Sunday, June 10, 2012

~restoration hardware subway art knockoff~

Do you remember this post where I said I really needed to find out a way to recreate Restoration Hardware's subway art for less than their $550 price tag?
I have admired their subway art for so long, well, since it first came out, but I am cheap 
thrifty, and racked my brain until I came up with a plan. 
Here is my version:

 And here is there's:
Pretty close huh? 
Wanna see how I did it?
It started with this frame.
I new I needed a HUGE frame and I found this one at a garage sale on Friday.
$15.00 friends!
Do you even know how fast I ran over to it and snatched it up?
Now, if you are looking to do the same thing, don't worry about the color or finish on the frame.
It's the "bones" of it that matter because it is going to get painted.
 I was lucky enough to find one with a matte 
{but you could get away without one}
and glass.
 I figured I'd find a frame without the glass 
and have to get a piece cut, and at this size I'm guessing it would be around $50-$60.
So, total bonus there.

As you can see this frame was a black lacquer with gold.
When I got it home I set up some saw horses in the yard and sprayed the 
whole thing with black satin spray paint.
Much better.
While that was drying I made my "pattern"
First I googled the Restoration Hardware sign I wanted to "knock off"
Then I printed it and headed down to Kinkos copies.
I first enlarged it on the regular copier because my printout was teeny tiny, and you need a larger image for the oversized copier to work.
Then I took the larger copy 
{I think it was around 6x15 roughly}
and enlarged that on their over sized copier about 400%.
{cost, $2.50}
Once back home I laid it out on the counter and this is what it looked like.
Originally I was going to cut out the lettering with an exacto knife and use this pattern as a big stencil, but the copy turned out so well, I thought what the heck, I'd use it.
It still needed to age it up a bit, so I got out my Annie Sloan clear and dark wax and covered the entire piece of paper, adding instant age.
I thought about brushing on tea water but thought that might make the paper warp.
The wax method worked perfectly!
 I cleaned the glass and put it all back together.
It's ginormous~about 5 feet tall, and I love it!
There is one flaw, can you spot it?
I got a little anxious as the copy was coming out of the printer
 and I pulled on it before it was fully done printing.
Therefore the first F is a little wonky.
I was too tired to make another trip to Kinkos, so I just left it the way it was.
I might fix it someday, maybe not, 
probably not :)
So, what do you think? 
I just saved $510, not bad.


Karen said...

Love it when a plan comes together. Look fantastic...congrats!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Super idea. I love it. I think you found the perfect frame and that would be the hard part to come by, or maybe just make one. Love the end result. Hugs, Marty

a beach house in Montana said...

Now I'm gonna have to do the same thing as I just love the subway art too! And oh yeh restoration hardware!

Anonymous said...

That's a good idea. I love that kinko's oversized machine (I used to work for Kinkos corporate). You can take a colored map and get a black and white copy. Then use colored pencils to highlight portions. Another fun project. Ha ha

slip4 said...

It looks awesome. Good job!

Danielle said...

Suhhhhhhweeeet!!!!! MSS does it again! Super hero super powers unite! Awesome!

WhiteWhispers2u said...

Awesome Job! Crazy 500.00 for something like that.I love RH myself but really some of the prices are a bit much~Cheers Kim

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

Awesome!!! I love it!!

'Inga' said...

Awesome! Just as good as the RH one, maybe better, cause you didn't spend the fortune!

Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

Love it! You rock! Blessings~Kimberly

Rachel Pallas said...

Awesome!!! ;)

The Farmers Nest said...

This is fabulous! Sometimes I have yard sale anxiety when I see the perfect item and I'm headed over to it and so is someone else. I can see you snatching it up just in the nick of time. Way to go!

Melinda said...

I love saving $ - great job!

~ Lisa ~ said...

I think you did a fabulous job. I am not a big fan of subway art but you did a great job. <3

Anonymous said...

I love how you explain how you made your projects! Thank you.... I love how the sign turned out & how you thought about replicating it. Cudos!!!

Liz VanKirk

Anonymous said...

looks awesome...

Anonymous said...

So you basically stole it and then told everybody else how to steal it, too?

Joanne B. said...

Hhow lucky were you! I have never even seen a frame that large and narrow and for you to find one at a garage sale? To find the right height to width ratio for it to work? Wow! Lucky! I would also think the resolution in the online pic would be too low to keep enlarging the photo to where you needed it to be sizewise. There is one shot where you show a closeup of the "F" and the edges do look pixelated- are the edges of the black letters as sharp as they should be? I'm not convinced... Regarding "Anonymous"'s comment- Restoration Hardware does not have creative rights to "the subway sign" that Melaine copied. They just had the nerve to mass produce a graphic that is as well known as the big "E" eye chart! and charge $550. for 'stealing' this image. $550? Now THAT is stealing! You have every right to play on a printer for your own enjoyment- you just cannot sell your efforts. For Melaine to share her idea is what we do here in blogland. If you don't like it, don't do it, but don't rain on her parade!

Miss Hannah B. said...

I like your version waay better. Especially the wonky part!

Melaine Thompson said...

Why anonymous? Try again signing in with your true identity.

Melaine Thompson said...

Thank you joanne! I agree, I'm not selling this so I think it's fine. There are a ton of blogs out there dedicated solely to copying restoration hardware and pottery barns products. I don't think I did anything wrong. I knew there would be one or two commenters who don't agree, funny how they all sign is an anonymous! I find that part hilarious! :) if anonymous would like to go spend $550 on the restoration hardware one that, by the way, they copied, more power to you. But for those of us who aren't millionaires, I think it's fun to be able to show how the same piece can be made for $20. If you cant say something nice, don't say anything at all.

[email protected] said...

My eye is drawn to the F, so if it were me I would fix it, but it's cute anyway ;) Saw the other comment about knock-offs...I'm a paralegal and deal with trademark and copyright issues all the time. I think you're fine as long as you don't try to sell it. Enjoy ;)

Henhurst Interiors said...

Nicely done!

Anonymous said...

I always comment in as anonymous because my husband has the google account in his name - ugh! But I always put my name at the end.

As a fellow reader. I think it's a credit to that person if you want to copy them or their "craft". I am always looking at how I could make that or do that! I take photos on my camera so I won't forget what it looks like if I'm at a store, housewalk, garden walk - you name it!

Liz VanKirk

Rachel Pallas said...

Agree with you Melaine!! ;) You did a wonderful job and there is nothing wrong with doing it!! I have had some rude "anonymous" comments lately myself..ugh. LOL... xoxo

Monica Hart said...

This is fabulous at any price! Seriously cool...Restoration look out!

Between You and Me said...

very impressed!

Anonymous said...

What is this Annie Sloan clear and dark aging wax stuff you're talking about?

Jan Vermillion-Thomason said...

I always check out the knockoff's but rarely check and see how one was done.
but yours was so cool that i did check your tut out.

i love this and only wish i knew where i could find a garage sale with a huge frame like you found. lol

great knock off.

Jan Vermillion-Thomason said...

I always check out the knockoff's but rarely check and see how one was done.
but yours was so cool that i did check your tut out.

i love this and only wish i knew where i could find a garage sale with a huge frame like you found. lol

great knock off.

Hyphen Interiors said...

Turned out great! so smart. Good job.

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