Monday, January 5, 2009

DIY: Custom Wall Art

Last week our mother-in-law gave Erica and I two prints from a past year's calendar of beautiful architectural columns. The calendar was picked up on her last trip to Italy, so of course it features beautiful Italian paper and printing. Knowing she would use the calendar in some form at some point, she smartly held on to it and let Erica and I pick two prints to use in our homes.

So yesterday I dashed out to Michael's to find a ready-made black frame and pre-cut matting for the prints. I was in luck -- Michael's was offering 40% off their home frame collection so I giddily picked up two 16x20" black frames at $24 each and two pre-cut white on white double photo mats for about $8 each.

When I got home, the white was too white against the print, so I decided to paint the top mat using leftover paint from a project last week. Benjamin Moore's White Sand (which will be part of a repainting project in our home this spring) worked perfectly (yay!), so I got to work right away.

I pulled out my mini roller with high density foam,

Threw down a blanket in the basement, and got right to work.

Big difference, right?

After two coats of paint, I let the mats dry for about two hours just to be on the safe side. Then I matched up the painted mats with their non-painted partner mat, carefully trimmed the prints, and voila! Now I have custom wall art for about $60!

This happened to work perfectly in our refurbished powder room, which unfortunately is so tiny I couldn't get a great shot. But this shot from the hallway gives you an idea as to how it looks...

Have you used past calendars to create unique art in your home?

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