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Monday, 21 April 2014

Turning Scrap Book Paper into Framed Art

So part of the flat over-haul is depersonalizing our home - a somewhat sensitive subject between my husband and I.  After almost two decades of being addicted to interior design and house selling programmes (started with changing rooms and evolved into a fully fledged Sarah Beeny crush) I know that most buyers can't over-look the array of personal items and see the potential of a home.  There is a reason that staging and show home chic is a design staple when it comes to selling, it works.  With this in mind our beloved wedding photos had to come down.

In hind-sight, it would have been a good idea to actually show you a before and after photo, but being as rushed and forgetful as I am, I didn't remember.  Basically once all the wedding photo frames were removed (bar one canvas, as we do want the flat to actually feel lived in!) we were left with a giant blank mucky purple wall.

I have hording tendencies, and so even though we painted the feature wall in October 2010, it shouldn't be surprising that we kept the leftover paint ;) Mixing a squirt of washing up liquid with warm water, the walls were gently cleaned from top to bottom and left to dry.  I then touched up any stubborn areas with the leftover paint - it was seamless and looked as if it had all been freshly painted :) Not bad for free!

Next came the idea of what could be done to transform the blank (beautifully painted) wall into something more of a feature - it is the finishing touches that will make or break a home after all!  I had a brain wave - whilst scouring Etsy for inspiration, I came across the trend for big graphic type prints grouped together in 4s or 6s.  I was in love with this idea, and knew that if I had the time I could easily whip something up.  Sadly time is something in short supply around here - two businesses, a part time job and a sick husband means that most days it's lucky if I can remember to feed myself let alone sit down and play designer for a personal project.

To my eye, a lot of these pricey graphic prints looked like fancy scrapbook paper, lighbulb moment!  To go with the purple wall, we have black and silver soft furnishings, I knew that whatever framed feature I came up with, I had to stick to those colours to make sure it flowed.  I started off scouring the web for free digital scrapbook paper (I'm impatient and wanted the ease of downloading over waiting for the postman).  This was taking too long, and understandably the free digital designs were a little sub par or too mismatched.

I'm an Etsy seller, the idea for this project came from Etsy, so it made sense that I actually buy the digital paper from there too.  Once I popped 'black and silver digital scrapbook paper' into the search bar, I was over-whelmed with thousands of beautiful designs.  I soon found the one I loved at Graceful Graphics and at £1.83 for 10 different designs, I was smitten!

Now I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a business A3 printer like me, but providing you use photo paper, and make sure your settings are for best photo, you can print out some pretty fancy artwork too.  If you're worried about how much ink this uses, I can highly recommend some of the cheaper none brand cartridges on ebay too!

I chose some cheap economical black frames as I knew that these would go best with the furniture and just had to get my sizing figured out.  Pictures framed with mounts (that white surround) always look more professional, but when I looked at the prices, they were almost as much as the frames!  No way, was I going to pay for that.  Instead, I used my silhouette cameo print and cut software to leave a 3cm border all the way around the design.  I also used my cameo to cut, so my lines were perfectly straight :)

Each of the frames were £2.85, and I used 6 - the photo paper and printer ink I 'borrowed' from my shop supplies (but most people have this lying around the house) so for the grand total of £17.10 - I am super happy with how this feature wall turned out!

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