DIY Decor | Ampersand & Art

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Remember when we gave Justin's living room a makeover? Well, more to come on that (after more than a few changes-and-re-arranges and a thrift store shelving adventure)... but, for now, I'd like to announce: the decor has spread. To the bedroom.

You might remember that the living room was full of bold colors, of which red somehow became the favored child. Well, this room will turn out to be the calmer, softer brother. We've only just begun...

I’ve wanted to make Ampersand art for a while now but was semi stumped on how to do it in a unique way.

I considered painting an ampersand onto a large scrap of wood or canvas, but it felt very “done before” and never came to fruition.

Then, while walking the halls of Ace Hardware (my personal “Eureka” location), Justin and I found a large sheets of Acrylic Transparency. They’re about 1/4 an inch thick and are pretty amazing. Without a fully formulated plan, we grabbed it.

We ended up spray painting around the Ampersand, so that the “background” of the piece is blue, and the ampersand, itself, is see-through. That means we can swap out what we place behind the art, to fill in the ampersand with any fabric, magazine clipping, or page from a book that we choose.

I'm still pretty obsessed with the idea. Why? Because it will always match. We can put anything behind it and instantly change its color and effect on the room.

How'd we do it?

Start with a transparent acrylic sheet...

Use painters tape (masking tape) to cover the sheet. I had almost covered the entire sheet when I realized I only needed to cover areas which would be used by the "&" we printed out (as that was the only tape we would be leaving on the board).

Choose an ampersand (&) in Microsoft Word, enlarge it to your preferred size, and print. We tried a variety of fonts (really, we had a few pages worth of samples) but ended up going with good old Times New Roman. I was, at first, stern on my sans-serif stance and convinced we would be going with something smooth... but, as we checked out various samples, we decided that Times New Roman had something really classic about it. It reminds me of newspapers and journalism. And, in the end, it just felt like the right thing to do. We made it as large as we could and printed it out.

Cut loosely around the edges (so that there is still white space, and enough room for tape) and then tape onto the sheet where you would like the ampersand to show up.
Use an exacto knife to cut out the ampersand.

Remove the tape surrounding the ampersand. Do this slowly and have an exacto knife handy to do extra cutting in places you may have not fully cut.

Spraypaint the art (leaving the tape on). You'll need to do a number of layers in order to get a solid coat, because the background is see through. We did a whopping 6 layers of blue spraypaint before stopping.

Once the spraypaint has dried, slowly remove the ampersand tape. Use an exacto knife to help lift up the tape.

Choose any fabric, magazine, etc to tape behind the acrylic sheet and show through.

To hang, we hot glued a piece of metal "teeth" we yoinked off of the back of a picture frame.

Here are two final product shots:

And a few shots up-close-and-personal:

So yes, we'll admit, there is much to be done in this room... I'm working on four wall art pieces using silhouettes and some additional shelving... Get excited!


  1. Cute idea, my daughter and I are collectors and have all over our houses. Will have to try and make a few of our own, maybe on some canvas.

  2. Ampersands are hard to come by here. This is so clever. I wanted to do and X & O for Valentine's and didn't but I could have done this. Love!

  3. Thanks for sharing this idea and I repined it from the hop.

  4. This is really a fun looking piece. Nice job! Saw you at Creation Corner.

  5. So cute! My hubby is a newspaper reporter, and times new roman reminds me of him :)

  6. I love your take on ampersand art :-) It's simple, but really makes a statement. And it's great that you can change it up whenever the mmod hits just by replacing whatever is behind the clear ampersand.


    1. Thanks Kelly! I agree, it's nice to be able to change it up! xo

  7. This is lovely! Thanks for linking up!

    Erin @ The Great Indoors


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