Welcome to Round 3 of this year’s edition of “Knock Out Knock Offs” – a summer series where several blogging friends and I take on DIY projects inspired by some of our favorite home decor stores!
So far this year, we’ve tackled Anthropologie and Land of Nod – if you haven’t caught up on those rounds yet, you definitely don’t want to miss them! This month’s theme was CB2, and I have to admit, it was a bit of a stumper.
CB2 has some fantastic home decor items that I’ve definitely drooled over in the past, but when it came time to choose a project, I was at a complete loss for ideas. The items I was drawn to were either priced so reasonably a DIY version wouldn’t make financial sense (which is actually kind of great, by the way, CB2) or not DIY-able (for most of us, at least, who lack welding experience).
I think I spent three or four hours viewing every single item on the CB2 website before envisioning a way I just might be able to translate their Wallflower Wall Hanging into a DIY project.
To my surprise, it actually worked!
And then there was a point on Thursday where it absolutely fell apart and I panicked because there was no time to create something different so I had to keep my cool and fix it and to my surprise, again, it actually worked…
So basically this is a classic feel-good tale about overcoming adversity and never underestimating yourself.
(Which makes me think of this clip from The Office, of course. But, I digress.)
Are you ready to learn how to create your own DIY “metal” flower wall hanging? Don’t let my difficulties throw you – it’s actually a really easy DIY with only a few supplies necessary!
DIY version: <$20 (well under, depending on what you have on hand).
Yep, I thought so!
*may contain affiliate links – shop from your sofa and support The Gathered Home: win-win!
- 1/4″ x 36″ wood dowels – I ended up using 6 for this project.
- 12″ Bamboo skewers – I bought 300 and ended up using less than 100. Kabobs, anyone?
- A piece of scrap cardboard, like the back of notepad.
- Rustoleum Bright Coat Dark Bronze spray paint – if you can find it locally, it will be a lot cheaper, but this particular spray paint is awesome and looks just like steel!
- Gold acrylic craft paint
- Hot glue gun + glue sticks – I’m going to specify a hot glue gun here, because my big disaster halfway through the project happened because I use a cool-melt glue gun.
- Hacksaw + miter box (or cutting tool of your choice.)
- A piece of 100-grit (or so) sandpaper
Cut your dowels down to size. I completely eyeballed this, laying dowels across each other to arrive at a pleasing pattern, and then cutting them down to length.
I rested the dowel across my plastic miter box so it wouldn’t move and then used a hacksaw to cut through it – this worked well and was a good solution for me since I don’t have any power cutting tools of any kind.
Set the sandpaper on a hard surface and scrub the cut end of each dowel on the sandpaper to smooth it out.
As you are cutting your dowels down, begin arranging them in an overlapping pattern. I used the CB2 version for reference, but decided to simplify the design a great deal. The more times the dowels overlap, the stronger the design will be. Glue your design together, and be generous with the hot glue at each joint!
Now it’s time to make the flowers. Start by cutting circles out of your scrap cardboard – roughly the size of quarters. You’ll want one circle for each end of the dowel at the top of your design.
Next, cut the skewers into pieces to form the flower petals. I found that it took 20 skewer pieces to form each flower and I settled on doing 6 longer petals and filled in with “medium” and “short” petals in a random design. No measurements necessary – free form is just fine! Use the sandpaper again to quickly smooth the cut ends of the skewers.
Attach the skewer “petals” to the cardboard circle with hot glue. Then, create the center of the flowers by spiraling a thick circle of hot glue on top of the skewer pieces.
Glue the flowers to the ends of the dowels.
Carefully transfer the wall hanging to a piece of scrap cardboard and take it outside to spray paint, preferably in the shade.
This is where I ran into problems with my cool glue gun. It’s approximately one-million degrees outside here in Texas and I was spray painting in the afternoon sun. When I picked the wall hanging up to bring it back inside, most of my joints separated, since the hot sun had weakened the cool-temperature glue. I was able to glue it back together, but I think if I had used a higher-temperature glue and kept it out of the blazing hot sun, I wouldn’t have run into this hiccup.
Tip: Before you spray paint, use a stiff-bristled paint brush to help remove any wispy hot glue strands. Use the brush again afterwards, since the spray paint will show you all the strings you missed!
After the spray paint has dried, use the gold craft paint to liberally paint in the gold centers of the flowers. You can really glob it on and let it drip a little – the CB2 wall hanging has centers that were created by dripping molten brass, so this was my take on that.
Allow the gold centers to dry for several hours.
I laid my finished wall hanging on a large piece of paper (try a piece of wrapping paper) and used pencil to mark several inner points of the wall hanging. Then, I taped the paper to the wall and hammered a finishing nail through each point. Finally, I rested the wall hanging on the nails.
The Finished Project:
I really love how it turned out! Without super close scrutinization, you would never know it’s just wood dowels and hot glue. High impact wall decor + low cost makes it a perfect project in my book!