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Custom wall art for $100

Sunday, October 3, 2010
After reading this blog post on Young House Love describing how they created a wall collage using white picture frames I was inspired to try it myself.  Last fall Kevin and I picked up a bunch of white frames at the Ikea in Minneapolis while we were there visiting friends.  Gotta love the prices at Ikea - $2.99 for 5X7"s and $4.99 for 8X10"s.  We got enough picture frames to cover a 6 foot X 4 foot area and two small picture frame shelves for $90. 
RIBBA Frame white Width: 9 ¾ " Depth: 1 ¾ " Height: 9 ¾ " Picture, width: 9 " Picture, height: 9 " Picture (W=width): 4 ¾ " Picture (H=height): 4 ¾ "  Width: 25 cm Depth: 4.5 cm Height: 25 cm Picture, width: 23 cm Picture, height: 23 cm Picture (W=width): 12 cm Picture (H=height): 12 cm
The next step involved actually hanging the frames.  NowI wanted them to be hung sort of randomly (like we didn't try to hard), but of course that always ends up being... well... hard.  So rather than put a dozen holes in the wall I cut paper into the shapes of all the frames and played around with a bunch of different configurations on the floor before hanging the pieces of paper on the wall with sticky tack.  Once I was satisfied with the way the design looked on the wall, I hung the frames. 

I hate to admit, but the frames hung empty for almost 6 months while we were busy wedding planning.  Let that be a lesson to you - put something in the frames before you hang them!

After the wedding and honeymoon were over I finally had time to start decorating again, and the first thing on the list was to get something in those empty frames.  We took over 1,000 pictures during our honeymoon to Italy so I decided to include pictures from out trip.  I wanted to use black and white pictures that were very stark and artsy rather than the more typical gray-scale black and white pictures.  I found this free open-source software online called Photoscape that helped me do it.  Click here to download it for free. 

Once photoscape has downloaded, open the application and click the editor button.

Open the picture you'd like to edit.  Click the button that is half white half black to change to stark black and white.

Adjust the threshold until you like the affect.

Here are some of the pictures we created:

Gondola's in Venice, Italy

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

We printed the pictures off at Costco, which is super cheap for photo printing (especially big enlargements).  Only 13 cents for 4 X 6, $1.49 for 8X10's and 2.99 for 12X 12's!

We put them in the frames, and here is the final product.  Custom wall art for $100.



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