This tutorial shows you how to reuse old frames, find art you love, spend less, and get DIY wall art that fits your style.
So here’s the story.
Finding just the right art to fit a space is a challenge. I needed new art for my foyer, but finding just the right art was a totally frustrating experience.
I searched all my favorite local home decor stores for art to fit the space, but it was the Goldilocks of search results. Too big, too small, way too expensive, too formal, too casual, too weird, wrong frame… You get the gist. How could this be so hard?
I knew I needed a new approach, so I decided to search for frames and art separately. Here’s how I finally got it just right, and you can too.
DIY Wall Art
- art prints
- tissue paper
- hammer and pliers
- painter’s tape and optional felt circles
- spray adhesive
1. First, find the size art you need by hanging tissue paper on the wall.
This is a huge time saver! Decide what size fits your space first, and then search for frames or art by that size.
I experimented with tissue paper cutouts in different shapes and sizes. I taped the paper shapes onto the wall to find an arrangement that made the best sense to me.
For example, a round shape didn’t look right with the round table. A large rectangle wasn’t right for the triangle-shaped wall under the stairs. A square was OK, but I really like the look of two portrait rectangle shapes. I moved them around a bit to get two inches between each frame and two inches above the lamp shade.
2. Look for inexpensive frames in the size you need.
I found two of these frames in a clearance bin for $16 each. The art wasn’t my taste, but the frames were nicely detailed and the mats were a neutral linen. Score one for Goldilocks.
Original Framed Art
Don’t be afraid to buy damaged frames in a clearance bin or at the thrift store. Glue, wood filler, and paint can rescue just about any frame.
3. Paint the frames to match your decor.
I used White Adirondack chalk paint and clear wax from the Plaid Folk Art. It took two coats and a few touch ups.
4. Measure the frame opening and search for art to fit the frames.
I searched Etsy for watercolor botanicals and found these prints at Watercolor Art by Alice McDonald at The Scarlet Peony.
These are more modern looking than vintage botanicals because of the crop. I adore this look, and the pop of color in my neutral space was just the look I was going for.
I literally squealed when saw them for the first time. They are stunning! These giclee botanicals are handmade, fade resistant, and printed on archival paper.
The bromeliad prints I chose were only $36 for the pair. Right price, right colors, right size, … and a score of 10 on my Goldilocks “just right” meter.
You can also find similar looks at Driftwood Interiors on Etsy.
5. Replace the old art with new art.
First, I removed the paper backing off the back of the frame.
Tiny nails held the art in place, so I removed the nails with pliers.
I mounted the new art prints on top of the old art with Krylon Spray Adhesive. I was able to reposition the art a couple of time without harming the print. It took two hours to dry, so I placed heavy books on top and waited until it cured.
It also helped to have a bag of Cheese Nips handy for nibbling. I don’t know why, I just get better results that way.
I put the prints back into the frame and replaced the nails with a hammer.
I used painter’s tape to replace the paper backing. It’s also a good idea to add some felt bumpers to the back of the frames to protect your wall from scratches.
6. Hang your masterpiece!
White frames and neutral linen-look mats are just right for these colorful prints.
Take the frustration out of finding just the right art for your walls by giving yourself unlimited choices. Choose your own frames, update the frames with new art, and get amazing results. This art is just right for my style, my budget, and the way I like to shop (on the internet with a bag of Cheese Nips).
Old Art: Right size, wrong style, wrong color scheme.
DIY Wall Art: Just Right
To finish off the decor in the foyer, I used accessories I already had to compliment the art. I tried this eucalyptus arrangement on the table below, but I felt like it competed with the art for attention. Goldilocks would not approve.
In the end, a lamp and colorful vases let the DIY wall art be the focal point.
A new pillow on the chair matched the colors on the mats and frames, and it was a T.J.Max steal for only $16.99.
Just right! The End.