Creating the Artwork for Our Living Room

I've mentioned before my struggle when it comes to finding art--I hate the mass-manufactured kind you find in the stores. Usually I find it to be too dark, too boring, too "themed" for me to justify spending $20 or $40 on. Which means I've often had to resort to making my own.

My answer, time and time again, has been designing my own images and having them printed, poster-sized, which you can do anywhere from Walgreens to Target. (By the way, make sure to check out the comments for some other good places that people have recommended to get your pictures printed at!)

When it came time to set up our living room, I decided to go this route again and began the elusive search for an image to fill the frame, which I already had on hand. I ended up discovering this rights-free, high-res print of the bird nest on one of my favorite stock photo sites, Stock.XCHNG. I spiffed it up in my photo editing software (making the eggs a bit more teal, to match our color scheme) and then sent it off to be printed.

I had originally found the frame at a thrift store (surprised?), meaning it came without glass or a mat. (It also was a gaudy copper color which I immediately spray painted white.) I couldn't find a mat that large at any of the craft stores so I decided to DIY my own, using some sturdy cardboard and green fabric I already had lying around. I pieced together the cardboard lengths and then drew the fabric taut around and fastened in the back with my handy new staple gun. I stapled them all together to make a big rectangle and then taped the poster to the back of it all. (Let's just say that there's no doubt about the DIY-ness of this project when you see the back!)

It's not perfect but I like the tactile element that the fabric brings to the piece. And the oversized nest is such a fitting image hanging over our couch, a testament that this place is our little nest, humble beginnings all around!

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  1. I love that picture!!! What a great idea to make your own wall art. My husband and I happened to meet a local artist here in the Birmingham area who takes a yearly trip to NYC(where we lived before we moved here). He paints one building or landmark on each trip, so we've got some gorgeous paintings of some of our favorite memories of NYC on our walls! It's a nice way to make our old home a part of our new one.

  2. Oh, that is such a great idea! I absolutely love it. I wish I were more artistic so that I could paint my own artwork. Perhaps one of these days I'll move past watercolors ;)

  3. I don't know if you have a mac or not...but I've recently gotten into iphoto. You can order a 20x30 print from Apple off iphoto for $14.99 or a 16x20 print for $9.99. I thought that was a steal! (Maybe I just haven't printed anything in a while--but I remember those sizes being more expensive.)

    Sounds like you guys are doing great in Atlanta! Sounds like you love the freelancing gig! Isn't it great? :O) xoxo.

  4. This is really cute! I have a hard time finding stuff to hang on the wall too. Everything in store is tacky and expensive! Then after I had kids I just hung up pics of them instead.

  5. Thanks for the tip, Susan! I'm not familiar with iphoto and haven't used it but that does sound like a really good deal. I wonder if you have to have a Mac to use it? I'm assuming not, though... I also know that sometimes Walgreens or CVS will run deals on their poster-prints, too.

  6. that is so adorable. I don't think i would've ever thought to just reprint my own thing. and even if the back looks DIY (who is gonna see that anyway!! ??) the front looks AWESOME. props.

  7. Aw, thanks, Stephanie! I really appreciate it. Sometimes I think I get too hung up on the little imperfections, so the craft love is most appreciated! :)

  8. It looks great! I love the pic! Way to go on making your own mat, that could not have been a simple task.


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