Monday, January 9, 2017

Changing up our gallery wall art (for free!)

Well hello and welcome back to our regularly scheduled programming! Time to get into the swing of things again! 

I LOVE our house after all the Christmas decor is taken down -- I'm always sad to see it go but I'm obsessed with how bright and big the house feels. It's just right for this time of year!

I always have this itch to move furniture around in the new year too, but our house is set up in such a way that it's really not possible in most rooms. It's a very open floor plan so most of our furniture only works in certain configurations. 

So instead, I usually look into smaller changes -- and those can make a big impact too! I've had these frames in our living room for years:
scrapbook paper as art

And since I hung them I've wanted to fill them with some kind of botanical print. I let them sit empty for a long time and finally just ended up sticking some scrapbook paper inside. It was a good (and cheap!) placeholder but not what I wanted. 

This ended up being a quick project, but it took me a long time (obviously) to find the prints I wanted. It was hard to find enough -- I wanted either at least five (that I could use twice) or ten. And they all had to have a similar feel. I wanted a little bit of color but not a ton. I found some fern printables that I plan to use elsewhere but they were a little too plain for this spot. 

After looking for some time I found these Audubon scans over at Bless'er House
Free Audubon art printables

And they were perfect! (You'll have to enter an email to download these.)

I talk about free printables a lot during the holidays but they area also such a great, cheap way to add some art around the house. I shared how to use one of the greatest databases for free art here. (I used some for art in our family room.) AND I gathered a list of (pretty much) free art sources and ideas too. 

Saving them to your computer is different for each site, but once you get them downloaded they are easy to print out. I took some screen shots of my computer to show you how I do this. I use Word and open a new file: 
How to print printables at home

Then go to the upper right (see above) and click "picture from file" -- grab your image: 

How to download and print free art

Then it will appear in your document:
How to download free art

Make sure to center it using the position option:
How to print free printables

And then you can make it as big as you'd like. You need to keep in mind the file size of your art -- if you make it too big it will get blurry. But most are fine for an 8x10 size: 
How to print free printables at home

I use our home printer (I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this HP printer I shared in November -- it is a tiny little printer but prints better than any of the bigger ones we've had!). I print them off on white linen-look card stock from the craft store. You can get the paper at Hobby Lobby for half off so even for ten I think I paid less than $3. 

You can also just use regular printer paper -- I've definitely done that. The paper I like to use is just a slightly nicer look when you get close. I'm sure there's an easier way to print these out but this is how I do it. I have simple printer downloads that I use for photos, but I like that this gives me more control over the size of the image. 

As soon as I finished them up I was thrilled: 
Symmetrical gallery wall with free prints


They are so much brighter and prettier in these frames! It was such a little thing but it felt like a big change in here: 
Large symmetrical gallery wall

I'm all about making rooms feel more open and lighter this time of year and these do just that. The scrapbook paper worked fine too -- these are just the look I've always wanted in here. 

There were six available so I used five and printed out two of each. These combine the botanical look with the birds...I'm really happy with them:
Free Audubon art prints

If you have a large space to fill with a lot of prints you can find Audubon and botanical books online for just this purpose. This one looks like a great option for botanical prints and has great reviews (look in the comments for photos).  And this one has more of the look I have with birds and branches. But if you have a smaller grouping like me you can just do a Google search or look on Pinterest like I did. You'll have access to a TON of free options!

While I was making that small change I went ahead with another one I'd been considering. We've had this rectangle frame in the foyer for a long time: 
Foyer decor ideas

I've wanted to change it out to a round mirror to soften up this space. There are a lot of hard angles between this, the console and the large art I have near the stairs next to it. It's always felt to clunky but I've been waiting to find the right piece. 

So I was thinking...I've had two of these large IKEA mirrors for a bathroom redo I'd like to start this year (although I doubt it will happen) but wanted to see how one would look here -- and I loved it: 
Round mirror over console table

I LOVE the wood tone with the color of the console table! And the simple design works beautifully with the busier design on the table too. 

SO. much. better: 
Round mirror in foyer

Only thing is, when we tackle the bathroom reno I may have to go get another mirror. ;) Oh well. For now it felt like a free upgrade! It definitely satisfied my urge to change things up and I love how it looks. 

I mentioned in my last post that I'm going through some ideas in my head to address the walls in this room because they go up so high. It's something I hope to get to this year but I have to get my final vision settled first. :) AND that tile is the one I mentioned in that post as well...it's going this year if it's the only thing I do! Ha!

Have you used these free options for art in your home? It takes a few minutes and a decent printer (or you can send them out) and it's so worth it! 

Affiliate links included for your convenience! 


12 comments:

  1. Love the changes!! The new prints make the room so much lighter and brighter! What a fresh feeling for the new year!

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  2. I really like your hooks on wood behind the front door Have you ever posted about those? The new art is awesome, I always love your ideas!

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  3. They make such an impressive difference! It definitely feels lighter and brighter now :)

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  4. I love those prints! Just wondering since your walls in the living room are so high, did you ever try hanging the frames in 3 rows of 3 frames, instead of the 2 rows of 5?

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  5. I can't wait to see what you do with your tall walls as I have the same issue with my house. I want to do some more molding but not sure what else.

    I went to Ikea yesterday just to buy that mirror and it was sold out! They said it would be back in stock Wednesday so I'm going back then I guess. Love the update on your living room!

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  6. I love those prints and have used a couple of Lauren (Bless'er House) free printables. She is so fun. I think they are just the right touch for your wall. I actually have several smaller frames that I use free printables in throughout the year changing them with the seasons. Can't beat the cost :-) and it let's me feel like I have a little something new.

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  7. Lovely! Do you still have the source for your frames and matting? They are really simple and pretty.
    Thanks!

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  8. Sarah! I am so THRILLED that these ended up working so well for you. They look beautiful! Thanks for the shout out. Hope you had a fun and relaxing Christmas and New Year's! :)

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  9. Well, I am not very computer literate but even with my husband's help, we have not been able to access those free audubon downloads you referenced at the blesser house site. I've signed up several times but there is not response. HELP!

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  10. Thank you for sharing. I have wanted to do a wall of botanicals for a while now. Would you mind sharing where you found your frames and mats?

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