I’m so excited to share my art with you today! If you missed Part I and Part II, you’ll want to read them to get your room design freebies. Making a list of projects and prioritizing them is the next step.
Even though hanging my art will be one of the finishing touches of the room, having it done helps me to pull from its colors and textures to create the rest of the room, like choosing my curtains.
How to Create $20 Art
1. Choose your image.
It may be a photo of your children, a close-up you took with that amazing Mpow Macro lens or inspirational word art. Whatever your image, make sure you love it.
I chose to use my business logo. I like the fact that my logo in itself is my own creation. Not to mention the colors really embody all that I love.
Now the key to making this work is to make sure you have a high resolution image.
WHAT THE HECK DOES THAT MEAN?
High resolution refers to the dots per inch or pixels per inch. So if you can imagine for a second how much more unclear a picture is when it has less dots making up the image and how much clearer an image is when it contains more dots, you can understand high resolution.
So typically, you want a picture that is about 300 dpi (dots per inch).
You can find out your image’s dpi several ways such as by right clicking and viewing its properties or uploading it to a program such as Photoshop or GIMP.
You can add or remove these dots many different ways. I used Adobe Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can download GIMP, a free photo editor.
2. Upload and Order Print
Once I changed the resolution of my image in Photoshop, I uploaded it to Staples by following these steps:
- Going to Staples.com Shop Services
- Selecting Posters
- Selecting Design Now
- Upload Now
- Selecting Portrait or Landscape depending on your art
- Choose your size. I chose the 18X24 (they have a couple of different options here)
- Choose your finish (I chose a glossy finish because it makes things a lot easier)
3. Purchase and prepare plywood.
After ordering my print, I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of 1/4 in. plywood. The next day, I determined how much of the plywood I wanted to show around the poster and had this handsome guy cut it for me. If you don’t have a handsome guy, you can get the peeps at Home Depot to do it for you. Who knows, they might be handsome too. 🙂
Once my board was cut, I gave it a quick sanding, wiped it off, and applied the stain. I used Minwax’s Gray stain.
After I applied the stain, I let it dry. Once it was dry, I applied some white acrylic paint around the edges of the wood. This will be the only part of the wood showing once you apply your picture, so I didn’t see a point in wasting paint.
You can skip this step if you want a regular stained surface. I wanted to lighten the stain a bit and give it more of a weathered look. Once I brushed the paint on, while still a bit wet, I sanded the paint.
I let it dry and then wiped the surface with a damp towel to get off any excess paint and/or wood dust from sanding.
4. Apply Mod Podge.
After I prepared my surface, I applied some Mod Podge to the board.
After I applied a coat of Mod Podge to the board, I applied some to the back of the poster. Now, you have to work quickly as this stuff dries fast, so it’s best to use some type of roller so you can apply a lot at one time. The reason I chose to buy my poster with a glossy finish is because it’s quite the challenge to get bubbles out of the poster when you’re applying a layer of Mod Podge over the top. By just needing to apply a layer to the bottom, it simply acts as an adhesive and then you can call it a day.
Work smarter, not harder.
*Make sure the Mod Podge covers the entire edge of your poster as well because otherwise it’s going to make things extra challenging for you when sticking your poster to your plywood.
5. Apply poster to plywood.
Now that you have Mod Podge on the surface of the board and on the back of the poster, carefully apply your poster to your board. You’re going to need some type of tool to smooth the poster and get all the air bubbles out; a rolling pin, a book..a flat box with silk suspenders inside (hey, it was right there and it worked like a charm!).
You don’t have much time to work because, again, this stuff dries quickly. So make sure everything is straight before you press down on the poster. I recommend you smoothing from the center out to push those air bubbles out to the edges. If you don’t, the result may be wrinkles which may be cool if you’re creating an old world map, but not so much any other time.
6. Allow artwork to dry.
Once you’ve applied the poster to the plywood, just let it dry and voila!
1/4 in. Plywood – About $5.00
Make your own and share it! I’d love to see how your art turns out.