Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Modern Art display for under $15 - And a fun treat for one of my readers...

A couple years ago I had a painting done of Collin by Modern Bird Studios, which I love. You can see my review of MBS here. I've always wanted a few more paintings, but at a few hundred dollars a piece, that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. 
So I decided to see what I could do with my own skill set. 

And here's how I did it.

Start with your photo. Upload to picmonkey.

Not all photos will work. 
You may have to upload several before you find one that works nicely.
Put on a nice movie and play around for a couple hours. If you're not rushed, it's pretty fun.

Head over to Exposure and brighten your photo up. 
Overexposed is good for keeping shadows from being too dark.

Click the little beaker, and find "Posterize".

Change the number of colors to 2. You don't want anymore than two for the right look.
The detail will default at 80%. I liked it more like 85% for most photos.

You may have to go back and play with the photos. I had to lightened Shane's beard in several photos, using the highlighting option.

Once you have your photos saved in the largest option available, print them out in whatever size you want. I send mine to Costco photo. Make sure to print in luster. Not glossy. And turn off "Autocorrect".

Grab a bunch of scrap wood and cut the photos to fit. I used some of Shane's scrap 3/4 inch and .25 inch MDF. You could use just about anything. Even wood blocks you have laying around. Though blocks would really only work for setting on a shelf, not hanging on a wall.
For a few photos, I wanted them a specific size, so I had Shane cut the wood accordingly. 

Once photo is cut to fit the wood, apply a thin layer of mod podge. Make sure there are no clumps. Glue photo, using a very clean and dry cloth to smooth out any bubbles. 

Let dry.
Sorry about the quality of these photos. I was doing this all at about 11pm one night.

If you have your photos on a nice thick wood and want to use them to sit on a shelf, you're done! 

But if you want them for the wall....

Lay out all the photos just how you want them on the wall.
Turn them over.

Grab some self leveling picture hangers and attach to some small MDF squares. 

The picture hangers cost me about $8 for 30. It was my biggest expense of the project since I used scrap wood. 

Use wood glue to glue onto wood like you see above. 
Then glue one more piece of the same size MDF below to keep your "art" supported. 

This will add nice shadow and depth to your wall collage. 
Allow glue to dry overnight.

Hang photos.

Or get your fine husband to do it for you, sit back and enjoy the view.

All done.

Not too shabby.

I love sitting at my desk and seeing all those happy memories looking down at me.

Oh.....but we aren't done yet!

Oh no.

While I was editing photos I thought it might be fun to do something nice for of few of my "blogging friends".

Found this cute family pic on Natalie's blog.
Her's was the first mommy blog I ever read.

This is for you Natalie.

Jacky from The Sweetest Petunia is my most frequent commenter. 
And I don't care what people say, every blogger loves comments. 
(Come out of lurkdom people!)

I grabbed this photo of her marriage proposal from her blog.

This is for you Jacky.

(For this photo I cloned out the boat in the background and had to darken the seat Jacky was sitting on.)

My new favorite blog is "My name is Jacy". I'm not even sure how I found it, but it's wonderful. I think each and everyone of you should go visit to be inspired and entertained.

I found this photo of Jacy and her little boy on her blog.

This is for you Jacy.

Jacy's son's hair is soooo light, I had to add streaks with the mascara option to show any hair at all.

Natalie, Jacky and Jacy, email me your addresses and I will get you your little artwork in the mail.
Oops! Jacky, it looks like I may have made you a second piece. I guess I just couldn't decide with photo to use.

P.S. All of the above photos were done on .25 MDF. I wanted them to be able to sit nicely on their own, so to keep them nice and sturdy, I glued a little wood to the lower back for support. Worked great. 

And lastly!

Just for fun, I'm going to make one other lucky natalie's sentiments reader their own Mod art piece with a photo of their choice. Just as a thanks for reading. Leave a comment below and I'll randomly select one next week. US addresses only.

Let me know if any of you try making your own Modern art pieces! I'd love to see how they turn out. (I may even put some examples on my blog if you send me pics.)


Unknown said...

These are great! The finished product looks fun and simple, I love it.

Luke and Rach said...

how cool! i will have to show my husband this. we just moved and were talking about doing our photo wall. good work natalie!

Samantha said...

What a great idea! I can't wait to try this!

Blair said...

So cute!

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said...

Ooooohhh...how I LOVE that picture wall!!! I waaaant onnneee!!! ;)

Unknown said...

well isn't this a fun surprise! i was a little groggy when i was looking at this this morning...wait, that looks like us! ;) thank you so much! what a super fun idea. i might have to do that with my yw girls. easy enough for them?

My Life said...

The photos look awesome you did a wonderful job! I think I will try making some of my own...

Shanny said...

I love this because it's classy, and yet cheap. Good work, Natalie!

Aimee said...

LOVE how this project turned out! Individually they're really cool, but a whole wall of them - AMAZING! :)

JoEllen said...

I can't believe how much Lydia looks like Collin in that first pic! (do you like how I'm talking like I know them?!) Super cute art...great job!

Unknown said...

I LOVE this idea! Can't wait to try it out- I have the perfect spot for it :)

My Name is JACY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My Name is JACY said...


I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!! Seeing this picture on your blog made me cry.... :) Seriously!

And yes, Little Dude's hair is so light! We call him pasty pete around here... he glows, I swear it! haha!

I'm so glad we connected... however it was! I love you girl! And I am emailing you now.... what a wonderful, wonderful surprise! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

p.s. I deleted the above comment because I didn't realize that you were actually going to mail it to me... :) So, so thoughtful!

My eyes are filled with tears right now!

Love you!


Unknown said...

what a wonderful project! i love the look of the collage wall ~ so cute!

Michelle said...

I love the gallery wall above your desk! What a fun way to display art :)

LindsayBetes said...

Ok, I'm coming out of lurkdom! I just recently started reading your blog and I love it. I love how real you are! Love this project, such a great idea! Your wall looks fantastic! :)

Julie Rogers said...

Just started reading your blog, but these are awesome!!!!! Love this idea;)

Kara said...

I love it - I definitely want to try this out. What a great idea.

Kara said...

I love it - I definitely want to try this out. What a great idea.

Colorado76Gal said...

That is a great idea….I love personalized photos……I will totally have to use this idea one day.

Brett, Juliann, and Mae said...

I love it! When we move back to our home in September I am putting this on the top of my house decorating list. So cool!

Kathleen W. said...

Oh my gosh, I LOVE this! So clever and so easy to do. Now to get my husband to chop up some of our scrap wood to fit some photos.

jaquelyn {mama thoughts} said...

So, obviously I missed this post the other day...

Oh my goodness, Natalie, I can't tell you how excited I am to see this!! Your sweetness is such a blessing! I've never had a blog friend surprise me like this before! Thank you SO MUCH, friend. :)

I'll email you my address!

Michelle Day said...

This is so amazing! I found your blog through Somewhat Simple blog party and I would love to invite you to share this, and any other posts, at my Creative Thursday Link Party (open through Monday each week) at www.michellestastycreations.blogspot.com. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this!

I also love the picture on the left side of the room, your entire extended fam.

Unknown said...

This is absolutely amazing. The collage caught my eye, but the tutorial is fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

Jen_in_Kansas said...

I can not wait to try this! I'm getting ready to move and will soon have my own craft room, instead of the tiny corner I have in our bedroom! This will be perfect for over my craft table!

Nighttime Crafter said...

I found you on HoH and I just love this idea. Thank you for sharing!

Caits said...

I really like the big picture of your daughter. So beautiful. Thanks for posting this

Shannon said...

We were just talking about hanging stuff in our entryway. Do you think a display like this would be too much in an entryway? It's not huge and grand, just a bare wall. That's all. Thanks for the inspiration!

kitkat said...

This is Awesome. I am a photo freak lol and always have my camera in hand. Never knew what to do with all my photos but to save them on CD until now. Thanks so much!

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