sprucing up photography prints

When you’re a fine arts major, you accumulate a LOT of your own artwork.

Until I buy someone else’s awesome art (which I want to do), I have to decorate the house with my own.

It’s been a few years now since I graduated from undergrad so I’m getting tired of the looking at the same old stuff.

Enter: new prints from grad school, scrapbooking paper, and spray paint.

These cheap, black frames have held the same textured prints from a gallery exhibition during my junior year of college. Let’s think -> that was SIX years ago. Time for an update.

I wanted these frames to live above the couch in the den so I bought muted pink paper to tie in with the rug and brownish spray paint to connect with the dark wood furniture.

To paint the frames, all I did was wipe them down and then give them two quick coats. The change in the frame color is subtle but it’s now a dark shimmery brown instead of matte black. It’s easier to see in person!

After about an hour I brought them back inside to figure out my plan of attack.

I bought the paper to be used as new matting for the prints.

After playing around with a couple choices I realized that the pink didn’t work when bordering the photos because prints were too dark. I needed to keep some white in between the two for contrast.

As you can see in the photos above, the image pops a lot more when the white is bordering.

I wanted about an inch border of white around the photo so I measured out my pink paper to leave that amount.

You know that saying ‘measure twice, cut once’? Yeah, here’s proof that you’ve got to do that. I had so many lines going on that I had to add arrows to remind myself of which were the correct ones to cut!

The pink paper wasn’t big enough to just cut to size and cut a whole out so I opted to use four pieces for the matting. I knew I wouldn’t mind the edges showing because it’d just add more interest/texture to the piece which I love.

I eyeballed most of my lines when cutting but If you aren’t a scissor lover, I would suggest heading over to Kinkos where you can use their paper cutter. It’d be a breeze!

Those zigzag pieces are my spacers. Unlike regular matting which is quite thick, my paper is really thin so if I were to place the photo directly on top of it, the image would be smashed up against the glass. Adding in the handmade spacers doesn’t give as much breathing room as the store-bought kind but hey, it’s cheaper!

Everything is held in place using double-sided tape by the way.

See? Nice contrast. Dark (frame) – Medium (pink paper) – Light (white matting) – Dark (print).

All the frames are spaced 2 inches apart. And I read at a couple places that you’re supposed to hang stuff 8-12 inches from the top of the couch. I went with 10 inches.

Now after all is said and done, I’m thinking the super dark prints might be too harsh for this airy room but until I find something a little more ‘fun’, it works! I also might change out some of the pink matting for tan or something. My brain never stops with the ideas, sheesh.

Don’t get me wrong, at 40 cents a piece of paper and one can of spray paint, I love the results!

Adding art and other final touches to the room is really making it feel more finished. SO FUN.

What do you think? What quick updates have you done to your house?

———-

P.S. This post is super late today because this little lady doesn’t feel well at all. I’ve been at the vet a couple times to check up on her. Cross your fingers for her please!!

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4 comments on “sprucing up photography prints

  1. Alana says:

    Your art work is beautiful. What is wrong with belle?

  2. elisariva says:

    Awesome prints! I hope the pooch feels better soon. Poor gal.

  3. photos look nice, love the pink!

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