Monday, March 12, 2012

Ballard Designs Knock-Offs- 1st Installment

Some of these ideas came to me forever ago, and I have had the supplies for a few of these projects for a while. I must have been in another funk, because I never got around to starting and/or completing them, until now. I am still determined to get more involved in my blog this year. I'm staying busy with it & creating more & more projects, and I love it!

So, months ago, I got my new Ballard Designs catalog in the mail. I caught myself thinking something while perusing. I looked at so many of the decor items and thought, "I could make that!" Design blogs must be rubbing off on me, which is a good thing. Before reading the blogs like I do, I would have looked through the mag, thought, "I can't spend that much money on useless stuff," and throw it out. Now, I decided I would try myself and create a few "knock-offs" to see if I really could do it. I've seen many other bloggers do the same thing, and it always turns out beautifully.

I plan on posting a series of these, because once I got into it, I realized just how many items I could recreate at a much cheaper price. All of my supplies for these projects were purchased long ago (they were the ones I mentioned have been taking up space in the guest room). So far, I have four different projects going! Here's the first, and the others will (hopefully soon) follow:

Example 1:

Their Version: Laundry Letters- $45

My Version: Laundry Letters- My Price- $10.18

They also have this in white, which I loved more than the black. I went to Hobby Lobby & bought the seven letters, which were $0.99 each ($6.93 total). (I had a 40% coupon, but that was used for a larger item, which I'll post on soon!) I already had flat white spray paint left over, and I had the wooden slab left over from another project. It was purchased at Michael's a long time ago, but it was next-to-nothing.

I just lined up the letters on paper in the driveway, sprayed away (just two coats), and they were done! Then, after waiting for them to dry, I lined them up on the wooden slab, and hot glued them down. Just because I love this part of the project, I roughly added up what was spent on my version of the Laundry Letters:

- 7 letters @ $0.99 each =                      $6.93
- 2 small wooden slabs @ $1.00 ea =  $2.00 (and I'm being generous here)
- 1 can flat white spray paint =                $1.25 (cheap-o- purchased from Dollar General)
Grand Total =                                      $10.18

This calculation should be pretty close. Pretty awesome when the most expensive single item was the spray paint! And here she is, with photos of steps:

Here are the letters and slabs all laid out & ready to be painted:

This is after one coat of white spray paint:

This is after just two coats. I stopped at that:

I then waited a day or so for the pieces to completely dry. Then, sanded them down to smoothe the surface. I then lined them up, put plenty of hot glue on the bottoms of the letters and set them on the board. Easy! I may add a little paint on the edges later on. The Ballard Designs version has a brushed gold around the edges. Looks pretty! 

Now for the final pic. Drum roll, please :) ...

THEIRS (just picture it in white)


Final price difference: Theirs: $45; Mine: $10.18

$34.82 SAVED!!!

Love it! (To add to the excitement, I read the reviews on the BD website, and half of the reviewers said the letters would not stay up straight- some had to glue theirs back! Yay! Makes me feel even better about opting to make my own.
It really adds to our laundry room. 


  1. Great work on those letters! and SUCH a good budget price for your project!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  2. Well done, its awesome when you can save money and make stuff yourself, it looks really great. Looking forward to the next installment :-)


  3. Those are great!! I have done a sign I seen in a magazine, I will show you in a post really soon. Love yours too! :D Thanks dear for sharing Ashley!! Can't wait to see the others!!

  4. I love saving a few bucks! Great job, too cute!
    I found you on the Its so cheri blog hop and am now following you and would love a follow back:)

    My Turn (for us)

  5. Hi found you on Cheri's Blog Hop. I am following you. Please follow me. Thanks.

  6. Looks as good as PG, but at a very much pretty price. Great job,and looks so good. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best.

  7. Jill- Thank you! Love your link party!!

    Ash- Thanks so much! I'm following you now. :)

    Debi- Your encouragement is always so uplifting!

    Evelyn- Now following you back. Thank you!

    Dawn- Now following you back. Thank you!

    Cathy- Thank you!! I love your link party too!

  8. Those are so great! You should hook them up at the Pinterest party at Young House Love (no, I don't benefit at all if you do .... just seemed like it fit with your post and they'll send a bunch of traffic your way).



  9. Move over Martha Stewart! Very nicely done. Who doesn't love saving money. And the satisfaction of doing it yourself. I love it.

    People Do Things With Their Lives

  10. Great job! We've chosen to pass on the Liebster Blog Award to you! Congratulations!

    Now it's your turn to pass the award on!

    Check out
    to find out more!

  11. Very cute! Isn't it such a thrill to see how much you saved making a project yourself?

  12. Awesome job! I would love for you to link up at my linky party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  13. Ashley,
    Love your blog!!! great job!! we are making your grilled corn tonight :) The title of this blog post....Ballard Design Knock-Offs cracks me up!! By the way, did you know my brother-in-law is the Visual Design Director for Ballard Designs??!! He is :) The next time Troy is in Atlanta at the Ballard Back Room (outlet store).....I'll have to let you know and we can make a road trip!! Keep up the good work! See you at choir :)


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