The ampersand artwork in all of Kate Spade's retail stores has always been an all time favorite. I've searched through all of my art vendors and googled finding it about a million and one times and could never find where to purchase one.
Last week the simplest way to find out lead to an immediate answer. I just asked them on twitter! Right away the sweet folks at Kate Spade told me that it couldn't be purchased anywhere, because they made it themselves.
I knew I loved KS, but now I heart them even more love their DIY attitude. See, chic artwork does not need to be expensive.
I decided to try it out for myself this past weekend.
I'm sure if you are graphic designer there are way easier ways to do this, but alas I am not so this is what I did. I did a screen capture and borrowed a KS ampersand from one of their lovely gallery walls. I then just put it in a powerpoint slide and enlarged it as much as a could. Doing that made it fill my entire 8 x 11 page and therefore made it a perfect size for my 9 x 12 canvas. One I picked out a copy I used a sharpie to darken the ampersand.
Now you can go about getting the ampersand on your canvas a couple of different ways.
- Use freezer paper to cut out a stencil of the ampersand.
- Trace the stencil on to the canvas and then just carefully hand paint the ampersand in.
- Use contact paper to cut out an ampersand, place on canvas and paint around it.
Option number 3 worked best for me!
Here are my supplies:
I was actually able to pick up a double packs on canvas boards for $8 at Michaels, along with a tube of paint for $4, paintbrushes I owned, sharpie I owned, contact paper was picked up at dollar store for $1. :)
Now after you darken your ampersand with a sharpie you can now get to work on tracing out your &. I taped down my contact paper right side facing up and placed my ampersand on top and used a razor blade to cut out my &.
* The reason why I darkened the ampersand was because when I enlarged it the image got fuzzy on the edges and I wanted a clean line.
As you go about cutting out the ampersand the freed pieces will start curling up and make it difficult to continue tracing. We had to keep taping it down every couple of cuts:
Once you are done you can free your ampersand. Due to the nature of the contact paper it's going to start curling up:
Applying it on the canvas is the hardest part of this project. It's much easy if you have someone help you remove the contact paper backing and apply to canvas.
Now in order to prevent paint bleeding through to the ampersand you should go around the entire thing with a thin paint line to seal the contact paper.
Wait for the paint border to dry and then start painting away:
Let that dry and then go over it with a foam roller to smooth out brush strokes:
Let that dry and then remove contact paper:
Pretty good! We only had a couple of little bits of bleed thru.
I then used a wite out pen to fix the edges:
Then I went around with white paint and painted the ampersand. Just be careful if you are a lefty like me. I smeared some white paint while I was doing it.
Let dry and then you are all finished!
Copy of my ampersand template available here. *Please use for personal use only.