Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spring in the Dunes

Here’s how I updated a frame and did some DIY faux-mat goodness.

Spring in the Dunes, ready to go above the fireplace

This Spring in the Dunes South Shore poster is going to live above my fireplace on my new mantel! I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

I did some measuring of the wall over the mantel, and headed over to Michael’s for a frame. I love their selection and they always have great sales and coupons that keep the frames really reasonably priced.

I found this guy.

black 18x24 frame from Michael's on the new mantel!

It has an 18”x24” opening, I loved the detail/design/size of the frame, and it was about $25 after all the discounts. (P.S. It was like $20 a week later with the new sales and coupons, but oh well.) :)  I didn’t like the black, so I just planned on painting it.

While I was at Michael’s, I also found that they sold mats in the 18”x24” in size with a 14”x18” opening for about $10 (and of course, you can use one of their coupons!).

So right there in Michael’s, I ordered my South Shore print from Amazon on my phone. It only came in the weird size of 12”x16” so I was happy Amazon had such a good price on the print, since I didn’t know how it’d really look above the fireplace/in the mat and frame.

(So I just looked over my blog, and I think I’ve never mentioned this Spring in the Dunes print before…which is funny, because I’ve been eyeing it for a long time as an above-the-fireplace contender. I guess it’s just because this living room is going in a very different direction than when I started out!)

While I was waiting for the print to come, I spray painted the frame. I used some of Rustoleum’s Plastic Primer spray paint and some random gray spray paint I had around the house. I had a few puckering/peeling paint snafus, but it turned out fine.

The print arrived and I put in under the mat.

too much white on white

And it was pretty blah. It was even worse in the frame above the fireplace. The print just looked too small and everything looked too white.

I knew Michael’s didn’t have any pre-cut mats with a 12”x16” opening and I didn’t want to get one custom cut, because I was just trying to keep this a really cheap project. So I began thinking of a way to DIY a mat or something, without it looking to hokey.

Then I found this 12”x18” manila drawing paper in my stash that I bought on clearance at Target in the school supplies section. Man, I love being a crazy hoarder sometimes.

12"x18" manila drawing paper

I love that it’s big, so I wouldn't have to piece it together along the long part of the print and mat. But the color wasn’t quite right. So I got out the old Prismacolors I used in fashion school and started coloring.

blue slate prismacolor and manila paper

If you’re really curious, I used the Blue Slate color with 10% and 20% grays as blenders. I colored enough of the paper to cut 4 – 1.25” strips.

I was bold and taped them right to the print.

Then I put the mat back on top, and sighed.

faux mat. much better!

It looked perfect. And in the frame, it looked even better.

Now, let me tell you, I have a lot more mantel styling to do, but I’m pretty happy with how this print and frame turned out.

Spring in the Dunes over the fireplace...I still have a LOT more mantel styling to do!

The grays just look so good above the fireplace, with its gray grouted tile. And the colors in the print blend perfectly with the colors in my rug.

Woohoo! I love when a little DIY goes a long way to helping a project come out great!

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