Our new apartment is awesome. It has lots of vintage charm, beautiful architectural details, and it's spacious (and yes, the dining room even came with that awesome chandelier!). We are loving finding the perfect spots for all of our furniture and art, but still have a few areas that are looking a little sparse. On a med school student's budget, we've had to resort to Ikea, thriftiness, and lots of DIY-ing to get our place looking the way we want it.
This weekend, we gave our dining room a little makeover with some inexpensive DIY wall art. The problem with our dining room is that it's huge with lots of wall space. We hung a large mirror at one end of the room, but still had a huge expanse of wall space that needed something (or some things) big. We have some large pieces of art, but already hung them elsewhere in our apartment.
We didn't want to spend money on more art or frames, so we tried this simple DIY that we found on Little Green Notebook: Huge prints for only $4. Jenny Komenda has amazing ideas, and I love her style! I was so excited to finally have the chance to try one of her projects.
How to make it happen:
- Find some photos.
- Make them black and white.
- Save them on a flash drive and print them as large format architectural prints at FedEx Kinkos (around $4 each). (You can call or check out the website before you go for info on sizing and how to save your files. We saved them as grayscale images and converted them to PDFs.)
- Buy some large pieces of foam core. (We found huge pieces at Dollar Tree.)
- You will probably need to cut the foam core to the size of your images. Our photos ended up being 20"x26" and the foam core was 20"x28." Use an exacto knife and a straight edge.
- You can paint the sides of the foam core first (I painted ours peach).
- After we cut the board and painted the sides, we trimmed the white borders off the photos (the easiest thing to do is to trim them using the large paper cutters at Kinkos after you have your photos printed).
- Use double stick tape to mount your photos to the foam core. So easy.
- Use 3M sticky velcro picture hangers to attach the foam core mounted photos to the wall.
This was seriously so cheap and so easy! The entire project cost around $30, and we love the way that it brought some life to our dining room!
- Kaieteur Falls, Guyana, South America
- Valley of Desolation, Dominica, West Indies
Snake Steps, Dominica, West Indies Aba Wavine, Dominica, West Indies
*Advice for the Kinko's printing part:
Print one image first to make sure it looks good. The photos came out really dark and streaky the first time (I think the printer needed new ink?). The guy who was helping me was really nice and lightened the photos and printed them on the extra large paper, which got rid of the streaks on the edges. I think he was supposed to charge me $7/each for the larger paper, but he was nice and didn't). Asking the guy if he could lighten the images and get rid of the streaks made such a difference, so definitely print one copy first to see what you think, and ask if they can help you make any adjustments if you aren't happy with the first print. This made all the difference!
Also, these prints are not the highest quality and the paper is thin copy paper (not photo paper), but it is a great option if you want something inexpensive and dramatic. All this being said, we really do love how they turned out!