DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks

diy thumbtack ampersand art mountainmodernlife.com

DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks

If you love easy projects, affordable wall art, and ampersands I’ve got the perfect project for you, how to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art using thumbtacks.

I was inspired to make my own ampersand art after coming across this absolutely gorgeous thumbtack art from Life in Velvet. Who knew thumbtacks could be so pretty? It’s awesome, as is everything Angela creates and I knew I needed something similar.

I had tons of thumbtacks that I had purchased for a different project, but never used and decided to add them to a piece of scrap wood leftover from my mason jar and yardstick wall storage. That was over a year ago, but I knew this piece of wood would eventually come in handy :)

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Materials Needed for DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks:

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Piece of scrap wood

Printed out Ampersand on regular copy paper from an inkjet printer

LOTS of Thumbtacks

Chalk

Pen

Tape

Spray paint {optional}

Clear Spray Sealer {optional}

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The first thing I did was print out an ampersand that I liked, which was in the Baskerville Italic font. I made it take up most of an 8.5×11 sheet of paper and then printed it out.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

You can play around with different type faces in a program like word and then print out the version you like best. You can also download and print the version I used here.

This size was perfect for the piece of scrap wood I used, but you may want to create a larger or smaller size depending on the wood you use. Also, my scrap wood was already stained, but you may want to stain or paint yours if it’s not.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

I then took my packs of thumbtacks and spray painted them with a turquoise color that is sprinkled throughout our home.

I don't know about you but I love out of the box ideas!! Check out how to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

I don't know about you but I love out of the box ideas!! Check out how to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

The photo above shows 6 packs of thumbtacks, but I think I may have actually sprayed 8-10 packs. This project was done over 4 months ago so I can’t really remember but the number you use will also depend on how large or small your ampersand is.

I will admit that I made this project a little more difficult than it should be, so I’m going to tell you what I did, and then go into what would be even easier.

What I did was tape the piece of paper onto the piece of wood and then started pushing thumbtacks into the ampersand, beginning at one end and working my way around.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

I was able to get most of the thumbtacks in fairly easily, but whenever I came across a knot in the wood I had to use a mallet to get them pushed down. I could have placed something soft {like a small towel} on top of the thumbtacks and then “nailed” them in, but didn’t {impatient much?} so of course I wound up with some scratched paint. Oops. I thought I would lightly sand the thumbtacks afterwards anyway to create a more interesting effect, so I wasn’t too worried about it.

I don't know about you but I love out of the box ideas!! Check out how to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

The problem came when I was all finished and then realized I needed to get rid of the paper. Duh.

I was able to tear most of it off, but it was kind of a pain. I decided to place it under water and that it would be easier to remove. It was, but it was also messy and some of the paper was still stuck under the thumbtacks. See this is where it’s best to do as I say and not as I do, haha.

I had grabbed a small detail brush and tried to use that to get under the thumbtacks, which also helped but also started taking off some of the paint when I brushed it across the top with the water. This turned out to be a happy accident and I really liked how the gold was showing up underneath the turquoise.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

Even so, removing all of the paper was a pain, and totally unnecessary.

There would have been a much easier way to transfer the ampersand onto the wood, and here it is…

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

First print out your ampersand, then flip it over and cover the back of the piece of paper with chalk. Make sure you use an inkjet printer and just regular copy paper, just as you would when you use this transfer technique.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

Then flip the paper back over, tape it down, and go over the edge of the ampersand using a ball point pen.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

Once you have traced the edge you can remove the paper and will be left with a chalk traced outline on the wood. This is a technique I use on DIY signs or art that I can then fill in with paint. It’s super easy and works on stained or painted wood.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

The line was pretty thin so I went over it again with chalk just to make it a little darker. I did a super fast job just to show you because this is the back of the ampersand I had already made, but this only took a couple of minutes. Easy peasy, ya’ll! Of course you could use a pen or pencil too, but I like that chalk comes off. Of course that also means that you will want to be careful that you don’t erase it while working :)

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

You can then start adding your thumbtacks to the outline and begin filling in the ampersand. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about removing the paper afterwards.

 Once it’s finished you could spray it with a clear sealer to keep it protected, and the paint from scratching.

We added a simple sawtooth hanger on the back and hung it up on the wall.

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

You could also display it on the mantel or shelf, or even display it at a wedding reception. Plus, using the chalk transfer technique makes it easy to use any design you want. Just think of the possibilities…

I had our DIY ampersand wall art using thumbtacks up in my craft room for a while:

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

Here is our DIY ampersand wall art using thumbtacks up on our gallery wall in the living room:

How to create DIY Ampersand Wall Art Using Thumbtacks! MountainModernLife.com

I love the texture the thumbtacks add to the wood and how easy this was to make! By the way, did you ever see my thumbtack studded faux candles?

Have you used thumbtacks for creative projects before?

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