This DIY project was inspired by our daughter who sent me a link to a grouping of framed bird illustrations on the Garnet Hill website, as an idea for the blank wall space we had in our living room. I loved the idea and might have considered purchasing a grouping of pictures for that area, but quickly realized that it can be pretty pricey. The Garnet Hill framed prints were $700 for a set of nine!
There are a lot of home decorating ideas that can be reproduced for a much more reasonable cost if you're willing to spend some time researching a project, planning it out, and then putting in the leg work yourself. It is important to know one's limitations though, and to not get involved in a project which might not be completed because you either lack the skills required, or you really hate what is required.
I, for example, truly dislike painting projects. I don't know exactly what it is about it, but I find it stressful; whether it is painting a piece of furniture or a room. I have learned therefore, not to commit myself to those kinds of projects, because more than likely they won't get done. Some people feel this aversion to sewing projects, others about bringing organization to a room or a particular area of a room, like the bookshelves or kitchen cupboards. The important thing to determine about the jobs which need to be done in our homes is what we can do ourselves, what can be done with a bit of research and advice or help from a friend, and what jobs are above our capabilities and should be hired out.
For the above project, I liked the look of the simple black frames which they had used for the Garnet Hill illustrations. I found basically the same frames, size and style wise at Ikea for $9.99 a piece. I remembered I had purchased a Floral Illustration book at Half Price Books, for about $20 awhile back, which could provide the illustrations.
I went through the book and photographed twelve of the illustrations which I thought would fit the frames and then arranged them in a "Pages" document (Apple's version of a Word Document), to select which nine illustrations I would use and to figure out the arrangement I wanted on the wall. Once I was sure of my selection, I cut the pages out of the book, cropped them to the frame size, after removing the mat, and put them in the frames. I laid them out on the floor of the living room and then worked with my husband to figure out the spacing of the nails on the wall for hanging the prints.
I am so pleased with how this project turned out and it was a fraction of the cost of already framed illustrations. This would also work well for children's book illustrations, architectural renderings, a family photo wall (especially black and white photos), or any other type of group related images. Lastly, here is an Etsy sight which sells illustrations which could be used for framing, if you are not inclined, as I am, to scour used book stores! Let me know if you give this a try!