Ampersand Thumbtack Art

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-6

I was looking for a twist on just the usual hearts this year for Valentine’s Day, so I picked another symbol for love, the ampersand. I especially love this project because once Valentine’s Day is over, it can live in our office all year round. I recruited my sweet friend Sara to help me with the thumbtacks. It really doesn’t look like it, but I used over 700 tacks! Over a glass of wine (or a couple, who’s counting), this made for a very fun and therapeutic project (minus the sore thumbs.)

Printer – I’m not good at free-handing, so I printed a template and traced around the edges
12 x 12 canvas
Thumbtacks (You may think you have enough, but trust me you don’t, get about 3x the amount you think you need.)


I used Powerpoint to make a 12 x 12 template and printed the template so it spanned between two 8.5 x 11 pages. I then taped them together and cut around all of the edges.

I taped the template to the canvas and lightly traced around all of the edges.

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-1

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-3

This is where the fun began! We started by outlining most of the shape with the tacks and then filling in each area. The only areas that gave us any trouble were right near the edges of the canvas. You will likely need to hammer the tacks into the wood around the edges.

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-1

Although we used so many thumbtacks, the whole project took under two hours. I really love the way this turned out, and the sore thumbs were totally worth it!

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-5

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-7

Valentine Ampersand Thumbtack Art-1-2

Happy early Valentine’s Day! I’m dying to see all of your pretty projects!

Sharing With: East Coast Creative


  1. 143


    Hi Angela,

    Loved to see your awesome art. It seems to me that you have nice creativity and talent. Hopefully everybody will see more from you in near future. Best of luck!

  2. 145

    Patti says

    I LOVE this ampersand art! I plan to get started making one for my Valentine mantel. I have never used Power Point before, so….. hoping I can get a template printed. LOL I have one question. WHERE did you find that adorable branch/tree that you have the little red hearts hanging on? It is awesome and perfect for decorating every single holiday! I use branches from my yard but yours is perfect and so much better!
    Thanks so much for sharing this adorable project. I admire you for being so creative and so willing to share. Blessings!

    • 146


      Hi Patti,
      Thank you so much for the kind compliments and for reading! To be honest…I bought the tree many years ago and can’t recall where I purchased it :( I did see West Elm is currently selling one that’s gorgeous and very similar. Best of luck with your ampersand :) It’s such a fun project! Have a great week!

  3. 147


    Hi! I love this idea! I am not the best at powerpoint. How did you end up making the 12×12 template to print it so it came out larger? Any help would be appreciated since I’m busting at the seams to make this awesome project!

  4. 148


    I love this project and went out and got all the supplies, but I have tried to figure out how to print this in power point and can’t can you please provide some guidance on getting a 12 x 12 and 2 page print?

  5. 149


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  6. 151


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  7. 164


    This is adorable! Just shows you can have fun and beautiful looking Valentine’s Day decor without having to spend a lot of money. Thank you for linking up to the Be.You.Tiful Link Party. I’m featuring you this week on my blog!

  8. 175


    WOW, totally adding this to my to-do list. it looks amazing! Thanks so much for linking up at Creativity Unleashed! Featuring you tomorrow and hope to see you back in the morning for another great party!

  9. 183


    That is lovely!! so feminine too. beautiful. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop .Sorry I am slow to comment. I look forward to seeing what you share this week. Big Hugs

  10. 187


    I’m thinking that your ‘thumbs’ must have really been feeling it…pushing soooo many pins!! But….soooo very worth it!! Love your ampersand to the moon and back!!!

    Thanks for linking it up to Project Inspire{d}! Hope to see you again, tonight!!

  11. 191


    I really love how simple and elegant this is! Pinning it now!
    Plus it would be a very frugal project! I would LOVE it if you’d link this up to my Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop tonight at 8PM Central time. Our readers love to see easy projects like this! Thanks!

  12. 192


    Hi, Just one quick question. You used canvas for the base. How do you secured the the tumbtucks to stay on the canvas? Are they not falling out?
    Lovely creation, I want to do that myself.

    • 193


      Hi Edina,
      I didn’t have any issue with the thumbtacks falling out of the canvas. I used a thin canvas (not deep) and spaced the tacks so that the layers didn’t pile up too much on top of each other. I think that’s the key. That said, if you run into issues with the tacks falling out, I’ve seen other people say tacky glue works well to secure them. I would love to see your project when you’re done!

    • 200


      Hi Kristy,
      Thanks so much for the sweet comment! I wish we would get snowed in! (It’s been in the teens and 20’s in Atlanta without an ounce of snow this winter!) So glad you stopped by! Still can’t get over how much I love your chevron stairs. I’m gonna need some of those!

    • 210


      Hi Lisa,
      I would love to have you feature my ampersand! Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m following you now on FB and the other social media spots. I LOVE your Honey Bee Pallet Art too by the way! Gorgeous! I would also LOVE to have you link it up at Thursday STYLE! I co-host every week and the link goes live at 8 EST. Thanks again!!

  13. 212


    I don’t know what it is but I love ampersands. I adore this project! I really enjoyed this inspirational post. I would love it if you would share this post at our WIW linky party? Hope to see you there!


    • 215


      Thanks so much for your sweet comment! I love your blog! Just stopped over to check it out. I’m going to need to try your Bourbon Brown Sugar Marshmallows! Those look dangerous :) Following you on FB now!

  14. 218



    I ADORE absolutely EVERYTHING about this! I have been wanting to do some kind of DIY Ampersand for a while, but really wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to in…well, I think I’ve found it! :)

    Thank you for sharing!

  15. 220


    Love this – so pretty and not too valentine-y! And can I just say that I LOVE your blog – like everything – all the projects, your photos are gorgeous, your blog design is beautiful (I’m trying to fix my design right now) – it is just gorgeous! Ok, I’ll quit now before you think I’m your stalker! Pinned this!

  16. 229


    Hi Angela … I just love this!! I’m actually IN love with this project. I spent last night thinking of things I could make out of thumbtacks! Thanks for sharing!!


  1. […] I am trying to wrap up a home office makeover and I knew I needed an ampersand (yep that’s what the & symbol is called) because for some strange reason I love the ampersand. Weird huh? I first thought about buying a metal one but I couldn’t find the one I wanted and then I decided I needed some more gold in the room and saw several thumbtack art projects on the internet including this one. […]

  2. […] » Some D.I.Y. Wall Art. There are hundreds of ideas and tutorials on Pinterest if you’re interested in throwing together some simple art on a budget. A blogger that totally nailed (no pun intended) simple and cheap wall art is Angela at Life in Velvet. Angela pushed thumbtacks into a simple white canvas to create a simple ampersand shape. This can be completely customized with other shapes or words, and only requires a printer (if you’re not good at shapes), thumbtacks and a plain white canvas.  (Editor’s note: Check out Angela’s awesome tutorial here!) […]

  3. […] art is so hot right now and I love Angela’s metallic DIY Ampersand Valentine Art from Life in Velvet. This is such an easy DIY and would be perfect for a Picture Gallery Wall or […]

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