DIY,  Home & Decor

DIY Abstract Art & The Truth About Printables

This has been small project week for me.  Even though we are working on the backyard for the One Room Challenge, the weather has been a huge factor.  So I shifted gears & decided to work on some unfinished art projects.

Since moving a year & a half ago, we have been slowly (and randomly) decorating our home.  Most of the major things are taken care of – until I decide I don’t like where a door/light switch/cabinet/anything else is located – and with the exception of the kid’s media room, all the major furniture pieces are accounted for.

It’s all the little things that are all the difference in making a house a home.  Accessories, art, momentos.  The fun stuff.  Except that we don’t like a lot of “stuff”.  I like the more is more look & it works for some people, but we just can’t live with it.  It makes my DH “nervous” & I find I can’t possibly pick up, clean, & move things around enough.  So we have been very selective & slow to actually decorate, especially with art.

Until last year.  Story time.

My son graduated with a degree in art & a minor in Computer Science.  Graphic Design is his passion.  For his senior project, he painted black & white self portraits of DH & I.  Those are now hanging prominently in the breakfast room that’s open to practically the whole house.  2 smaller replicas are in our bedroom & several of his graphic pieces are in other places around the house.

After we saw his work, I decided that I would never buy art again.  I don’t really mean never, just not so much mass produced art.  We also hang our young children’s art throughout the house.  Since then, we have printed & framed large scale photos taken at the beach, in the yard, etc.  Real life art that we couldn’t be happier with.

We still have lots of gaps & there are some spaces that I really want to be “done”, like my office.  I never really think a space is done because I like to change things up from time to time, so by done I mean the basics that I can just swap out easily like the photos on a gallery wall.

Originally I started out with just a few items on the wall behind my desk.  That grew into about 7-10 including a few photos of textiles, and a couple of small prints that I love.  It was fine, but I knew it was only temporary.

I have been stuck because I want pieces that speak to me & that I won’t see when I walk into someone else’s home or recognize on TV shows/commercials.  Last week it rained SO much & I was so bored of sitting around with this boot staring at me; so I decided since my kids are so artistic, I should try my hand at a little crafty art project myself.  And I made this…

DIY Abstract Art

This has been hanging from stick pins on the wall in my office for a week.  I refused to buy a canvas to make this in case I hated it.  But I like it.  And my previous gallery wall has come down so that I can create a new one around it.

 

But first, framing.

Mats can get expensive, especially if you have a specific look that you can’t just buy off the shelf.  I could make my own, but… no.  I love the look of floating frames, but they can get pricey too.  Plus, I’ve got a room full of frames waiting to find homes in our home.  I already had the perfect frame for this “painting” – this IKEA STRÖMBY frame.

It’s much bigger than my poster art so I need to use the back but I wanted it to look like a floating frame.  I had some blue upholstery fabric that would almost blend right in with the wall color, but decided I didn’t want to cut it for this.  Then I remembered I have a sheet set that same color.  I stopped using top sheets many years ago but since a lot of sheets are only sold in sets, I have lots of top sheets that I donate or pass out to our homeless.  Luckily there were a few still in the linen closet & this 1 is perfect for this project – a soft blue with really dense weave (i.e. high thread count but I don’t know how high, sorry).

I cut the sheet to fit the back of the frame & used double stick {so called} permanent tape to secure it.  Then I put the poster art in position, measuring to make sure it’s even on all sides, used a little more tape to secure it to the sheet.  Popped the back onto the glass, added the clips (some of which I only used to hold down excess fabric), and DONE!

I am not usually trying to match anything this closely, but I have never gotten this lucky!  The sheet is so close it almost looks like this IS a floating frame!

 

 

She looks SO lonely. Time to build around her.

There are several online retailers that I love for their selection of great art cards & prints perfect for gallery walls  – like Minted, Etsy, & Society 6 to name a few – but I would get totally off track & go broke buying so much.

Then this week a search for something completely random & not at all related to gallery walls or art brought me to printables! (Don’t ask how.  Yes I am a tech geek, but sometimes technology is not on my side.)

Printables.  What can I say?

They’ve been around for years but I completely missed that bandwagon.  On purpose.  I just said “NO.  I cannot bring myself to do it.”

Yes I had thoughts of bad vector art & word art (of MS fame) printed on low quality home printers.  And I am giving myself a little slap on the wrist because now that my son is a graphic designer, I realize that the people who create many of best printables are very talented & skilled artists.

Shame on me & I have missed out.  This is 1 of the first things that caught my attention from that random search.  I love it, downloaded it, & printed it out from Inkstruck.  It’s gorgeous.  And it doesn’t fit in with anything in this house… unless I make it fit!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I could outfit all my walls in printables.  But for a mixed gallery wall… YEP I sure will!  And I am.

Here’s a peek of some of the items I have been eyeing, some I’ve already printed & framed, and some that I would have thought to make myself but never really have to – you can find printables in practically any subject matter, color, size, & price.

I love the 3D effect of the prints from The DIY Playbook.  Plus there’s a tutorial to show you how to make your own.

 

Clearly I am loving all things botanical.  Maybe it’s a Spring thing, but isn’t this so pretty?

One thing I am not so into is quotes.  But I did find a few that I like, like this one from The Pretty Blog.

And I could not resist these from Kelly Elko!  Not for my office, but I can definitely find a home for them.

 And then I started thinking…. when we started working on the backyard, we needed a copy of our survey for the HOA.  I thought it would be really cool to have the architectural blueprint for our home framed with the family name on it.  Which then led to these vintage blueprint printables at Remodelaholic and these at Primer Magazine.

As for our own blueprint, that’s a printable I’ll have to make myself.  For now, I am going to choose some items for my office gallery wall, get the frames painted, and call it done.

 When we first moved into our current home, getting my office setup was 1 of my top priorities – even knowing some things would eventually change.  Well the basics are still the same, but the rest has changed quite a bit since then.  Once I get the gallery wall complete, I’ll share my updated office with you.

 

Until then…

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Enjoy!

\ní-ˈkō-lä\
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I love food & wine, paint & power tools. I am a creative introvert, programmer turned decorator, wife and mom, & mental health advocate. I am the decorator owner of Xtraordinary by Design. My mission - rid the world of builder beige & furniture sets.

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