DIY Large Scale Italy Art

You guys. This is totally happening right now…




After a week or so of freezing our petoochies off to the tune of freezing weather, our paper-thin windows are getting replaced!!! I read somewhere (where was that??!) the description of 1970s windows as follows “If you lean your head close enough to the window pane you can feel your hair blowing in the breeze”. Very true. True statement right there folks. So, we are more than thrilled to be crossing this task off of our to-do list. Anyways, while that’s getting done, I thought I’d tell you about our new DIY artwork.

Remember when I painted our master bedroom?  I mentioned that I wanted to change up the feeling of the room with different modern/quirky art??   Well, I found one that suits us to a T.   Ya see, I was just minding my own business, checking out Pinterest, when I came across this pin….


Now, I’m not much of a wordy decor person (Wait. Rephrase… I’m wordy.  I just don’t often gravitate towards word ART.  Boom!  Nailed it.), but this quote resonated with me.   I’m 75% Italian.  My grandparents on my dad’s side immigrated from Italy when my Aunt was a baby, so I grew up listening to them speak Italian and hearing stories about the small village where they hailed from.   When I graduated from high school, my Aunt Sera took me to Italy and it was everything (plus more) that I hoped it would be.   It was stunningly beautiful, as were the people.  Not.Kidding.  Seriously, we were amazed that there were no ugly Italians to be found.  The less attractive folks all seemed to be tourists.  Heehee!  Anyhoo, the beauty of the country was rivaled only by the incredible food.   Good gravy.  I would move there for the food alone.  I still dream about the potato and vegetable soup I had in Venice.  Twice.  And don’t even get me started on the gelato.  I ate it at LEAST daily throughout our trip.  So, when I came across this pin, I just knew that it was right.  And the simple, modern style was fantastic!

I followed the pin to the source which lead to this blog post on Brittany Makes.   Brittany actually created the art in Photoshop and had it printed at Kinkos in her preferred size (29.5″x 39.25″ per the largest Ikea Ribba frame).  And much to my delight, she offered it up to her readers as a FREE printable!!   Since her post was published, Kinkos in our area had transformed to the Fed Ex print/copy shop and for a higher quality print, they quoted me around $90.   Not in the budget.   AND they didn’t offer the exact size I needed anyways (I’d followed her lead and purchased the same Ikea Ribba frame).   After doing a bit of research, I found that I could have the good folks at Staples produce an engineering print for around $8 in 36 x 48″ size, which I could then cut down to fit my frame.   (If you do this, be sure that the box that states “Fit print to Frame” is unchecked, otherwise the art will be too large to cut down).

Once I got my frame home, I simply laid the frame’s plexi-glass over my print, traced around it and cut it down with scissors.

Now, here’s the deal with engineering prints… The paper is super thin, so you must back it with solid white paper so that you cant see through it.   Unfortunately, the paper that came with the frame had printing on it…

So, I just scotch taped computer paper to both the cardboard frame backing and the opening in the matting….

I secured the frame and hung my new art on the wall only to realize that the flimsiness of the paper caused it to wrinkle beneath the plexi with the pull of gravity….

So, I removed it.  I thought about adhering the print to the frame’s backing with spray adhesive, but I was afraid that the adhesive would stain the thin, white paper.  In the end, I ended up taping the print to the matting with more Scotch tape to prevent any further drooping. This helped a lot, but just keep in mind… this is why such a large print is $8.   I’m okay with imperfection due to that.   But if it really bothers you, you may wanna spring for a higher quality print.    In any case, my new Italy art is hung and she’s a beaut (albeit somewhat hard to photograph due to it’s reflectiveness)…


It adds a pop of modern sleekness to the bedroom which compliments the lines of my mid-century ottoman and painted wicker chair.   This is exactly in line with the direction I want our bedroom to go.  Personal but modern.  And also, ignore the conflicting brown tones.  I’ll get there.  Eventually… 🙂

TDC Before and After

Alphabetically speaking…

Howdy, all!!    It’s been a while since I’ve posted about our front room.  Last we left off, it looked like this…


Now, don’t get me wrong, the room looked fine… But, it’s located right off of our foyer.   And as our foyer makeover commenced and the space became increasingly lighter and brighter (the most recent pic is in this post), the front room seemed so much darker and more drab in comparison.   Honestly, I blamed Art.   He’s the artwork above our Friheten sofa (…whose name, coincidentally, is Fri… I know. My talent for naming things is not to be matched.). Anyhoo, Art felt a little heavy to me. A little dark and traditional for my taste. I picked him up for $40 at Ross about 5 years ago because he was the right scale and colors for the hallway in our last house, but honestly, I was never totally over the moon for him.

After we moved into our current home, and our front room went from single to bi- to tri-functional, I stuck Art over the couch.  The space needed something and I already owned him (ie: he was free), so I figured it was a good “for now” solution.  I’ve always had it in mind, though, that I wanted to change Art in some way.  I’ve tossed around a few ideas over the years, but was never really sold on anything in particular.   Then, one fateful day several weeks ago, I found this picture on Pinterest…


I think these are actually wood letters mounted to the wall, but I loved the typography.  The angular letters that all fit together.  The asymmetrical arrangement of it.  THIS is what I wanted to do with Art.

Now, I’ll just start by saying that a MUCH simpler way of transferring the image would be copy it onto a transparency and use a projector to transfer the print.  I, however, am impatient.  And didn’t feel like taking the time to track that stuff down, so I just freehanded it with my iPad by my side as reference.   I used a ruler and a piece of chalk for the straight lines…

IMG_5962 …and this bowl… IMG_5961

…for the outside of the round letters.   I freehanded the inside of the round letters and any other roundish letter that wasn’t a perfect “O”.  Like the B, P, S, etc.

About halfway through, I realized that I wasn’t going to have room for the “Y” and “Z”, but after a preliminary quick sketch of the rest of the letters, I decided that I liked it that way.  It was almost as if the letters were melting off the page.


When my chalk outline was complete (totally picturing an old-movie crime scene right now), I moved on to painting.  I used some Clark & Kensington paint + primer in ultra white that I had in the garage and followed my chalk lines with a small brush and a tiny ruler that just happened to fit inside my letters perfectly…


…then I used a slightly larger brush to fill between the letters…


I decided to carry the letters off the side of the canvas to further add to the “melting” illusion…


This is after one coat of paint….


At this point, I grabbed a damp paper towel and wiped off all the chalk just to be sure that there weren’t any other areas requiring paint touch-up…


Cleaning off the chalk made such a difference!  The letters looked crisper and more defined than I realized they would.   And thus began the unrequited crush I now have on my new/old friend Art. Once, I collected myself, I CAREFULLY applied a second coat of white paint.  And here’s the final (totally-exciting-to-me) result….





 This next shot is kind of a dark, crummy photo, but I wanted to show you guys the differences in sheen.   The flat white paint really allows the metallic sheen of the letters pop…


Art really brightens up the space now and adds such nice crisp, modern feel.  I love the graphic nature of the painting, plus the mottled colors within each letter now pop and highlight the colorful accents throughout the room. I’ve got some other ideas for brightening the space as well… but *clue*…  I’ll have to see how my mid-century tables turn out before I have a concrete plan.  I worked on the coffee table some this weekend, so hopefully I’ll have an update for ya’ll soon.

But back to Art, this entire project was free for me since I already owned the canvas, paint, chalk, etc. I’m so happy that I decided to devote the time to completing this.  I would say that this project probably took me about 5-6 cumulative hours total. And it was totally worth every second (and every ridonculous knot in my shoulders after the hours spent craning over my sprawling letters). So tell me, do you guys have any random art laying around that you’ve considered altering?

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Linked up at:I Heart Organizing, Home Stories A to Z, DIY Show Off, Home ComingCity of Creative Dreams, Tatertots & Jello, Elizabeth Joan Designs, Lines Across, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Tip Junkie, Upcycled Treasures

The DIY Dreamer
Put A Bird On It
TDC Before and After