

I always try to use paint from my existing inventory. I chose a combination of water based and chalk paints to layer onto the piece. I realized that my light base coat helped to add texture to the piece as I sponged a combination of darker layers on.  I kept adding darker layers until it was the hue that I wanted.

paint collage

Panic Alert:

I thought I had messed up at this point. Because I asked myself “now…HOW do I make that letter WHITE?”  So what you see in the picture below was my answer.  My daughter thought this next step was hysterically funny.

Step 4: Sponge on the Monogram Background

I sponged on white in the shape of the A. You want varied color on your own monogram.  My daughter couldn’t understand how this crazy shaped A was going to be anything like the original Ballard piece. She thought I was nuts.

sponged on monogram

Step 5: Apply Monogram Stencil with spray adhesive

monogram adhesive

Step 6: Cover Monogram with Dark Paint / Cover White Completely

monogram covered

Step 7:  Peel Off Paper Monogram

peel off monogram

Step 8: Add Effects

This is where I made things up as I went along. The original art had “folds” in the images. So I dipped string in paint, and applied those as additional layers to keep the item looking like the original.  I just kept sponging on a combination of lighter paints like the original.

ballard inpsired B monogram art side by side

supplies ballard designs knock off

Be sure to tour all the other amazing bloggers that have been so inspiring this week with their “knock offs”. I love doing blog tours with these ladies. Enjoy!


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  1. I am going to make this for sure. I love how it came out Jeanette. Beautiful

  2. Beautiful job and you can’t beat the price! I can think of so many ways to use this idea in my home.

  3. This was great! The pictures of each step and what you used, very helpful! Love it!

  4. Thus turned out FAB! I love anything and everything monogram and like Paula mentioned, the possibilities of ideas are endless with this project!

  5. christykjames says:

    Your version looks exactly like the original! LOVE this and a house can never have too many fonts! Lol Pinning and sharing on FB :D

  6. Jeanette,
    What a fabulous knock off and tutorial. Very impress and I LOVE the price.
    Such beautiful tiles!
    Thanks for sharing. I have happily pinned your post for future reference.
    Make it a great weekend.

  7. Jeanette this is gorgeous! Absolutely love this it would look so awesome in my house :) you did an amazing job!

  8. Wow Jeanette….that is amazing!!! I read and reread…you are a rockstar!!! Fabulous!!!

  9. Jeanette this is so cool! You had great vision and your art turned out fabulous! I can’t wait to see when it’s all done and hung in your basement. :)

  10. Love it! Great tutorial too:) Such a fantastic find to stumble on those ceiling tiles and creative idea to turn them into trendy letters!

  11. I love these ! I like your knock off better than the original. Great job. Cathy

  12. Hi Jeanette! Great knock-off! It looks almost identical to the original! Thanks for sharing how you made this! Blessings from Bama!

  13. You are so creative! The finished products look absolutely amazing!

    Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Mondays!

  14. Love this. Thanks for linking up at Sunday Features. Shared on our FB page this week and pinning! Thanks again!

  15. Hi Jeanette- I love these tiles and the size ! I found you on Think & Make- would you link this to Friday Favorites tonight? laura

  16. Hi Jeanette- This looks great! What a find! I found you on Think & Make and had to stop by.. would love if you linked this to Friday Favorites- goes live tonight! laura

  17. This turned out awesome! And I love that you kept forging forward with your ‘DIY Fail’! I have a lot of those and sometimes you just have to keep plugging away :) Found you on Show Me Saturday link party!

    1. Amanda, thank you so much for visiting. Most of my projects have some “fail” along the way. I try to include those moments in the posts whenever possible. I’m so glad you found me and thanks for visiting!

  18. We featured you’re awesome project at the Project Stash link party! Thanks for linking up last week and we’d love to have you join us again this week!