Ballard Designs: Acanthus Cut-Out Plaque

Did you get the latest Ballard Designs catalog? You do get that right? Oh my gosh…it is chock full of inspiration. If you don’t get it and you would like to click here to sign up. Of course I would never purchase anything from the catalog because I am too cheap. However, I use it to get ideas of color combinations, tablescapes, wall decor and furniture arrangement.

For those of you who get the magazine go to page 5 of the current issue (the one with the 13 favorite things from House Beautiful). In the far right corner what do you see? Not the Wellington Bench. No, not the Planter Beligique. All though those are both stunning also. Look at letter E. Yep, that is it… the Acanthus Cut-Out Plaque. Isn’t is 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)!

For those of you who don’t get the catalog…here is a picture.

This one is made out of tole metal. Unfortunately I am not a metal fabricator, nor do I have the supplies to be one. However, I do have some wood and a scroll saw. So here is what I did…

1. I got a piece of 1/4″ luan plywood cut to the size of 24″ x 36″. Note: The one in the catalog is 27″x40″ but I needed it a tad smaller to go with my decor.

2. Then using a pencil and my catalog for inspiration I drew the design on the wood.

3. Next 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 drill.

4. Then I took a jigsaw and using a scroll blade I followed the lines and cut out my pattern. There were a few pieces that broke off that I had to use wood glue and wood putty to fix. Then I sanded them down smooth.

5. Then I got my Dremel tool with a sanding bit and sanded down the cuts to make them smooth.


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. Hmmmm….how 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 with none other than American Accents Canyon Black. It still needed something. So then I used a Faux Medium 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.


8. Then I cut molding to frame it out, painting that also.

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. HOLY PAJAMAS!! This cost me $9! Pretty darn amazing if I do say so myself.

And now my family room is complete…stay tuned for the reveal tomorrow.

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