GOOD DIY Art Inspiration + A How-To of Julie’s Original Piece (And A Kickoff of My Weekly DIY Challenge – Wanna Join?)

We feel like there are two kinds of people right now. First, are those who desperately need house projects to fill these days (and give us purpose) and make their house even homier. Then there are those who don’t want to feel guilty about watching the news and marathoning shows (and should feel no guilt – we all process our own way). This post is for the former. I’m in the “have to stay busy” camp and now that the kids are older I LOVE making things with them. So now more than ever I’m looking for easy fun projects that we can do together to create a memor, keep them and us busy as well as add style and personality to our house. So here we go – our first DIY challenge is for those of you who are interested in creating an easy, affordable piece of art for your home or at least watch us do it. I suggest you take Julie’s into high consideration because we all LOVE it and undoubtedly you will too. We also (to keep things super fresh) searched the internet for some of VERY cool and fun ideas. This post is packed, people.

Over the years the EHD team has created a lot of art, mostly because art is a great way to bring in some personality to your home. We all know that art can be expensive, so we are always looking for affordable ways to create our own (and bonus points if the supplies might be in your garage already). Let’s get to it:

photo by david tsay | from: 5 tips to designing a timeless kids bedroom

Years ago Orlando and I made that massive piece of art with a drop cloth and a frame we built. Then we taped out a pattern and framed it. Now, this is a BIG project, but the idea behind it is so simple and could obviously be much smaller in scale. Also, you don’t have to have a fancy canvas, most fabrics could do (and a painters drop cloth is honestly GREAT).

photo by tessa neustadt | from: how we styled our living room and kitchen to sell

Now I want to be VERY clear – this stamped art is by Rebecca Atwood (who we love) and was not DIY’d. But we saw that she is even promoting it on her blog as a great DIY and has outlined how to do it. She is THE master so you are in good hands. It’s made with a potato and paint, two things a lot of us have lying around (maybe).

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: our light-filled neutral & textural living room

Maybe one of my favorite pieces of art that involved the kids is the pressed flowers that we framed (in Ikea frames) above. They collected them last spring from the backyard. Some we pressed traditionally (with wax paper and heavy books, over weeks) but most we sped up the process by using this press that you can microwave. Then we simply used super glue to lightly attach to the paper and keep it really quiet and minimal. It is so pretty, such a good memory and the kids signed it at the bottom with a ‘spring 2019’, too.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we designed our super kid-friendly family room

We have a whole sentimental art wall in our house and it brings me serious joy (said as a true mom, no sarcasm at all). On it, we have kids art (the big blue piece), a framed origami (a playful sculptural cat), self-portraits of them (done with a mirror at their school) and framed kids polaroids (I love my polaroid printer so much).

And now let me hand it over to EHD’s Lead Designer and our resident DIY aficionado, Julie…

From Julie: Adding a DIY into a design project is nothing new around here. Whether it is big one like the window treatments and tent canopy for the kid’s bedroom in the mountain house or small like the pillowcase cover I am always up for it because that extra bit of customization to a space will make it feel more personal and unique to you. That’s why for my own MOTO I included a couple of my own DIYs, one of which is the art piece below, take a peek!

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: julie’s huge (and diy packed) bedroom upgrade

This piece is so subtle that you might’ve missed it in my bedroom reveal earlier this year. I already had a lot going on in that small, small room of mine but I still wanted to hang something above that vintage folding chair to balance it out between the windows. So, I decided to make one of the most simple yet time-consuming pieces of art I’ve ever done. It’s basically layered torn paper adhered together with some double-sided tape. I already had a left over frame and picked up a kid’s art roll on my last (fingers crossed) trip to IKEA. Initially, I wanted to do something similar to this but then realized that the scale is what made that piece so cool. So instead, I channeled my design fundamentals year in art school and ended up with this.

What You’ll Need:

Step One: Measure the length of your frame. I used the 19″x27″ Ribba Frame from Ikea so my initial length is 27″ long.
Step Two: On your paper roll measure and mark with the pencil to 27″. Hot Tip: On the longer pieces it is best to measure & mark both sides for folding in the next step.
Step Three: Fold the paper to the marks and use the washcloth to make the fold damp. Reverse the fold and repeat with the washcloth on the other side. (FYI dampening of the paper makes it easier to tear)
Step Four: Slowly tear the paper along the damp crease. It doesn’t have to be perfect since the idea is to get the edge to look “frayed”.
Step Five: Repeat Steps 2 – 4. Reduce the length of the piece of paper by 1″ each time. By the end you should have papers that range from 27″ long all the way to one that is 1″ in length. 
Step Six: Lay down the largest piece (27″) and then the 26″ piece on top of it. The smaller piece of paper should be even in the middle of the larger piece. They should overlap by 1/2″ on either side. Use a piece of tape on all four corners of the backside of each new piece of paper being laid down to secure it. Repeat the process until you have the 1″ strip paper in the very middle and on the top.
Step Seven: Frame and hang it!

Next up, another innovative GIY from our lovely EHD alum, Emily B:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: emily bowser’s “refreshed for function” small living room makeover

At the end of 2019, Emily B. revealed her cozy living room which included three original artwork pieces above her sofa, created by none other than herself along with the help of Velinda, me and a couple of bottles of wine. This DIY art has no rules except for one, every time you contribute something to the paper you must shout “ART” and take a sip. So grab all those random pieces of paper, some string, paint and just have fun with it.

left photo by tessa neustadt, from: sara’s living room reveal | right photo by sara ligorria-tramp, from: arlyn’s bright & happy rental living room makeover

If you have a ton of old Polaroids or old vintage photos in a shoebox under your bed (or high up in that closet), you can create a large and personal art piece like Sara and Arlyn did for their living rooms. Just make sure your photos are all the same size to create a perfect grid! And not to keep plugging this magical machine, but if you don’t have a bunch of polaroids handy and but want to create something like this with old photos from your photo then this printer is your answer.

We aren’t the only creative souls on the internet (duh), so we wanted to share some of our favorite seasoned DIYers and man do they have some ideas that we would love to recreate while we are all staying indoors. And actually I think some of us will this week…stay tuned:)

design by kate pruitt via design sponge

Our very own Mallory has been eyeing this 3D wall art DIY (we are big fans of nontraditional art) from Design Sponge for a long time now and is ready to give it a go this weekend. It’s made from balsa wood which was one of my favorite materials to use to build models in school since it’s so easy to use and doesn’t require any heavy machinery. I would love to see someone recreate this in a colorful version as well. 🙂

design by brittni mehlhoff of paper & stitch

If I am ever in need of some DIY inspiration you know that I am checking out Paper & Stitch blog by Brittni Mehlhoff. We met her while working on the Invitation Homes project in Atlanta. She is so crazy talented that she DIY’d this desk on-site for under $100. Whoa. I was thoroughly impressed with her. This simple and yet effective DIY proves that those vintage portraits aren’t just meant for lovers of the Eccentric English Grandma trend. A few pieces of construction paper later and you have yourself a mixed media contemporary piece of art.

design by brittni mehlhoff of paper & stitch

Another easy one by Paper & Stitch is this abstract statement art which you can make to be bold and colorful or neutral and textured. She also did this post about 5-minute Art Hacks that are so achievable with items lying around the house, like a pretty tea towel or leftover wallpaper.

design by julia wester & jess hong of ohjoy!

Leave it to Oh Joy! to come up with a chic way of displaying your leftover wrapping paper scraps. This one looks like such a fun project to get your kids involved in and for those of us who don’t have kids then down that wine cause you’re not babysitting anyone but yourself this weekend.

design by molly madfis of almost makes perfect

You know when you go to the hardware store for a gallon of paint and leave with 8 paint stir sticks of which you’ll use just one of them?? Well, Almost Makes Perfect has a chic solution for the leftovers. Along with some string, a drill and saw, you will have this hanging on your wall in no time.

design by molly madfis of almost makes perfect

Another macrame free wall hanging from Almost Makes Perfect that actually looks soothing to make & is easy to customize. When a material list is only 3 items long I know I’ve found my weekend project. This one requires a small dowel, yarn & a pair of scissors. Tying the yarn to the dowel is the easy part. Cutting it in a straight line after might mean you leave to wine til after unless that’s the lewk you’re going for, then you do you!

design by justine hand of remodelista

Similar to the pressed flowers that Emily did in her mountain house, this is a DIY project from Remodelista is fun for all ages. Collect a variety of leaves in your backyard or while taking a walk around the block. Lay them out onto a piece of paper and with another paper on top gently hammer away some of that pent up energy until you see the whole of the leaf on the paper. Slowly peel the paper away and hang it up!

design by dalilah arja of remodelista

Block printing has been around for hundreds of years so, in my opinion, it can never truly go out of style. That’s why we are showing you this oldie but a goodie (it’s five years old) from Remodelista on how to achieve a budget-friendly block printing. It’s also an easy one to customize with different shapes and paint colors. Honestly, at this point who just wants to finger paint this weekend???

Silhouette Art

image source | image source

Emily again! So if you are like me and want something to do, we are going to create at least one piece of art this week (maybe two). I’m tackling silhouettes of the kids for both their bedroom and a grandma’s birthday present. Wish me luck.

We’d love for any of you that are up for creating a DIY piece of art to show us what you are working on (or if you have previously made something) by using the hashtag #showemyourDIY on Instagram. Then next week when I reveal what we all did we can feature yours, too (as well as repost on stories so don’t forget to hag me (@em_henderson)). I suppose now is as good a time as ever to make art, and I think we can all use a bit more inspiration these days – so we’d be honored if you share your pieces and your original ideas with us. xx

Fin Mark

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