Making Art for the Dining Room Wall

The dining room is a popular room in our house.  Since we do not have an eat in kitchen, we eat all of  our meals in our dining room.  I didn’t want a formal dining room because it is just not our style. We prefer something light and fun.  The room had a big blank wall that needed some color.


Jordan's chair rail

So, I made it go from this……..


Pictures finished

To this for less than $30.00.


DINE sign

The only art we had in the room was this cool DIY Dine sign that Mom and I made here.  However, we still had one big blank wall to deal with.  The only thing on it was our thermostat that we framed here. 


Blank wall

Here is a picture of the blank wall.  It’s not very interesting, is it?  I loved the wall that Emily over at Emily A Clark did in her dining room.  I wanted to frame some pictures of flowers and get the same look she accomplished.   I was going to buy a book full of old flower prints that my friend Amanda bought.  We both had the same plan.   I was telling my mom about my idea, and she suggested going to the New York Public Library Digital Gallery.  The digital gallery has thousands of images from expired copyrights, so anyone can print them for free.  I was able to find images that I liked and print them with our color printer at home.


Screen shot

Here is a screen shot of the home page of the NYPL digital gallery.  I decided I wanted to do flowers so I clicked on Nature & Science.  Once I was in that section I typed in flowers in the search column and 195 pages of flowers immediately became available.



Screen shot

After being so excited with all the options, I started looking through the pages of flowers.  I didn’t have to search far.  I fell in love with bright colorful flowers on pages 3 and 4 that would be great for my blank wall.

I thought finding the flowers would be the hard part, but it was super easy.  Next up was to print the images.  I resized them and started to print.  I bought eight sheets of 8×10 photo paper at the Dollar Store, and it worked great for just three copies.  Then I started to have issues with my printer.  I did some on-line research and discovered I needed to buy photo paper by the company that made our printer.  I have an HP printer, so I bought their paper, and it was a huge difference.  I guess the printer is able to grab it easier.   That was a little tip I was thrilled to learn.


wall frames

When I was at the Dollar Store, I also found nine  11×14 inch frames.  I have never seen that size before so I almost bought all that were in stock.  They are black wooden frames, but I decided to make the black a little bolder.  I spray painted the frames black with some leftover paint I had on hand.


Measuring mats to cut

I was going to buy mats to fit into my frames, but with the resizing of the photos, they were not the exact size.  I didn’t want to have the flowers look too grainy so I printed them in a size just shy of an 8×10 photo.  No worries though. I decided just to measure and cut my own mats.


Cutting mats

I bought a two large mat boards at Hobby Lobby for $7.99 each, and they were on sale 30% off.  Plus, now I still have the leftovers.  I measured and cut out the mats.  This worked out great, and it was much cheaper than the $2.99 each for the pre-cut 8x 10 mat board.


Testing out positions

Once the mat boards were all cut, it was time to play around with the photos I printed to see which ones I liked beside each other.  I used the dining table to arrange and rearrange them.  I planned to hang them very close to each other so they would look almost like one big piece of art.



Pictures finished

 Here is the finished wall.  I am so thrilled with the fun colorful photos. They add so much to our dining room.  This whole project was under $30.   If I eventually get tired of the look and decide I want different flowers or birds or anything else on the digital library, all I will have to do is print and replace.



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  1. says

    These are great images that you found. Your wall looks great! Sure do wish I knew about these when I was looking for art for my dining room. Sigh… Anyway, you did a really great job and I love the bright color on your wall!

  2. says

    This was a great idea to add some color to your blank wall – and you certainly were able to create it on a low budget – good for you, it looks lovely!

  3. says

    That display is absolutely wonderful! I just adore all the wonderful colors & how you displayed the pics to fill that empty space. Great job, Jordan!

  4. erin says

    So I totally noticed this on Saturday and never got a chance to tell you how much I liked it! maybe when my walls are back, I can do something similar.