DIY Wall Art with Photographs

By Pinktoesandpowertools | Home Decorating Projects

Do you have bare walls that need filling up but you don’t want to spend a small fortune finding things to hang on them?  Wall art is expensive and finding just what you want, in the right colors, for the right price can make you throw up your hands and just deal with the blank walls.

Or is that just me?

I love to see artwork up on the walls, but I don’t particularly enjoy purchasing something that doesn’t have any meaning to me or my family.  Or spending all that money on something I’m not in love with.  So our walls have been somewhat bare for awhile, but I’m gradually working on it.

This wall art we have had for a long time–before we had a digital camera.  My mom has a particularly artistic eye and I knew she could get some great shots for us to hang up, so I bought a roll of 35 mm film and asked for some wall art.  This is what she came up with and I love it.

You can do this too.  Here are some tricks she used and I encourage you to copy her techniques to get some art up on your own walls!  If you are a photographer, please don’t judge.  This is not a tutorial on proper photography skills, but just some examples for others to copy in order to get some interesting pictures up in their house.

Zoom In

Get close to the subject.  Then get closer.  You might have to use the macro setting on your camera or phone (don’t worry, you’ve got one, trust me).  It’s the tulip flower with two leaves.  Notice how the subject isn’t dead center in the picture, but it is off to the upper right.  Way more interesting than centered.

Close up of fencing

Same thing here–she got close and offset the subject from the center.  She also framed the photo with the fence post on the right.  Play around with different shots.  You can always crop it to just what you want on Picmonkey.com once you get home as well.  You could do an entire collage using just close ups.

Close up picture of barbed wire on a fence post

Barbed wire

Find a line of something

Notice that the closest window is still offset and not dead center.  The row of windows leads you into the picture.

Photograph panning a wall of barn windows

Interior barn windows

Remember me telling you not to center the subject?  Well this picture breaks the rule but I think it gets away with it because of the way the reflection of the leaves frames the inside of the picture.  Maybe it would have been even better not centered, but I’m loving it the way it is.

Photograph close up of a barn window with tree reflection

Tree reflected in barn window

Frame your picture

The tall grass in this picture really defines the bottom of photograph.

Barn window offset framed with tall grass

Barn window framed with tall weeds

In this digital age you’ve got nothing to lose if you try snapping some pictures to see what you come up with.

This barn was about a mile from the house I grew up in.  I love to have a piece of the area frozen in time–this barn is now surrounded by several houses and has been updated.

Spray painting picture frames

I did some updating of my own before these were hung up.

Sanding down the picture frames to prep for spray paint

Gave a light sanding to the frames.

Spray painting the picture frames black

Spray painted the frame black

And then waited for them to dry.  And waited.  And waited some more.  After 24 hours of waiting I began to think I coated them too heavily.  But the temperatures were in the 90s that day and the next, and it was pretty humid.  I did some research on Google for the problem.  One possible solution was a thin coat of polyurethane.  So I got out some quick dry I had on hand already.

Applying a polyurethane topcoat to the picture framesWhich did not quickly dry.  Two days later and still tacky, I stuck them in a row with a fan on them for about 24 hours.  That helped, but I had to do it another 24 hours after moving them around so the remaining tacky parts got hit with the breeze.

Sheesh!

But I am quite pleased with the final affect, which you have seen in the bench photos, but here it is again:

Do you think you can take some shots worthy enough to hang on your walls?