Friday, August 3, 2012

No Beads Required

In an effort to decorate the new house, I'm doing my best to try to find ways to maximize the artistic impact while simultaneously minimizing the monetary impact.
This is not always so easy, though Homegoods helps A LOT.
I saw this design project on HGTV and decided to modify it a bit and make it fit for me and my house.

We're going to make a gallery-style wall to show off some simple photography or artwork. The best part? This one was cheap. How cheap? I'll tell you at the end.
This is the finished product, now I'm going to tell you how to get there:

Here's what you're going to need:

1. Artists' canvas clips, I think they're also called bullclips. I chose large ones because I wanted the impact. The holes will be used to hang them on the wall.
On the HGTV project she used little office butterfly clips, they were O.K., but I really wanted some impact, so I sprung for the way larger ones that are also designed to hold art.

2. Picture mats. These are 8x10 with a 5x7 opening and doubled. 

3. You're going to need some kind of artwork. I chose to cut up a photography book that I purchased at Homegoods. I've had this book for a few years now and it's finally getting some new life.
You could choose anything you like, wallpaper scraps, bold fabrics, even some of the scrapbook papers that are out now are just gorgeous.

Some other things you'll need:
clear scotch tape
small picture nails

Okay, let's go.
Start by choosing the photos that you'd like to use.
I wanted to stick with a red/orange/yellow color scheme.

Make sure that it fits inside the frame with enough overlap on the back so that you can tape the photo to the backside of the mat. 

Cut out your photo. I used the open scissor method here and drug the sharp end across the edge of the photo to free it from the binding. But if you've already purchased something that's already sized then there's no need to cut!

Tape your photos to the back of the mat. I taped all four corners and the four sides just to make sure it was attached really well. 

Constantly check to make sure the piece is centered as you're taping. Mine was interesting because I had square photos and rectangular mats, but I think the result still looks pretty sharp. 

Finally, center your clip on the matte and make sure that it's gripping as much of the mat as it can. 

Instant art.
To hang simply nail a small picture nail into the wall with only about a 1/4" of the nail still showing and hang the back hole of the clip on the nail.
I haven't gotten mine hung up yet, but as soon as I do, I'll get a picture.

Okay, what was the damage?
Well, I purchased the photo book at Homegoods for $5 and only used five roses which means I've still got an entire book left in case I ever want to switch out the artwork.
I purchased the other supplies at Michael's and used a coupon which came to $23.
The tape, scissors, nails, and hammer are all lying around the house, so the whole project basically cost me $28 for a wall of 8x10 artwork.
Now, I will also say this. There were mats at Michael's that weren't the doubled mats and were also about a $1 cheaper, but because I had the 20% off coupon, I went ahead and sprung for the doubled mats, I also happen to think the result has a bit more of an art gallery feel with the doubled mat.

So, what do you think?
I know you've got something lying around the house that could pass as artwork.
What's your gallery gonna be?!


  1. Wow - what an awesome idea! I am going to have to try that because I bought a lot of photos when I was at the Ann Arbor Art Fair a couple of weeks ago and I was not looking forward to having them framed. Thanks for the DIY idea!!!

  2. It's a great idea and I love ... thanks for sharing!!!
    I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks on the wall ... :-)
    Happy weekend!!!

  3. What a great idea, and thanks for sharing. I will try this with my own artwork. Please share your art gallery wall with us!