June 20, 2011

Pottery Barn Inspired Cable Art Display Tutorial

I’m sure many of you have seen the cable art displaysย in the pages of your Pottery Barn Kids catalogs.
There are various cable art systems like this one available through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but they all have one thing in common: a nearly $40 price tag. I am finally getting around to wrapping up the wall decor in my oldest kiddos’ shared room, and I have known since the beginning of that project that I wanted a large portion of the wall space to be reserved for their own artistic creations. What I didn’t want, however, was to break the bank to buy a system I liked. So what’s a girl to do? She sets to work making a knock-off, of course!
This project is very straightforward, and it lends itself very well to being customized to suit your own decor. I opted to use the boy and girl symbols I used for the custom bedding sets I created for this space. I love when I am able to carry over a theme from one part of a room to another!
Interested to see how to put together a set of these beauties to display your budding Picasso’s creations? Let’s get started!

For this project, you will need…

(Supplies listed are to create one display)
(2) 4-inch unfinished wood circle plaques with beveled edge
(2) 3-inch unfinished wood disks
(2) Sawtooth hangers
(2) 3/4-inch wide by 5/8-inch deep wooden spools
Heavy-duty adhesive (I used E-6000)
Spray paint
Acrylic paint
Adhesive vinyl and electronic cutter (I used my Silhouette)
Heavy-gauge picture hanging wire
Snap-on name badge clips (available in the office supply section at Walmart)
Command brand frame stabilizer strips
step 1 / Affix your sawtooth hangers to the back of each of your circle plaques, about 1 inch from the top edge. Use your adhesive to affix the your wooden spools to the front center of your plaques, as shown. Place a small amount of adhesive on top of the spools, and center your wood disk on top, pressing gently to adhere. Set your assembled pieces aside to dry completely.
step 2 / Spray your assembled pieces with paint (2-3 coats, as necessary) and allow to dry completely. Paint the top disk with your acrylic paint; set aside to dry. Meanwhile, use your electronic cutter to cut out your preferred design to embellish your hangers. (I used the boy and girl bathroom sign designs from the Silhouette store framed by a circle.) Once your hangers are completely dry, adhere your design to the center of your top disk.
step 3 / Wind your picture hanging wire around the center of your first hanger, as shown. Use a nail to affix this piece to your wall using your sawtooth hanger. Now, affix the opposite hanger to the wall in the same manner, making sure it is precisely level with your first piece. Run the cable from your first hanger piece over to your second hanger piece, and wrap it around the center spool of this piece, twisting it to secure. To prevent your hangers from becoming crooked as you tighten the wire, affix frame stabilizer strips to the back of your hangers and the wall according to the product package instructions. Trim away any excess wire. Snap on your name badge clips. (Mine came in a package of 12, so I used 6 clips per set.)
Now, clip on some of your child’s precious artwork. You are finished!

See that little note above? My 5-year-old son got in trouble for not cleaning his room when I asked him to, so he wrote this little apology (spelled entirely on his own, I might add):

“Do whatever Mama wants you too. If she wants you too clean you’re room then clean it.
Too: Mama, Daddy, Jack, Charlotte, Cecily, Maggie”

Priceless. ๐Ÿ™‚

You can embellish these clips in any way you wish, using a child’s monogram or a shape (heart, star, etc.). Don’t have an electronic cutting machine? Use stencils and acrylic paint to add a design, or stickers from the scrapbook section of your craft store. The sky really is the limit!

As always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about this project!


Linking this to…
Skip to My Lou
Home Stories A to Z
Today’s Creative Blog
Tip Junkie
Blue Cricket Design
Somewhat Simple
Tatertots and Jello

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17 Responses to Pottery Barn Inspired Cable Art Display Tutorial

  1. missyg June 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    This is a great idea! I think this may be my first summer project for my youngest son. He has all his art work that he brought home with him from the end of his kindergarten year taped all over his wall. This will work much better and won’t damage the walls. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful idea!

  2. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} June 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Very cute, Amy! I just made something for my toddler’s room, too, to display all the fabulous artwork he brings home from daycare. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how you incorporated it into the bedding decor! And Jack’s note is priceless. Love it!

  3. Kelli @ RTSM June 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    So cute Amy! I love that they each have their own line to hang their art. My boys’ stuff is all on one line and sometimes you can’t tell who’s it is unless you look for their name on the back:)

  4. Amanda @ Serenity Now June 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Amy, this is a fun project! I love how it turned out, and the little note from your son made me smile. So cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Amanda Dale June 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I like yours better! I also love the skeleton artwork! LOL
    -Amanda @ The Ivy Cottage Blog

  6. Jen-CraftOManiac June 20, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! so cute! winks-jen

  7. Amy's Cooking Adventures June 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    I love this idea! I just got a stainless steel fridge (not magnetic) and I’ve been wondering where I will hang my son’s art work – problem solved!

  8. Liz June 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    Love it!

  9. Kelly June 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    I buy mine at Ikea for like $3.99. Yours is cute though!

  10. Alison@Oopsey Daisy June 21, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    This is a darling idea, Amy!!

  11. Vivienne @ the V Spot June 21, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Priceless is right! OMGosh! that is too cute! (So did he clean his room…?) ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I like your version better than PB’s.

  12. Jenn Erickson June 24, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    I definitely need to make this — it’s a major improvement over the thumbtack and twine cables that are currently holding up my girls’ artwork in their hallway.

  13. Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy June 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I have one of these that I made in my hallway. They look so much better than tape! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2011/06/tuesday-confessional-link-party.html. I hope to see you soon!

  14. Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses July 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    I featured this here at my blog Coffee and their Kisses. Please stop by and grab a button!

  15. Amy's Cooking Adventures July 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I am finishing up a version of this project this evening! Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. Kristin M February 28, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Thanks for the wonderful idea! I changed it up a bit and just bought the pre-painted wooden animals from Hobby Lobby and attached to the spool and disc. I normally get anxiety doing crafts but this was fun! Your tutorial was very helpful. Found the idea this morning and the project is already finished!!

  17. Maia Dobson April 10, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    It looks like a kindergarten room after you hang all those art. But it doesn’t look trashy, in fact, it looks cute and very creative.

    picture hangers

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