Anthropologie Plate Art Knockoff Tutorial

In March I competed in Creating with the Stars over at East Coast Creative. For week 2 of the contest my challenge was to come up with a "knockoff" and it turned out to be my most successful week while spending the least amount of money... oh yeah! If you want to know how I DIY'd this Anthroplogie Plate Art, read on.

I tried to recreate Lost Arcadia By Molly Hatch is sold by Anthropologie for $7,500! Since that's about $7,450 over my budget, it had to be done on the cheap. Here's what you do.


  • 30 plates - I got mine at Dollar Tree for a buck! (you might want to buy a couple extras just incase... trust me)
  • Something to hang the plates with - I used 30 medium Command Strips. You could use actual plate hangers but they were too expensive for me (around $3 each). I've also seen some people hot glue some sort of loop on the back to hang plates. Any method will do!
  • A Sharpie - I only used one
  • A projector - My husband was lucky enough to borrow one from work that hooked up to the computer, but I think you can rent/borrow them from libraries too. Also, there are lots of tutorials around the net on how to make a projector if you don't have access to one.
Step 1
Buy some plates! I don't think I need to explain shopping but I have this picture I took at Dollar Tree while buying them so I thought I'd share :)

Step 2
Stick Command Strips to all of your plates just inside the rim on the back and label your plates. A1, A2, A3... B1, B2, B3... etc. This way, when they come down, you'll know how to put them back up.

Step 3
Make a level line on your wall to align the first row of plates. I taped a scrap board to my wall to act as a ledge. I stuck the center plate up first and then stuck the next ones right beside almost touching.

Step 4
Continue sticking your plates. I put the center plate up first for each row and then worked my way out from there. Push hard. I just eyeballed to get it in the center of the plate below. Keep going until all of your plates are up.

Step 5
Take the plates down! I repeat. Take the plates down! (this is why you need to label them). The Command Strips clearly say to stick your item, then rip it off the wall leaving only the Command Strip on the wall to cure before hanging your piece permanently. I failed to do this, (my bad) and had a plate crash down like a giant game of Plinko... taking the plates below with it. I might also add that this happened at 2am. My husband thought we were being invaded. It was not a fun evening... not at all. Let's have a moment of silence for the 2 plates lost in the chaos.

Step 6
After your strips cure and you stick the plates back up (this time it worked... they've been up over a week... no casualties), you're ready to trace. I chose to do a botanical print I found via this blog, Thrifty Decor Chick. It's from the NYC Digital Gallery and you can read Sarah's post about it here. Set up the projector so the image is fairly centered and go to town. The tracing part only took maybe an hour.

After I had it all traced, I went back over some parts to make them darker. 

That's it, you're done! I think these would look really nice in color too but for the knockoff week, I wanted to stay as close to the inspiration as possible.

(PS... that dresser is from Goodwill! Who gives stuff like that away!?)
And did you notice how my wall is beige in some pics and blue in others? Yep, midway through I decided white plates on beige walls wasn't looking that great. So I hit up Home Depot and got a gallon of "oops paint" for $5! And then proceeded to  paint a square around the Command Strips that were already on the wall.  Yeahhh... landlord, if you're seeing this... don't worry! It will be beige again in no time! : |


The Container Store

Have you ever been to The Container Store? I hadn't until this past Thursday when they invited me, and several other Central Florida bloggers, to the brand new Orlando location (their 60th store). We got to eat lunch, poke around, and take pictures of everything before the store opened. Seriously, if you need some color inspiration, head over. As of this weekend, they are open for business here in Central Florida.

I think what I liked even more than their stuff, was their philosophy on running a business. Take care of your employees first and your employees will take care of their customers. YES! 100% true! Maybe that's why they're continuously on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. I hope all of my past employers are listening. 
Elfa is their popular closet system. I can see why, it's the stuff a closet of your dreams is made of. They not only had sample closets set up for you to see, but home office spaces, craft spaces, garage spaces, gift wrapping spaces, etc... I really love how they list the amount of space what your looking at takes up. So smart!
Too bad they weren't open for business yet, I would have snagged these garbage cans for the kiddos immediately. I guess I know where I'm going on my lunch break this week. :)

And I love these tiny file drawer systems. My husband needs this now. If I could only show you the stacks of papers I'm currently typing around. Well, I could, but I won't. It's slightly embarrassing. I'd love to just shove everything in those drawers.

And that's it! There's me looking very uncomfortable posing for a picture in The Container Store (wearing shoes my family lovingly refers to as "The Big Bird" shoes). If you've got a storage problem, I'm telling you they have a solution. Go check them out.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post. I attended a media event at The Container Store and received a few free products. Just my opinions!


Royal Design Studio Stencil Giveaway!

Big news people. BIG. NEWS. I'm giving away free stuff! Did you see my stenciled curtains from Monday? I craft-tastic-ed them (it's a word, trust me) with a stencil from Royal Design Studio. And now, they are letting me give one away! Wanna see the goods? Check out some of my favorites.

Gone are the days of country bumpkin apples stenciled around your kitchen, remember those? I love the texture the Large Nova Trellis stencil gives this bedroom. Very modern, elegant, and calming in that color pallet and way cheaper than fancy pants wallpaper.

Oh man, I want this. This is the Lisboa Tile Wall stencil. How cool would it be to accent a piece of furniture by just stenciling a section of wall behind it? Think about this one in bright colors too. I need to pin this sucker so I don't forget for the new house. Something like this would be fabulous in our soon-to-be office.

Speaking of color, what about the Cherry Blossom stencil on sunny yellow to make a laundry room a little more fun to be in. I could also see the cherry blossoms in a little girl's room or nursery... so sweet.

Okay, last one. If you're not ready to take on a whole wall yet, try a boarder stencil. This is the Granada Boarder stencil and it would be fabulous on a chalkboard wall or back splash. Love the light on dark. And, this would be a super quick project.

Did you like what you see?! Go check out Royal Design Studio and look around. They have so many more options and lots of photos and instructions to help you out. Then, once you find what you like come back and let me know which one, and what your idea is. I'd love to hear them. Enter with the Rafflecopter widget below by following the steps (you can earn several entries). One winner will be randomly selected on Monday and receive one stencil of their choosing from Royal Design Studio valued up to $50 (free shipping too). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Stenciled Curtains Tutorial {Royal Design Studio}

I painted some more curtains (remember these?) and I didn't use tape this time thanks to Royal design Studio... I feel so grown up. I bought our living room curtains the week we moved in to our rental since there was nothing on the back french doors or windows and it creeped me out to stare into black nothingness every night. Since the ceilings are really tall in here, the doors and windows required 110" curtains. That's just to get from the very edge of the top of the doors to the floor. No "high and wide" option here. Anyone who has ever shopped for those knows they aren't cheap. In a rush, and not wanting to invest in (or make) curtains I might not even get to use at the new house, I settled for solid IKEA panels. Yawn.

Fast forward a few months and I couldn't help myself (I recognize I have a problem). I knew I could make them cooler for very little money. That's when I decided to paint. I used the Moroccan Key Stencil (large size) from Royal Design Studio because it's way better than anything I could have cut out of tape. 
I love the two tone grays in the sample pic too. I'm totally stealing that idea for an accent wall in the new house.
Here's what I did.


  • Curtains
  • Paint - Mine is the same $5 oops paint from the Plate Wall photos and a little white
  • Fabric Medium - Same bottle from the Chevron Curtains
  • Small tray and foam roller
  • Painter's tape
  • Something to protect your floor with
Step 1:
Lay out your curtain on top of some plastic or paper or tarp or whatever, and tape it down so it doesn't move on ya.

Step 2:
Mix paint and fabric medium in your tray.... or if you're like me and not willing to leave the house to buy a tray, mix paint and fabric medium in a roasting pan covered in aluminum foil. Don't judge. I eye-balled the measurements from the back of the jar. (kid is in Peter Pan tights there wanting to help)

Step 3:
Start in a corner, tape the stencil down on the edges, and roll carefully with not too much paint on the roller. (Do a happy dance when it works).

Step 4:
Keep going! Just line up your pattern with the little marks they provide for you on the stencil. Easy. My kids helped with this project too.

Step 5 (Optional):
Once I got going I thought it might be a little overwhelming to do the entire curtain in such high contrast. So, I taped off a line about 1/3 of the way up my curtain and stopped there. I might also have been motivated by the fact that it was approaching 11pm and I was having company the next day. :)

And that's it. Hang them up!
I really like the extra layer of texture and pattern it adds to our beige box living room. I might even add an accent stripe in citrus yellow or maybe coral where the stencil stops. That could be cool. Go check out Royal Design Studio. They have so many great options AND then come back Wednesday for While They Snooze's first ever giveaway where you might be able to snag up a stencil for free! :)

Disclaimer: I was provided the Moroccan Key Stencil free of charge however, I was not compensated to write this post and my opinions are always my own. :)


Refinishing Old Furniture - Morganton Serpentine Dresser

I restored this 12 drawer, 1940's, Morganton, serpentine-style dresser from forgotten to fantastic... and I'm pretty proud of myself. This vintage dresser (I don't think it quite counts as antique yet) came from Goodwill. Yes, Goodwill. Someone gave it away. Let's take a moment, shall we?
Do you want backstory? Sure you do! It all started one rainy evening on my way from work to daycare to pick up the kids. I was running a few minutes early so I stopped at Goodwill to poke around. As I was checking out (I think I bought the kids some shoes) it was there, in front of the check out. Everything I had been looking for in a real, grown-up dresser. Until this point my clothes were still in the Target dresser I bought for my college apartment. The kind where the bottom falls out of the drawers at least once a week and your undies end up in your t-shirts. It was time to grow up.

I gasped, paid for my shoes, then went over to check it out. It was in rough shape.  Hmmm. I didn't have the right vehicle with me, it would need a lot of work, and that price- $99, while fantastic for a dresser of this quality, was one I should probably run by the hubs... not to mention, it was very large. I left.
After dinner I explained to the hubs about the bestest dresser in the whole world I had just witnessed. Expecting him to go into the default speech about not spending money that we both go into when the other one wants to buy something we don't really need, he said "so get it". That was all I needed.
I grabbed some flip flops, keys to the truck, one kid, and ran out the door. Goodwill closed in 20 minutes. I made it! As my 4 year old and I opened drawers to see that they all functioned, I spotted the sold sign on top. :( Nooooooooo!!!! I asked to make sure it was really sold. It was. We left sad and dejected (and a little embarrassed because I ran in there like a bat out of hell, opened 5 drawers in front of all these people checking out, then just turned and left.... Weirdo).

Days later I went to Goodwill again (because everyone goes to Goodwill multiple times in one week, right?). It was still there with the sold sign on top. I asked again if there was a policy about someone not picking it up in time. They said they really couldn't do anything since that person had already paid. So I decided to stalk it. I stalked it hard. I went to Goodwill everyday that week. I know they thought I was a crazy hoarder person who buys all the Goodwill stuffed animals (I don't, eww), but I didn't care.

On day 5 a miracle occurred... the sign was gone. It was gone! I don't know what happened but that dresser was mine! I paid for the dresser immediately and brought her home to begin days and days and days of sanding. Persistence (and a little crazy) paid off!

Here is day 1 of the sanding. The neighbors have asked me if I refinish furniture for a living. No really, they have.
I still look mildly excited about it (and a little sweaty).
My garage looked like this for weeks. I sanded the top, sides, and flat center drawers with an orbital sander, gradually going from a course grit paper to a fine one. All the rest was done by hand. All 8 drawers and all those tiny crevices. By. Hand. Have I mentioned my arms are looking rather toned lately? I love that each drawer has its own box. I'm sure that's called something in the woodworking world... I just call it quality. :) This sucker is heavy!
I used Minwax Pre-Stain on everything (wood conditioner) then applied one coat of stain with an old cloth diaper after. Pre-Stain makes the stain go on very even. No streaks. I'd highly recommend it... worth the couple bucks. In this picture the top, front dividers, and that one drawer are stained. I had to put it together quickly to see what it was going to look like!
The sanding is the worst part. I did two drawers a night while the kids rode their bikes. The staining goes rather quickly. I chose to apply Minwax 1 Lb Regular Finishing (Google Affiliate Ad) wax to protect it. I think the top has 4 coats, the rest has 1. Also, the original hardware was broken on the center drawers. I came across 4 matching glass knobs at an antique store by my house, so I used those. I think they're a little large for the small drawers but for now they work. I just shined up the larger hardware on the big drawers.
I really love it. My crazy lady from the Goodwill reputation was worth it. My husband claims that his shorts smell like old man when he takes them out. They do, a little... I'm not going to lie, but I don't care. Nothing a little Febreze can't fix. Ha! Let me know if you have a Goodwill find you brought back to life!