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What's Old Can Be New Again!
There are hundreds of ways to fill your walls. Almost anything can be art, from plates to hats to musical instruments, to well... actual art. You can also make your own art with a little artistic ability—or none at all thanks to widely-available printables or apps such as Waterlogue.
But what do you do if you have a piece of art you love, but it doesn't quite fit your space? Or maybe you have one that's the right size, but the wrong style? Here are 14 art hacks that will help you turn art that's not-quite-right into the perfect piece for your home.Continue to 2 of 15 below.
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Faux Floating Frame
Sometimes even substantially-sized art still needs a boost. Avoid the investment of custom-framing--which can be very expensive--and try this idea instead. "Float" a large empty frame around a piece of framed art to enlarge its footprint on the wall. Choose the same finish for both frames for a more cohesive look, or mismatch gold and lacquer finishes for an eclectic, modern feel.
Project Source for Faux Floating Frame: AKA DesignContinue to 3 of 15 below.
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Enlarge the Frame
Gluing two frames together is a clever solution to the common problem of too-small art. Nesting one frame inside another results in a chunkier, more expensive-looking piece that gives more presence to a favorite photograph or small painting. We recommend sticking to the same finish for a sophisticated, dramatic finish.
Project Source for Gluing Two Frames Together: Lovely Little SnippetsContinue to 4 of 15 below.
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Enlarge the Photo Mat
Sometimes it's not the frame that's the wrong size, it's the picture mat. Adding decorative paper or fabric--such as burlap--behind a photo mat then centering your art or photograph on top allows you to frame items or objects that don't quite fit to the edges of the mat. This is a common problem with European frames (i.e. Ikea) that come in non-standard sizes. Another solution is to edge the photo mat with coordinating washi tape to extend the size of it a smidge.
This is also a great way to switch up the art or photos in any given frame without having to replace the frame—and works especially well with vintage photos that are in more unique sizes, like small squares.
Project Source for How to Enlarge a Photo Mat: Maggie May'sContinue to 5 of 15 below.
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Paint by Number Art Hack
These next several ideas demonstrate how easy it is to update or personalize thrift store art. You may be inclined to pass over framed art at thrift stores, yard sales, or even your own basement because it lacks style, isn't your taste, or is super-outdated. These ideas, however, may help you see the possibilities in cast-off canvases!
For example, by painting over an old-fashioned still-life, a trendy paint-by-number effect takes shape. This technique allows you to customize the colors in a piece of art to suit your tastes, and it gives a more modern look to the painting overall. Best of all, you don't need any artistic ability to pull this off.
Project Source for DIY Paint by Number: Under the SycamoreContinue to 6 of 15 below.
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Add Some Sparkle to Boring Art
This project is similar to the paint-by-number art hack in the previous slide, but it gets a little more bling thanks to metallic gold paint. You could also add gold leaf to give a glamorous touch to an old landscape or even a black and white photograph.
And remember it doesn't have to be gold paint—look at the tones in the art you're working with and consider silver, bronze or even a metallic-infused shade of blue or pink, which will be even more unexpected in it's appeal.
Project Source for Adding Metallic Paint to Outdated Art: LiveLoveDIYContinue to 7 of 15 below.
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Thrift Store Silhouette Hack
This vintage painting becomes a personalized conversation piece when the moody florals peek through a silhouette frame that is painted right on top. This simple facelift turns outdated, ultra-traditional art into an accent with boho-chic style. We love how especially unique and fun this hack is—talk about a conversation starter!
Project Source for Thrift Store Silhouette: Apartment TherapyContinue to 8 of 15 below.
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Put a Pattern On It
To modernize a dated painting, try taping off and painting a geometric pattern right on top of it. (Anyone can do this, we swear!) Crisp white lines like this, for instance, give new life to old-fashioned framed art but still leverages the colors of the original piece. Modern meets retro in the best way, right?
Project Source for Painted Pattern on Thrift Store Painting: Middle Class White GirlContinue to 9 of 15 below.
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Add Words to the Canvas
Another way to put a personal stamp on a lackluster painting is to add a quotation or phrase to it. Stencil the words right on top of the painting using paint, as seen here, or use vinyl letters that you peel off after painting the entire canvas to reveal the original artwork underneath. So clever!
Project Source for Adding Words to Art: Young House LoveContinue to 10 of 15 below.
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Re-Imagine a Thrift Store Painting
Finally, completely re-imagine the Bob Ross-like scene of a thrift store or garage sale painting by adding in whimsical elements of your own. This old-school landscape gets a little more interesting with the addition of a tree house, a canoe, and strands of bunting strung through the treetops. In this case, thinking "outside the frame" turns what might be considered a tacky painting into a one-of-a-kind, playful piece for your home.
Project Source for Re-Imagined Thrift Store Painting: Country LivingContinue to 11 of 15 below.
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Paint the Frame
The next few ideas demonstrate how changing the elements surrounding a painting can give it an entirely new look.
The power of paint never fails to transform even the most mundane of objects. This outdated frame, for instance, looks completely different after it receives a coat of glossy white paint. This newly-painted frame does a much better job of elevating the seascape it surrounds. The next time you come across artwork that looks outdated, imagine it with a different frame. That may be all the art needs to bring it back to life.
Project Source for Painted Picture Frame: Dans Le LakehouseContinue to 12 of 15 below.
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Add Hardware to the FrameContinue to 13 of 15 below.
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Add 60s Style to a Frame
Sometimes the style of a frame can cheapen or conflict with the art or photograph it surrounds. Elevating basic frames to match the taste-level of what's in them helps give a gallery wall or collection of art a more cohesive look. These fashion photographs from the '60s now have mod frames that complement them thanks to the addition of paint in the classic colors of the decade.
Project Source for Adding 60s Style to Picture Frames: PoppytalkContinue to 14 of 15 below.
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Add Texture to the Frame
Similarly, these dollar store frames complement a collection of vacation photographs so much better thanks to a coat of paint and the addition of rope to give it coastal texture. You can try this trick on any easily purchased pack of frames from affordable retailers like Amazon and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Project Source for Rope Picture Frames: Hymns and VersesContinue to 15 of 15 below.
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Paint the Mat
Finally, just as paint can update a frame to complement the art, it also works on picture mats. Painting basic white mats a fun, fresh color really makes art prints pop, especially prints that incorporate text.
Project Source for Painted Picture Mats: The Sweetest Digs