Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair   


Simple Wall Art
Cut Paper Illustrations and Framing
November - December 4, 2015


While I was working on the facelift for the kitchen I came up with the idea of creating some quick wall art for a specific wall.  I had no idea what to create but I wanted something to cover a phone jack hole. Yes, I could have just repaired the drywall but I will need to tear the drywall out, whenever I get around to a complete kitchen renovation.  Easier at this point to just cover it up.

While working on the backsplash I remembered I had some leftover wallpaper from my Master Bath shower area renovation.  I ended up using the wallpaper on this wall to soften the starkness of it.  It also covered up the phone jack hole.

Wall I wanted to put some artwork on

 Wallpaper now on this section of wall. No more "visible" phone jack hole.

While I was waiting for the various stages of the countertop to dry during my countertop facelift, I came up with the idea of the artwork.

What I had on-hand was a bunch of textured art paper that I have used for cut paper collages in the past.  See Hula Bee to the right.

I wanted colors that would match my new countertops.  I did happen to have some black and bronze colored papers.

Now to decide what to make. 

Hula Bee cut paper collage (This image is copyrighted by me)
I wanted a silhouette or some simple images to cut out and place against a contrasting background.  After looking at different themed clipart on the web, I came across Chinese Floral Design. (If the link no longer works.  Just put the words "Chinese Floral Design" in a search engine and you should get similar results.)

I just liked these designs.  They were simple yet intricate enough to be a challenge cutting out.

This project in itself, would be a great project for kids to do.  Giving a household some artwork other than the crayon drawings stuck on the refrigerator. Like taking profile head shots of everyone in the family and make head silhouette art, for example.

After deciding on the bird / floral designs I wanted to use, I needed to figure out what size I needed, to cover the space on this wall.  I was not worried about standard frame sizes.  I just wanted a series of art pieces that fit my space.

I decided on three sizes for a total of five art pieces:

- One 8" x 28"  for the center
- Two 12" x 18"
- Two 12" x 12"

After laying out the art paper all over the floor and furniture in my living room, I came up with the combination of papers I liked.

After cutting the background paper to the the sizes I wanted, I printed out the designs at the scale I needed.  If you are printing out a larger image than your printer paper, tile your printouts.  Most graphic programs allow you to tile your printout if it is larger than your paper.  You just need to tape together the tiles printouts to get the larger image.

I then traced the image onto the paper using a window for back light.  For black paper, if you use pencil, you can see your tracing.

After the images were traced, I cut them out and glued them with regular white glue (Elmer's) onto the background.  I only needed enough glue to make them stick.  I removing any excess glue before it dried.

It took two days to cut and glue all of the images for the five art pieces.

Before I placed the wallpaper on the wall, I pinned the images up on the wall to see how they would look.  See photo below.

 Artwork pinned on wall before wallpaper, to check on the layout

The images looked good where I had placed them.  However, I would need to frame them.  I also did not like one of the images and changed it later.

Frames are easy enough to make, but I was too lazy at this particular time to buy a bunch of moulding, make all of the 45 degree miter cuts, and glue everything together.

So I looked online for an inexpensive framing option. 

I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a website that had frames at a really low price.  Lower than the cost of driving to the hardware store and the time to cut and put everything together.....if you believe that.  So they get a good review on my website!!!!

The key to finding frames that are as inexpensive as I found them?   Go straight to the outlet or sale items on the website.

I planned to frame my artwork myself. You can order matting, acrylic, and all the other framing items you need when you order your frame.  This however will add to the cost.  The hanging kits I received, came with the frames I ordered at no extra charge.

The frame option I came across was their model WX330 Unfinished Wood.  The wood type I received was poplar.  At the time of my order on Nov 21, 2015, the frames were 80% off.  These were also custom made frames, to my specific dimensions.  Awesome!  The cost was:

- One 8" x 28"   - $4.21
- Two 12" x 18" - $3.86 x 2 = $7.72
- Two 12" x 12" - $3.46 x 2 = $6.92

Grand total for five frames plus the $11.95 shipping and handling, was $30.80.  That comes out to only $6.16 per custom sized frame.  This is a whole lot cheaper than what I could have bought ready-made at a store OR the materials, time, and labor of making it myself.

The only drawback, was waiting for the frames to arrive.  I ordered them on Nov 21 and received them on Dec 3, 2015.  I selected the cheaper ground shipping.  12 days.  For this great price, heck, I had no problem waiting 12 days.  They promise to ship 3-7 days after the order is received, which they did.

The frames were received assembled. 

The shipping packaging was done very well!!!  The frames were strapped to the center of the box.  So if the box was dropped on a corner, it would not touch the frames.  The frames were also wrapped in bubble wrap before being strapped in.  Basically, a truck would have to run over the box to cause any significant damage.

Five frames as I received them.  Assembled unfinished wood

Each frame I ordered automatically came with a hanging kit.

To accommodate the retainer clips they provide, there is a groove routed into the back of the frame moulding.

For the "glass" on the frame, I had left over polycarbonate shelving liner that I had used on my window at the front entrance which I cut to the size of the artwork. The only problem with the polycarbonate is that there will be a glare when the lights hit it.  I can live with this.

Hanging kit for each frame ordered
I used a large cardboard box, cut to size, to make the backing of the artwork.

Since I ordered the frames unfinished, I painted them myself. I had thought of painting them to match the countertop, since I had leftover paint from that project.  But decided not to, in case I moved the artwork someplace else.  I did use the black countertop primer to prime the wood.  Then I spray painted the frames with oil rubbed bronze colored spray paint.

Before painting them, there was a little bit of sanding to do on a few rough spots.  Took a few minutes.

Groove routed in back of frame for clips

Cardboard backing, artwork, polycarbonate with protective layers still on both sides

After the paint had dried on the frames, I was ready to start framing.

Since everything was already cut, it was just a matter of putting it together.  The clips that were provided with the frames worked great. 

However, my cardboard was not thick enough to fill the space so I put some scrap cardboard I had on-hand under the clips to level it out more.  Not pretty, but no one is going to see the back of the frames once they are on the wall.

The D-rings screwed in easily on the frame and then I attached the hanging wire.

After measuring carefully the hanging locations, the artwork was hung on the wall.

Hanging hardware installed on artwork

 Artwork installed on kitchen wall

The next thing I worked on in the kitchen was the kitchen light fixture.  See this here...
The Projects
Backsplash in Kitchen
Bench - 2 x 4 Basics Flip-Top Bench Table
Brick Replacement and Brick Accent Painting
Casper Mattress
Ceiling Tiles
Closet Built from Scratch
Column Wraps for 4" x 8" Posts
Concrete Slabs
Curb Appealing Street Numbers
Cut Paper Artwork - Kitchen
Door Knobs and Cabinet Pulls
Dry rotted wood beam repair and paint
Doggy door installed on wrought iron screen door - Repair of door
Duct Work
End Table / Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Faux Brick and Tile
- Stucco wall patio and backyard stairs
    using concrete patch

- Painted tile pool deck (Oklahoma)
File Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Fire Place Hearth Shelves
Furniture Assembly
Garage Closet - Oklahoma
Garage Facelift - Closet, etc
Gate From Hell
GoNanas - Failed Order Attempt
Horrible Man Cave (rec room) Total Renovation
House Entrance Renovation
How to fix holes in a wrought iron screen door and replace screen
How to Make Your Own Door
- Crawl Space Door
How to Winterize a Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler
Kitchen Counter Tops - Faux Granite
Kitchen Facelift
Kitchen Light Facelift
Laundry Room Cupboards
Main Bathroom Repair / Remodel
Master Bathroom Shower Area Stripped to the Studs
Mirror Frames
Oklahoma Home Facelift -- Aluminum Siding and Paint
OMG!  The sink was leaking the whole time we were away?
Raising the Roof - Garage Roof Replacement
Rock Wall Repair
Rolling Cabinet - Vintage /  Industrial Look
Shark Apex UpLight Corded Lift-Away Vacuum - Review
Siding - Exterior
Signage for Pine Ridge Estates
Solar Lighting Journey
Stair Door
Stairs to the Lower Level
Stencils - How to Make Your Own Stencils for Paint Projects
Storage Shed / Closet
Storm Shelter (Elgin, OK 2021)
Storm Shelter (Lawton, OK 2014)
Stucco Wall Repair and Paint
Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Maintenance
Treadmill Table - Vintage Style
Tuff Shed
Wrought Iron Facelift Outside
Weather Stripping (doors)
Why is My Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Blowing Hot Air?
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