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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DIY Artwork

DIY Day @ ASPTLTTbutton

This week I’m reaching far into my decorating archives for a DIY project I did years ago.  Do you remember your first apartment or dorm room?  What kind of crazy stuff did you have hanging on the walls?  I remember this one guy who checked out artwork from the library to adorn his walls! I didn’t even know the library loaned out artwork, but apparently they do!

Anywho…I digress….here’s the DIY artwork project that my roommate and I did years ago for our first apartment:


I bought empty wood frames from a local import/salvage store for $9.00 each.  For the “artwork”, we just enlarged and copied colorful coordinating photos from a gardening book.  The matte is actually wallpaper.  Then we outlined the photo with a gold paint pen for an additional “matte”:


It’s hard to tell from the photos, but we coated the whole thing with a couple layers of glue in a swirl pattern.  You could use Modge Podge and get the same effect:


The whole thing is mounted onto foam core board.  The foam core was actually a large advertising sign from a store where my mom used to work, so here’s what they look like from the back:IMG_2575

IMG_2576So basically, we glued some wallpaper onto foam core, centered a photo in the middle and glued it on, outlined the photo with a paint pen, coated it with glue, and taped it in a frame!  At the time, this was the perfect solution for those boring white apartment walls, and at a cost of less than $50 for a wall of custom artwork, we certainly didn’t complain!  Here’s the bare wall before:

art And here’s me & my roommate modeling our beautiful project:


And during Christmas with our cute little tree:

art3 This was all done before the internet is what it is today, so I’m sure there are tons of great resources for free downloadable art that you could use for a similar project.


This post got me thinking about something….bare with me here…..when my best friend and I got our first apartment, we were so excited to decorate it all cutesy!  Of course most (okay, all) of our furniture was hand-me-downs, and all of our decorating was done on a shoestring budget with items from places like Hobby Lobby and Big Lots.  But we just thought we were hot stuff! I look back on some of the photos now and think “what were we thinking???” with regards to all the matchy-matchiness, questionable color choices, and so forth.  But, hey, it was the nineties!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little blog linky party showcasing some of our past decorating mistakes choices that at the time we thought were so fabulous?!?  I know my mom would love for me to show off her pastel pink and blue sponge-painted walls!  Or maybe it wasn’t your decorating choice, but someone else’s, and you were just lucky enough to reap the benefits after purchasing the home.  Have a bathroom or kitchen stuck in the eighties?  Tacky gold wallpaper?  Let’s show it loud and proud!!

The only problem I could forsee would be coming up with photos if it’s something you did years ago before the digital age (unless you’re like me and have a scanner to upload all those old photos).  And of course I’d have to come up with a catchy little name, any ideas?  Throw-Back Thursday?  It Was Hot, But Now It’s Not??  Help me out here!

Leave me a comment (or vote in the poll at the top left) and let me know if you are interested in participating.  I would probably plan it for sometime in early October, maybe on a Tuesday or Wednesday? If we have enough people, I think it would be fun!  I may even come up with a little giveaway to offer.


  1. Oh my gosh.....what a great idea for a party! I'm sure I could dig through several photo albums of "What was I thinking" photos (like my house in Wisconsin where every inch was wallpapered!). Count me in if you do it!

  2. me no crafty I'm afraid, but happy to see your work (and friends) def...

  3. This is a great post! I remember when we first were married 30 years ago and I framed pages from Burpee seed catalogs (flowers) for art on our walls...and I was thrilled! Hahahaha. Good memories.
    Have a wonderful day!

  4. Oh my, that is a fun idea for a party! I would love to participate but I don't have pictures from past blunders. I hope you have a lot of interest, because it definitely sounds fun! :)

  5. yes! That is a good idea. I remember decorating with cinder blocks once...

    I like Throwback Thursday


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