A large expanse of blank wall can be a frugal decorator's nightmare. The challenge is finding affordable artwork that works for the space. Inexpensive artwork is often too small and drowns on a large wall. Large artwork, on the other hand, often comes with an equally large price tag. What's a budget decorator to do? Head to the thrift stores to purchase some inexpensive picture frames, of course! With a coat of paint and the right layout, you can use several thrifted frames to create a beautiful, inexpensive-but-large-scale collage.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Thrifted frames
- Spray paint
- Measuring tape
- Butcher block paper (optional)
- Painter's tape (optional)
Purchase several inexpensive frames from your local Goodwill or other thrift store. Look for frames with interesting shapes or different frame sizes. You may have to purchase framed pictures---don't worry, you can remove and discard or repurpose the picture without any guilt. If your style is more formal, you want to buy frames that are similar in style and size. If your style is more eclectic, focus on purchasing a mixture of frame styles.
Choose a single colour that works with your room's colour scheme to paint the frames. Crisp white pops against deeply coloured walls. Black is a good choice for more formal rooms, and bold, bright shades are good to use in a neutral room. Use spray paint to coat each of the frames in your chosen colour; this will create a more unified look, even with frames of distinctly different shapes and sizes. Allow the frames to dry for 24 hours prior to hanging.
Measure out the dimensions of the wall space on the floor---mark with painter's tape if you have it---and then lay out frames. Move them around until you find a pleasing arrangement. Next, use the measuring tape and pencil to mark the position of each frame on the wall. Start with the centre frame and work your way out, marking the midpoint of each frame on the wall. Be sure to include the space between frames in your calculations.
Hang the frames, using the hammer and nails. Use the level to make sure each frame is hung straight.
Tips and warnings
- Remember that you are using the frames to create the look of one large piece of art---a visual collage. Hang each frame with a standard spacing; for example, if you begin with 1/2 inch space, use 1/2 inch space between all of the frames.
- Arrange the frames as though you were fitting together puzzle pieces that are going to create a particular shape like rectangle, square, or even a triangle.
- Try to maintain symmetry in your arrangement by imagining there is a line going down the middle of your space and keep both sides approximately the same visual weight.
- If all of your frames are the same shape, consider painting one frame a completely different colour and position it as the focal point of your collage.
- Most importantly, don't be afraid to play around with the frames until you find the layout that you feel is just right. There are no real rules, just what is pleasing to your eye.
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