I’m no Joan Steffend, but it still looks good!

I love art. It was my original major in college. (Unfortunately, I foolishly changed it… but that is another post…) I have a ton of artwork that I’ve done that I have always intended on framing. But framing is so expensive. And we have other, more pressing uses for our money, like, say… food and shelter!

Add to that the fact that I have moved a lot in my adult life. Moving is a lot of work. Therefore, I kept my decoration to a minimum. The unfortunate side effect to this is that my home tends to be a bit dull and lacking in a lot of pizazz.

I’ve finally become tired of this and wanted to do something inexpensive. Several months ago, I came across some cheap, but gorgeous wood frames (~$4.00 each at JoAnn’s). I purchased them expecting to put photos of the kids in them. However, I bought 3 frames, and we have 4 kids… In the meantime, I became very bothered by a bare spot on the wall of our master bedroom. I realized those frames would be perfect there, but I didn’t have any artwork that was the correct colors for our room.

Enter Microsoft Clip Art, a free clip art/photo site. I have a wonderful photo printer and decided to do a search for some photos that I could print out and place in the frame. Now, I know that I could just as easily use photos that I have taken myself. But frankly, my camera takes crappy photos and even worse close ups (which is what I wanted).

If you do this, look for photos that are similar in theme, but not obviously the same. For example, I chose three photos that are closeups of leaves. One is a yellow tone, one is a bright green tone and the other is a red tone (I posted the images below; check back later for a photo of my wall with the framed photos). All three of these colors work well together and coordinate with the decor (as limited as it may be) of our room. I downloaded about 10 photos to look at together. This allowed me to see them together and see how they worked together before I printed them.

Also, I wanted to hang all of the photos in a portrait direction (as opposed to a landscape direction). I could have taken the time to change the orientation of the photos I chose, but instead of overwhelming myself, I limited my selections to photos that were already in the portrait orienta
tion or that I could easily rotate in my photo editing software (I am a CorelDraw/PhotoPaint fan) without have to work on cropping properly. Obviously, I could rotate a close up of a leaf without compromising the photo, as opposed to a photo of an entire tree…

Follow the instructions for downloading them and then print them out on your printer. My printer (an HP Photosmart D7145) allows me to print out a photo as a certain size, whether it is a 4×6, 5×7 etc., so that made the sizing easy.

The photos are gorgeous! And I am so pleased with how they printed.

And I ended up with gorgeous art on my walls for the cost of the frames (about $9.00) and 2 sheets of photo paper for my printer.

Below are the photos I chose (these were all printed out at the same size, so even though their sizes are all different here, they all match)

I rotated this one (above)

I cropped this one in a little closer, so it is more of the tree and less of the water. This one is a bit different from the other two, in that it is not a close up, but it still works and adds some interest to the grouping.

This one, I printed pretty much as is


  1. http://Heather says

    That is a great idea. As an artist I have a ton of art I avoided framing for years (one watercolor painting that later sold sat in my garage for several years–in all seasons it sat out. ) i have found that the cheapest way to get frames is to watch for sales or go to a thrift shop or dollar store–I sell most of paintings framed and this is wear a lot of them come from. If the frame has to be more elaborate and brand new I go to Big Lots or Ollies (overstock sales places) and buy some cheap preframed art and use the frames for my own work–I have gotten $50 frames for $10 that way.

  2. http://Marcia says

    GREAT idea! I’m just non-creative so always on the lookout for cook decorating ideas :)

    Organising queen and
    Marcia’s take charge blog

  3. http://WorksForMom says

    Wow, these truly are fantastic. Just so mesmerizing!

  4. http://Kimmy says

    Beautiful idea. I didn’t even know you could do something like this!

  5. http://Megan%20(FriedOkra) says

    gorgeous! Was there a picture somewhere of the final product?

  6. http://stacey says

    love the idea! i considered doing something similar with the kids’ abstract artwork in the playroom. maybe the one-time investment of those acrylic frames then change out the work periodically!

  7. http://julia says

    I love this idea especially because I have photo paper to use, and didn’t know any creative ways to use it! Now to find affordable frames…

  8. http://Beck says

    You’re so clever!

  9. http://Anonymous says

    Beautiful photos; I know the final project will be just as beautiful. I am not the least bit artistic, but my 4 children (37-45 years old) are. Have a beautiful day.

    Mrs. W.

  10. http://TX%20Poppet says

    Found your blog via WFMW. Glad I did.

  11. http://Susanne says

    Great idea! And you picked gorgeous shots!

  12. http://Stacey says

    WOW what a great idea! I will definitely keep this in mind!

    The pictures that you chose are so pretty by the way and warm!

    Stacey (Kisses from the Father)

  13. http://Laane says

    Thank you for the great idea!

    I love your photos.

  14. http://beaty says

    wow, these photos are just excellent.
    i am lovein these photos.
    i would prefer to print these on a photo paper.

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