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As I peruse the latest design catalogs like Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs I always see the potential of mimicking the amazing designs in my own home.   Do you love looking at catalogs as much as I do? Here are a few things that go through my mind when I attempt a knock off project (and a few of my own knock off projects for your viewing pleasure :-).   Plus I wanted to remind you to check out my newer site Knock Off Decor.

1. Do you have a use or purpose for it in your home? Yes everything in the Ballard Designs or Pottery Barn catalogs are gorgeous.   Don’t just make it because you can.   Will it serve a purpose in your home?   Do you have a space for it?   Or will you have to get rid of something else in order to accommodate your new piece?   That is fine if the answer is yes but make sure you have a plan ahead of time for where you new item will go.   The goal is beauty in my home not clutter.

Knock off Ballard Designs Laundry Sign

laundrysign2. Creating an imitation of something you see in a catalog will save you money but will it cost you money?Most of the time the answer is yes.   You can usually save about 90% making it yourself but it will still cost you something. Make sure you take into account how much your supplies will cost.   There are times I have knocked something off and it cost me $25 and six hours of time when I could have bought it for $35 from the catalog.

PB Kid Catalina Bookshelf Knock Off

My cost: $15

Their cost: $119

Totally worth it!


3.   Look at the shape of things you might already own, can you revamp it? Many times you have items in your home that can be repurposed to look more high end with a little paint and some imagination.   Take for example this 13 year old hope chest I had received as a gift from my father-in-law.

Pottery Barn Turned Chest Knock Off

hopechestRemoving the lid and framing out the edge gave me a Pottery Barn Kids Turner Chest wannabe.

Image Credit: Pottery Barn KidsFurrniture


PB Kids Turner Toys Chest Knock Off


4.   Do you have woodworking skills or can you cozy up to someone who does? Don’t be afraid to ask for help.   Many times a retired man in your church or a neighbor down the road would love to help you with a small project.   Don’t be intimidated by tools, they are really easier to use than you think.   Plus Home Depot will cut nearly everything to size for you. I had Home Depot cut this large board to size and then I just had to screw everything in place.

Ballard Inspired Junction Paper Holder


5.   Do you think outside the box and let the designers inspire you? You don’t always have to have the exact replica of something to call it a knock-off.   Use the catalogs as a jumping off point.   Don’t be afraid to add a little YOU into it. I loved Land of Nod’s Wash Your Hands sign.


However it was a bit juvenile for my purple board & batten bathroom. So using the same wording I did a faux glass etching that fit more with the décor of my room.

Wash Your Hands Knock Off


Check out my other site if you love knock offs.   I feature two knock off projects a day.   There is some seriously talented woman out there that I get to showcase.   I would love to invite you over.

I’d love for you to join me this week in the BlogFrog International Delight CoffeeTalk community — Your place to share, sip, and inspire.


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  1. I peruse my favorite home decor websites before I go thrifting, it helps me see past what something is to what I can make of it. Othertimes inspiration comes from a shopping trip where I look at a price tag and just about swallow my tongue, like the lampshade I just finished. I made it for less than 7.00 instead of close to 70.00 and it utilized my grandmother’s lamp so yes, for me it’s usually worth it. I love your other site too!

  2. I just love looking through catalogs and getting inspiration. You’re right about it sometimes costing you more or it just not being worth it. I’m going to check out your knock off blog right now.

  3. Catalogs are so much fun to browse! I am a visual person. Seeing it in a catalog helps me envision it in my home……or at least something similar and less expensive!

  4. I love your site and look at it everyday. One of these days I know that I will make some of the projects there. For now, I look and I dream. My favorite was the knotted quilt. Yeah, that one was amazing.

  5. I HEART your ideas!!!!!!!

    I am having a giveaway series…:) I am starting with a slipcover! I wanted to let you and your readers know…Hugs, Meme

  6. Beckie,
    I’m afraid I get too caught up in the making of something that I look past whether I really NEED it or will USE it. Case in point…I HAD to have the large Ballard’s pins when they were on sale cause I was going to make the Laundry sign as well. Guess where they are? Still laying on my counter in the laundry room and I’ve yet to make the sign. I’m not even sure if I have the wall space to use them. Sad huh?

    Tricia Hicks

  7. ROFL…that is funny. I made the sign and then HAD to have the pins. I waited months until they were on sale because I thought I could knock em off but couldn’t.

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