Wednesday, March 19, 2014

diy vintage botanical print gallery wall

I'd like to start this blog off first by saying how truly appreciative I am that anyone bothers to read! I have been posting my ramblings about food, crafts, home improvement, vacationing, and hiking for a couple of years now and am astonished at the rise in readership in the past year. I have slowly and ashamedly been starting to tell others... 'I have a blog'....followed by copious quantities of blushing, like I am admitting that I am into something weird or embarrassing. Why is that?!?! I truly love sharing all of my silly projects in a written form. It is cathartic and forces me to appreciate the hard work and effort that I have put into things of importance to me; rather than perpetually focusing on my to do list. So thank you whomever you are for stopping by, it is so encouraging! Ok now on to the project at hand.  

I fell in love with vintage botanical prints while visiting the British Library a couple of years ago. It was sincerely one of my favorites stops. To see originals of so many profound works, including the Magna Carta, Shakespeare, Leonardo Divinci, the list goes on and on, it was breathtaking! 

I also really like how many people have used them in their homes, such as this one from Domino Mag as seen on Epheriell Designs. There are so many great examples out there that you could write an entire blog just about inspirational spaces using vintage florals... and I am pretty sure Apartment Therapy and others have.

I am positively giddy about this project! I got the images for free from Missouri's Botanical Garden Library. I actually have had the PDFs saved on my flash drive for over a year now! I decided to go with 12 and tried to choose ones only in greens, whites, blues, purples, with a couple of pinks differentiating in floral shape, stem, and size as well. Then I had them printed through UPS on nice-ish white linen paper for about $10 for the lot. Not to mention they turned out better than anticipated - I love them age spots and all. 

While we were still finishing up some details in the front room. I temporarily taped them up sort of how I envisioned them. My trial run was on the long wall where the couch had been living. One of my closest friends looked at them and totally called me out on my OCD patterning and layout haha. Anyone else getting insight into how my brain works and organized them lol. 

Then the icing on the cake was finding these frames at Michael's for 3.99 a piece on clearance! They had 11 but were able to call another location to put the 12th on hold for me. I figured at that price, if the color didn't work out I could always paint them. Especially when other frames of this size were averaging $25/per frame.

The very day that I got the frames, of course, I eagerly started framing them. Just eyeballing how centered they were based on some tiny script at the bottom of each that labeled the type of flower. Then using a couple of pieces of tape to secure it to the mat. How awesome is that crocus on the right? Completely obsessed!

 I am on a vintage floral high. The hardest thing about this project was trying to decide which wall without the office furniture in the mix to help me decide placement.

But I just couldn't wait and I think that I have decided that the bookshelves will be narrower than the couch therefore the room will feel more open and airy with the couch on the short wall. I started by using the paper inserts inside the frame. I had to do a little sketching and measuring to get them even. 

I decided based on the width of the wall and sofa and height remaining to make them 2 inches apart. Then I left 5 inches at the top so that eventually I can add crown molding without having to redo everything. This is of course assuming that I will be too cheap to get molding much wider that 3 inches.

I measured and leveled and measured and leveled in every which direction, then started hammering in some long nails slightly angled up to accommodate for the type of triangular hanging mechanism in the back (not my favorite). You can kind of see them to the left of the pictures on the right above. 

Hung up!

I went back and leveled again, using this double sided picture tape to secure them in addition to the nail.

So exciting to get things done! Now.... onto this blank wall destined for bookshelves and desk. Though I should note, not all the furniture currently in this room is destined to stay. I have grand intentions of re-purposing some of them eventually to make space for the office stuff. 

ps so embarrassing I just realized you can see my ugly vacuum cleaner in the background... oh well I guess we are all human. My photography skills are certainly limited.