If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’re already familiar with our resident DIY expert, Marilyn Osborne. In addition to being one of the busiest agents in our company, she’s also always working on one project or another at home. She’s done over an entire kitchen for less than $1,000, refreshed a fireplace for $75 and countless other projects. Today, she’s sharing her secret for decorating your home with framed art work for less than $100.
Great art or photography helps to make any house feel like a home. It’s a simple and unobtrusive way to customize a living area without adversely affecting sale price by making a modification that works only for you, or a major piece of furniture that makes it difficult to stage and show a home. The problem is that art usually falls into one of two categories:
Really expensive or totally cliche.
Both of these are bad – one puts a hole in your wallet, and one makes you look unoriginal. As Marilyn’s son was readying to move into a new home, she took it upon herself to give him a housewarming gift of some original art. A few months ago, Marilyn and her husband took a trip to Alaska. While there, they purchased 5 x 7 postcard prints of works from a local artist that they met while on vacation. The prints are a mix of naturalist paintings and indigenous motifs, such as totem poles and other items, not artwork traditionally found in the housewares section of a TJ Maxx or Marshalls! For a couple of months, the cards sat unwrapped and unmailed in a kitchen drawer. When her son purchased a new home, Marilyn knew she had found a home for her artwork.Here’s how Marilyn transformed postcards into wall-worthy art!
How to Make A $5 Postcard Look Like Expensive Art
1.) Cut off the flap. Many art post cards come with these, which is great for when they’re getting mailed, but a liability when they’re destined to go up on the wall. Marilyn recommends using an X-acto knife or razor blade to ensure a smooth and straight cut since the cards are printed on heavy stock, but scissors can do just fine if needed.
2.) Buy matte frames at your local craft supply stores. These are very easy to find and easy to fit to your art, as they come in standardized sizes. For this example, we bought frames that fit a 5 x 7 picture and mounted the cards to the frames. Marilyn suggests using a thin layer of glue around the edge or double sided tape. You can get away without mounting the card, but you don’t want it sliding around in the frame.
3.) Select a matching frame for the postcard and mount. Simple frames can be found at any arts and crafts store – Michaels has a large selection – and are inexpensive, though they’re the priciest part of the project! For a 5 x 7 card mounted, an 11 x 14 is the size you need to purchase. Marilyn chose a black frame for the entire set so that it will match the widest range of furniture and other interior decorations.
4.) Frame the cards in themed sets by what’s in the pictures. This way, you can put together a cohesive theme for the room they’re destined for (and actually look like you know what you’re doing with interior design).
And that’s it! You’re done! Check out the gallery below to see the results:
TOTAL COST: $66 to frame five cards.
Art cards from Alaska: $5 each
Black frames: $8.50 each
Matte backing: $3.00 each.
Total cost for 5 framed art cards: $66!!
Where Can I Find Affordable Art that Actually Looks Good?
Well, we’re glad you asked! Here on Cape Cod, options abound. Woods Hole has some great independent galleries – we’re big fans of the Local Colors Gallery operated by Sandra Faxon. The Black Crow Gallery, with locations in Sandwich and Mashpee Commons, has artwork from local artists representing towns from all over Cape Cod. Downtown Falmouth has a few shops where small size art is available, as does Bourne. The Rebecca O’Donnell Art Gallery in Popponessett Marketplace is a tiny hidden gem – no bigger than a walk-in closet, it contains a treasure trove of hand-painted artwork from around Mashpee and Falmouth.
In addition to being experts on real estate, our agents know where all the good stuff is on the Upper Cape. Even if you just want to find a great cup of coffee and buy some postcards, they’re more than happy to help! Drop us a line on our website or get in touch on Facebook.