Wednesday, October 21, 2009

DIY: Cheap & Chic Artwork

Ok I swear this is the last time I will write about the Chelsea apartment project. Unless you all twist my arm and want me to answer more questions! :)


In addition to yesterday’s DIY project I also received a lot of emails asking me where I purchased the large vintage subway artwork that was hung up in the living room.


 RubieGreenChelseaApt 137

Now to answer the question of where I purchased them leads to a DIY project, because I made them using a handful of things


I loved the idea of using vintage maps or postcards for part of the artwork in the room. Only problem was that I had seen them at Brooklyn Flea, which is only on the weekends and due to my time crunch not an option.


So I had to come up a back up plan!


One of my favorite shops in Manhattan that can lead to many hours of ohhing and ahhing is Kate Paperie. With a quick couple of links I was on their site searching their gift wrapping paper and found my solution.


Not only does Cavallini come out with beautiful calendars, but they also have gift wrapping paper, which is what I used. They were only $4.50 and if you join their mailing list you get 20% off your 1st purchase!


RubieGreenChelseaApt 047

First thoughts were to then use mod podge and wrap them around canvas, but the canvas at my local craft store were a bit too pricey so I went with foam board instead! The week I went those two boards were onsale for $3!


Since my wrapping paper come looking brand new it didn’t give me that desired vintage effect. Heading down into our shop I found some left over wood stain and got to work.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 048

The wood stain I had laying around was a dark walnut shade. Since it looked a little too dark I simply dipped my paper towel in a little water first and then dipped it in stain. Then it’s up to decide how much or little antiquing you want to do with them.

I wanted them to look like they had been dragged through the NYC subway lines so I went to town with the stain!


I then let it dry. Next step was applying it to the foam board. If you have spray adhesive you can use that. I had wallpaper paste laying around so I used that instead.


RubieGreenChelseaApt 053


p>I then brushed glue all over the backside of the paper and simply applied it to the foam board. The plus of using wallpaper paste is that you are easily able to left it right off the paper and adjust it as many times as you like.


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I then smoothed out all the bubbles and let it set!


My foam board was a bit larger than the paper so once it was dry I needed to trim the excess off with an exacto knife.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 132 

Because you are using foam board and not canvas you may find that your board will curve a bit and not lay flat after having the paper applied to it. To fix that problem we simply tacked nails into all 4 corners. Not only did the nails help in attaching it to the wall, but it made the board nice and flat!


You are then finished!  Here is a reminder of the finished product and a full view of the living room area!


RubieGreenChelseaApt 137 RubieGreenChelseaApt 150


The project was super easy and came in at around $10 !


Author’s note: I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m still having computer issues! My laptop died last week and still hasn’t decided if it wants to wake up again. In the meantime I’ve been using my Mom’s laptop, but there seems to be something wrong with it, because it keeps freezing. Hmm maybe technology is mad at me or something?


This has made working, blogging, commenting, responding to emails super difficult these last two weeks. So sorry if I’m behind on responding to you or if you haven’t received any blog comments from me! Commenting on blogs is one of my favorite things to do! I’m so sad that all my computer issues have made that a rare occasion these last couple of days. I hope to be back in action super soon!


Hope you all understand!




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Blogger LindsB said...

Such a great project for next to nothing- I love it!!

October 21, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Ms. Bright said...

Definitely love the vintage map look. I'm saving this one in my files!! And COME BACK SOON!

October 21, 2009 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Clever, you! Take Care!!

October 21, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Averill said...

Great idea! There are so many gorgeous gift wrap options available now that would work beautifully as art.

October 21, 2009 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Glad you all like them! Don't worry I'm not going anywhere! My computer issues are just making things over here run at a snails pace and I feel horrible about it!

October 21, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Alicia B. Designs said...

you blow me away!! I've seen that paper at Kate's Paperie and ALMOST bought it so many times. awesome project!

October 21, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

That is such a great idea! They look so much more expensive than $10! That would be a great addition my house!

October 21, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a totally awesome project. Love your DIYs!

October 21, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Michelle (Three Men and a Lady) said...

So cool!

October 21, 2009 at 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice! I really love the color green on the walls in these pictures. I just found your blog and it's great!

October 21, 2009 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

what a great idea!!!

i have to say that it cracked me up that all the pics were of you and your pretty little hands and then suddenly jon's hairy arm pops in there and i was like "camila?!!" you need to shave!! ;) ;) hahah j/k

too funny.. but sich a great idea on the maps... i have some wallpaper maps lying around and might have to try this!!!! thank you!!!

October 21, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Ha ha Lauren. You have me dying over here. My mom and Jon were my models for this project so that I could take the pictures!

October 21, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger A Pretty Trip said...

Awesome project! Paper is such a great medium - and so cheap.

October 22, 2009 at 5:12 AM  
Blogger Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

Great way to have art work. Thanks for sharing.It is so helpful that you showed the project step by step.

October 22, 2009 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger shi(f)t said...

love the idea of maps as art. colorful and educational:)

October 22, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Such a great idea, Camila!!! Love the outside-the-box thinking!! Cheap but chic!

I think I just said 'chic' bc I just saw your tweet about the Jonathan Adler Warehouse sale. :)

I'm SOOOO jealous! Next year we'll go together. As long as you don't mind me dragging along a few kids...


October 22, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger The DIY Show Off said...

Great tutorial!

Enjoy! I can't wait to hear all of the details! :)


October 22, 2009 at 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry you're having tech problems. I hope it gets sorted out soon.

I have that New York map hanging in my studio. :)

October 23, 2009 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What an amazing idea. Those would be so fabulous in a study!

October 23, 2009 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Perfect!! I framed Cavalinni calendar "prints" and everyone thinks they're vintage lithos. :-) Love the map wrap...and it's so great that you went the extra step by "aging" it! Great, great idea.

October 24, 2009 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

great room! i hope that i'm not annoying in asking this, because you probably already posted it, but where did you get the brown/white pillows? they are so cute!!!

October 26, 2009 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...


October 27, 2009 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger said...

I love this! The foam board is such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking.

November 2, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

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