Thursday, January 19, 2012


Remember I showed you an ampersand project I had planned in this post?
Well, that project is now done, too.  

This was my inspiration.  It comes from "Edie's Lab" on

I fell in love with this charming, little ampersand the moment I saw it.  I knew I wanted one for our living room.  The problem was that it was only 12" tall.  That size wasn't going to cut it.  I needed it bigger.  Like double the size bigger.  So I decided to replicate, enlarge, and hope I could actually pull it off.

Here's what I started with.

A 2'x4' sheet of 3/4" birch plywood.  We picked it up at Lowe's for just over $18.

I enlarged and printed out a template for the giant ampersand.
It measures 23.5" h x 29" w.

 I traced it onto my plywood, had the hubby trim off the excess with a circular saw, and then it was ready to be cut out.

I used a jigsaw (thanks, mom & dad!) to cut out my ampersand.  You should have seen me - I'm sure it was quite the sight.  I had one foot, up on the table holding the plywood in place, while hunched over, carefully jigging along my traced outline.  I almost asked Travis to take a picture so you could see how ridiculous I looked, but decided against it.  ;)  Oh, but I do think the jigsaw is my new favorite tool.  I'm already trying to figure out what else I can make (using the left over plywood).

After finishing with the jigsaw, I gave every surface a light sanding.
Then it was ready for primer and paint.

Two coats of primer, 2 coats of white paint ("du jour" - same as on the bookshelf) - ready for the details and a little color.

I used an X-acto knife to cut my template, and then traced out the interior details of the ampersand.

After some very patient painting, I was finally able to step back and admire my newest favorite piece of art.

I really, really love it.

I toyed with the idea of using a darker color, like a teal or gray, but I'm pleased that I decided to keep it light and neutral.  It stands out just enough over the fireplace.

And the cost?  Just the price of that sheet of plywood (which I have left overs of).  So maybe about $14 for the ampersand itself.  I used leftover house paint; overall project cost was minimal.  

I feel so accomplished in completing this project, and the bookshelf.
Small successes, before tackling the ever-looming kitchen cabinets, were just what I needed.


  1. soooooo cute! i love it. even better than the inspiration! :)

  2. Oh dear, I love, love, love this! Great Job Allison!

  3. Glad you like our products! For anyone not up for the challenge, we do offer custom sizes on our designs...just message us :)

    have a great weekend!
    audrey + josh