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Vintage Print~DIY Wall Art Tutorial

DIY Vintage Wall Art

I adore shopping at antique malls! Who's with me? There is just no telling what you will find. For me it's kind of like a massive treasure hunt but sometimes you don't know exactly what your hunting. When I do find something that I'm excited about, I snatch it up quickly. I've learned from past experiences that the time you say..."Well, I will wait to buy it", the item will surely be gone by the time you make up your mind. When I found these vintage prints at a local antique mall, it was definitely a treasure find to me. I loved the typewriter first and quickly started going through the pile of other graphics printed on the vintage looking 11" x 17" paper. I chose 3 different graphics that would all blend well together to make a series of prints to put on the wall in my living room.

My living room had been painted and updated, but after changing out some decor to fit with the new style, I had a large empty wall space that I needed to fill. I spent quite a bit of time searching for the right artwork to mesh with the existing decor but couldn't find anything. When I came across these vintage prints, I knew immediately that I wanted to mount the prints on stained wood boards and create the artwork I was imagining. I have several rustic wood furniture and decor already so the wall art just carried those decor elements through the rest of the space.

This DIY wall art is so easy that when I'm finished showing you how I did it, you'll probably say, "What, that's it?" :) The wood frames where cut from a 4 x 6 birch plyboard that is 1/2 inch thick. The easy part, is that if you don't want to cut them yourself, you can pre-measure the space you want around the print to make a frame and have them cut at your Home Depot or Lowe's. I knew I wanted about a 1/2 inch around the prints to expose the stained wood and give them that rustic look. I cut the frames to 12" x 18" each and sanded the edges with a 100 and 60 grit sandpaper to round the edges a bit and make it smooth.

Next, I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain to stain the boards. You'll notice that I didn't stain the entire board. Of course, you can if you want to, but since you won't see the middle section, I saved my stain and left it natural. (Call it laziness, or even a need to get the project done faster!) :) As you can see in the photo below, I chose a birch board that had a little wear to it like the ding at the bottom. Since I wanted it to look old and worn, I actually looked for this imperfection in the wood when I chose it. If you don't like this look, make sure you pick a smooth board instead!

I initially thought I would use Mod Podge to attach the prints to the boards, but after trying it, I decided against it. I don't know what it is with me and Mod Podge, but we don't really get along well. She gets all wrinkled when I try to get a nice smooth finish and it drives me crazy. I luckily had 2 typewriter prints and was able to peel it off before it dried, since I didn't like how it looked. Anyway, you could use Mod Podge glue if you are better at it than me or you could do the easy thing, and use double sided photo tape! YES! Easy, cheesy, peasy! And guess what? If you get tired of the prints at some point, you could replace them with something else because the tape is repositional. Now that's the best DIY advice I ever heard!

After the print was taped onto the board, I used a sawtooth photo hanger on the back of each one and VIola! You are done! Pretty easy, huh?

I really like how they turned out and it was an inexpensive way to get my wall art. The prints were $4.50 each and the board to make the frames was around $7. I already had the dark walnut stain and double sided tape $3, so the entire project cost under $25.

An even better way to save money, is to print the vintage graphic prints yourself at home. One of my favorite places to print free graphics is from "The Graphics Fairy" @ She does an amazing job of capturing the best graphics for anyone to use. I have used her graphics many many times and we have been featured on her blog for one of our furniture transfer projects to some side tables. You can see the featured side tables here if you haven't already!

So that's it!

An easy DIY Wall art project that is easy, inexpensive and anyone can do!

Later this week, I will be showing you our updated laundry room! I also can't wait to show you another one of our DIY projects in the laundry room! This DIY project is not only easy and fun, but provided extra storage and a visually appealing space at the same time!

Until next time...



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