Friday, August 24

LIFE + LOVE: Paint Chip Art

I am not one for wall art. Well, more accurately, I am not one for buying "art" at a store; something that a million other people could likely have on their walls at home just doesn't appeal to me too much.  I like photos of people I love, photos I've taken, or art that has some personal meaning to me (like, you know, I made it!). Unfortunately, Scotty cannot stand my barren walls. He's always saying that I need some more wall decor. And so, inspired by the ever-inspiring A Beautiful Mess, I decided to make some wall art on the cheap using free materials... Paint swatches! My method varies somewhat, but you can see the original tutorial from their site here. So let's get started! 

- a LOT of swatches! 
- glue dots or double sided tape of some kind
- poster size frame {with stock paper insert}
- white cardstock
- paper cutter or scissors

Now, when getting swatches, keep in mind that you will need a ton. And you can either make several trips to the paint department, or you can grab more than you need in one go. If you're going for the one stop shop method, I suggest bringing a purse that will hold all your swatches. That way, you can stuff small stacks away at a time, avoiding the "what do you possibly need all those swatches for" looks from workers and your fellow customers while holding upwards of 150 swatches in your hand. I mean, speaking form personal experience... ;) 

Other considerations when selecting swatches: Think about whether or not you would like to stick with a specific color family (all blues, red + orange, etc.), or if you'd like a full on assortment of colors (which is what I did). Also keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much color. I actually went back to the store in search of neutral swatches to break up all the color. Adding some grays, whites, and blacks really made a noticeable difference! Lastly, consider the style of the swatches you're selecting. At first, I chose swatches from a few different companies, but I found that the different types cut up differently and the tones were just varied. I decided to stick with all swatches from the same company (Glidden); their colors were brightest and the swatches weren't too thick to cut through cleanly. 

  1. Cut swatches into 2" x 2" squares, being sure to cut off the text on the swatches. I was able to get two squares out of each Glidden swatch.
  2. The paper insert is the paper that comes IN the frame when you buy it form the store. Luckily for us, the paper insert fits perfectly inside the frame! Remove the paper and flip it over; this will serve as the backing for your collage.
  3. Start attaching swatch squares with your glue dots so that the squares line up to one another. You may have to overlap a row or two so that they all fit within the frame. I used a roll of glue dots {here} which made it ridiculously easy to attach them one by one -- love it!
  4. Once all your squares are attached, get out your white cardstock! I used one of my favorite sans-serif fonts {Steelfish}, and typed out two words, LiFE and LOVE. I printed outlines of the letters large enough so that they would fit proportionally in the frame (I had to print out the letters individually, two per page).
  5. Cut out the letters, arrange them to your liking, and attach with glue dots.
  6. Put your paper inserts back into the frames, and if you're like me, let your new art sit on the back of your couch for weeks while you decide where to hang it up!

Mine ended up in the bathroom, filling the awkward wall space above the toilet, between the shower and the bathroom mirror. Plus, they add much needed color to my very white bathroom! 

If you give this project a try, I'd love to see your results! I also thought it would be fun to cut graphic shapes out of the cardstock rather than letters or words. A simple heart perhaps? Or a cute owl? Oh, the possibilities...
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