Most of my DIY projects come from my own ideas. I start looking at stores and most of the time, they don’t have what I am looking for or I’ll find what I was looking for but the price tag is out of my home decor budget. In the living room behind the tv, we have a dead empty large wall, high ceiling, that needs something visually interesting. I knew that a gallery of art frames would help that. I was thinking of a symmetrical sequence of cohesive abstract artworks on white frames. I felt that the grid layouts create cleaner lines and that it will not compete with whatever is playing on a TV screen. White frames add subtle textures to the wall while abstract artwork will help soften the shapes of the black TV unit and stand. The overall look of the symmetrical gallery wall will balance with a large navy blue area area rug with an active pattern in the living room. Another reason why I prefer abstract over family photos or non-abstract photos is because we have photo frames with random family photos displayed opposite by the dinning area. It will be too repetitive to have a family photo in every room of the house.
Pictured above, I see tons of beautiful paper at Blick’s art supplies and at Paper Source store and I always think of what can I do with them. I think they are too pretty for some to just use as a gift wrap, only to get it torn apart later. I thought at that moment that now I have a project I can use those beautiful papers for.
Choosing colors and patterns is very important. Choose something that is suitable for the space and something that you really like. I picked similar patterns within the same color scheme to help achieve an elegant look. What I have is a handmade marbled agate-like pattern paper with gray color scheme. It has a nice cohesive color palette with a little gold silver tints while the organic lines look like an abstract pattern that occurs naturally in nature. This style will add a nice subtle visuals to the wall. It’s hard to photograph these papers because in person these papers are textured and have gorgeous gold and silver sheen on it.
These papers come in a large sheet format and some are pre-cut. What I bought is 12″ x 12″ pre-cut, $1.29 per piece. Before I framed the paper, it is a good idea to mock up the placement of the papers. By lay them down on the floor to see if the flow of pattern from one to another works.
The pre-cut marbled pattern paper works with the frame I bought from Ikea. The frame dimension is 19″ x 19″ in width and height that have 11.5″ x 11.5″ opening window ($14.99 per frame). From the wall and TV stand measurement I need eight frames. All eight are the same because it creates a modern look once it hanged on the wall. The process is straight forward and similar to how one would put a photograph in a frame.
My pre-cut handmade paper fits just right on the frame mat opening. Only 0.5″ left around the opening. I had to tape the corners and edge of the paper to the frame mat to prevent the artwork from sliding out of the opening mat frame. If you get a bigger sheet of these kind of paper, then it can be cut to the frame box size.
Different papers have different weights and thickness. The marbled pattern paper that I got are very thin and delicate – almost see-through. So I cut a poster board to the box frame and added it to hide the artwork’s backing. Adding a layer of a white poster board helps block the light, accent the color on the paper, and also keep the artwork opaque and not see-through.
We often get asked from family and friends when they come over about these art frames and where we got them. Most assume that it was not DIY and purchased as is. They’re usually surprised when I tell them that these frames are just from IKEA and the paper purchased separately from an art store. For these style of art frames I like, I couldn’t find one that’s affordable because art stores sell them for roughly $75 and up each. I only spent around $140 for these 8 set of frames and it’s exactly what I wanted.