DIY Wall Art

I fell in love with a couple of whimsical maps of Paris and Rome from Rifle Paper Co. a couple of years ago, but didn’t love the price tag for one, let alone two prints + the frames I’d need to hang them. When I came across the calendar that included these two (plus more!) on sale for half off, I pounced. 

Then I stashed it away for a year. (This is an important step in the creative process. ahem.)

I decided to choose my favorite four maps and use them for a grouping. After trimming them down, they weren’t a typical size for framing, so I had to choose how to mount them. I originally planned on using canvas, but since the trimmed-down versions were virtually square (and the canvases were not) I went with gesso boards instead–the cost and size were right. For the background, I pulled the sea glass color found in each print to tie everything together, while still not clashing with their room colors.

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(Another important step: I bought the paint, and after doing the first coat, realized it was the wrong color and had to go back and do it over.)

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I didn’t care for the look of the raw edges of the boards, so I painted those two coats of a metallic silver that tied in with the silver glitter in the girls’ quilts. Plus, it allowed me to cover any areas where the green paint went over the edge when I painted the front.

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When the paint was dry, I measured and marked the maps so they would be centered on the boards, then used matte Mod Podge to stick them down. I found a silver ribbon with a little detail to cover the edges, and used Elmer’s Glue-All to apply it. (I had done a little practice test, and found that worked best to hold the ribbon down.)

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When the ribbon’s glue was dry, I applied two coats of Mod Podge over everything to seal it and protect the prints.

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The gesso boards didn’t come with a way to hang them, so I bought a little package of sawtooth hangers and tapped them in with a hammer. Then on the wall they went!

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Cost breakdown:
Gesso boards: $9.60 (thanks to multiple Hobby Lobby trips with coupons)
Calendar: $8 (plus a bit for shipping)
Paints: $2.50
Sawtooth hangers: $2
Ribbon: $2

Project total: $24.10  (I already had the Mod Podge in my supplies from a long-ago project)

We love how they turned out, and it’s fun to have custom art for the girls’ room. It also doesn’t hurt that the whole project was less than one of the 8×10 prints would have cost. As you can see, the walls are still a bit on the bare side, but I have plans for adding some more decor in the near future.

What do you think? Would you do something similar? Have you done any fun projects lately? Let me know!

14 Responses to "DIY Wall Art"

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  1. Rosie

    March 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Adorable! I have a calendar with Italian tourism posters that I’ve been saving for 8 years to do something like this with! You might have finally inspired me to do it 🙂

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Do it and take pics! I’d love to see!!

  2. Ellen

    March 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Awesome! So smart and crafty, Francine! And your girls room looks so cute!

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you! Now if only it would ever stay that tidy!

  3. Amanda

    March 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Love these, Francine! There are a number of blank walls I really need to get on! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Oh, I have so many more blank walls to fill… but it’s amazing the difference it makes to have something hanging up!

  4. Laura

    March 30, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Wow, how crafty! Love the way they look against the color on the walls.

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 30, 2015 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks! I was so excited to find the perfect color 🙂

  5. Lisa

    March 30, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Love! Such a cute idea, and so crafty! I have a soft spot for artsy maps. 🙂

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 30, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      Me too! If only I could incorporate more of them without having ‘maps’ be the theme of my house!

  6. Sheena

    March 30, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    So, so pretty!!!

    Reply
  7. Jamie

    March 31, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Very cool project and I love the girls’ room!!

    Reply
    • Francine Weber

      March 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! It’s a fun work in progress 🙂

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