Monday, October 08, 2007

Do-it-Yourself Art for Your Walls

Are you stuck with a crate of old album covers or a postcard collection? Old art pieces, including vintage magazine photos and record covers, can be framed, nailed and displayed on your walls, according to design mavens. Here are some tips from the pros:

Think in multiples. Arrange postcards and photographs in clusters of six, nine or 12, says Stella Bugbee, design director at Domino magazine. Small photographs or cards can be framed individually or as a group in a single frame. A professional framer can create a large, matted arrangement or, with double-sided tape, you can do it yourself.

Go vintage. Old mod scarves and unusual fabrics look elegant and artful when stretched tight over a canvas. As a DIY project, use a staple gun to attach cloth to a pretreated canvas, Bugbee says.

Flip through old magazines. Many famous photographers, such as Irving Penn, have a wide portfolio of glossy magazine portraits. Vintage magazines from garage sales, thrift stores and eBay offer photographs from famous names that are suitable for framing.

Find your inner photographer. Create your own abstract art by snapping close-ups of flowers and other subjects. For the best results, use film or a high-resolution setting on a digital camera and blow up photos to a large format before framing, Bugbee says.

Create a family gallery. Jonni McCoy, author of and a real McCoy from the Arkansas branch of the infamous feuding family, has decorated her dining room with framed pieces created by her children.

Display your pots. McCoy decorates her kitchen walls with the copper pots handed down from her grandmother. ''Don't keep them shiny,'' she says. Copper pots are more valuable when the patina shows.

Hang up the quilts. Family quilts double as great wall hangings. Drape over curtain rods or use quilt hangers sold in craft, rug and quilt stores.

Hunt for frames. Old frames can be recycled from discarded paintings and posters. You can also find low-cost frames at second-hand shops, garage sales and dollar stores. When you need an expert's touch, McCoy recommends waiting for two-for-one framing sales or other discounts at craft stores.

This is from my latest column in the home & design section of the Miami Herald.



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1 comment:

mezamashii said...

We recently moved and my old wall hangings look really sparse in our new place. You just gave me a whole slew of new ideas I can do with out spending any money at all! Thanks!