Thursday, January 17, 2013

How To Make Something Cheap Look Expensive!

Last winter I showed you guys my Flerida guest bath room redo.
It ended up looking like this.....
I didn't show the rest of the room, 'cuz I hadn't figured out what I wanted to hang over the tub.
Now I have, and did!
So this is my story.....
I was tooling around blogland, and came across this post by
The Painted Hive.
She showed how she had done a wall of prints for cheap by using a free source for copying art.
The New York Public Library!!!!!
Click here, for the link.
They have a ton of free printable images.
Did I mention that they were freeeeeeee!!!!!!!
So, I bopped on over and copied a whole bunch of fern prints,
 because I had decided that was what I wanted,
 and had done a web search, which was how I found her blog....
(blah, blah, blah).
So, I copied a gagillion fern print images, 
and saved them on my computer.
Then I did nothing,
 because I became an inert mass of Betsy.
So this year!!!!!
When I came back down south!!!!
I tackled this project first thing.
Ideas about it had been rattling around my head box for the summer.
I figured out how many prints I wanted, and what size they should be.
Then I headed on over to Michael's to find some cheapo frames.
They had just the size I wanted, 
and I had my coupons!!!!!
But my coupons were no good!!!???
When I asked the check out lady, why she didn't apply the discount to the frames, 
she answered.....
"Because they are already 50% off!!!"
Can you say yippee doodle day?????
yippee doodle day!!!!!
So they ended up costing just $12.50 each.
So then I got busy printing out the three fern prints I chose.
I adjusted the colors on PicMonkey, to make them look older.....
I took them from this....
(Which actually printed out much brighter and yellower.....)
to this.....
When you use PicMonkey, go to the edit pictures.
Choose a fern print that you've saved to your computer, 
open that file in PicMonkey,
click on colors on the left side,
Move the saturation gauge to -51.
and the temperature gauge to +55.
That's what I did to get the ferns to look old when they printed out.

Then, I attacked the frames!!!
They were white and shiny with white shiny mats.
I slipped one of my "expensive" prints behind it to see what I wanted to do.
I decided to.......
paint anything that moved!!!!!
So, I painted the frame, and the mat.

I first dry brushed French Linen chalk paint on the frames.
Making a point of painting vertically on the vertical part,
and horizontally on the horizontal part, 
as I wanted to create the feeling of wood.
(sort of)
Then I dry brushed Pure White chalk paint the same way.
It sorta looks like an old white wood frame.......
don't you think?????

Then I attacked the mats!!!
They have a two layered look, that was sorta cool, not my first choice,
 but I play the hand I'm dealt.
I dry brushed them with Old White chalk paint.
I was afraid to get the mats too wet, they might have disintegrated!!!!
They started developing a more hand made look, you can see a little texture.
Then I got fancy,
and added a green stripe to the folded edge.
I mixed two chalk paint colors to get this green.
Antibes Green, and Country Grey.

I put them together with my cheapo printed out fern prints.
I would just like to point out at this place,
I used the cheapest paper possible,
it was all I had,
I was too lazy to go get better paper.....
How cool is this for $12.50?????
Here they are in a row.....
(on my guest bed.....)

now I had to get them up on the wall.....
over the bath tub.....
and I didn't want to wait for any help.....
(I am very klutzy, I was taking my life in my hands....)
So I went and got my trusty little step ladder.
One up, two to go.....
and they had to be level.....
So I went and got my laser level, which is 
the best invention in the universe!!!
Then I hung the other two.....
and stood back and marveled at my wonderfulness!!!!!

I went from this to this.....
Here's a close up...
It was a fun afternoon.
I didn't need to go play in traffic, yet I stayed out of my friends' hair!!!!
Now this room is completed, on to the laundry room!!!!!
As soon as I can get someone to start.....
But first I have to make a phone call......
oy, oy, oy
Later, Gator



Jenna said...

Oh. My. Word. These are gorgeous! They turned out beautiful and at an awesome price! Great job! I am so pinning these!

Jenna @

Katie Mansfield said...

I am going to that website and I love the ferns!

Nutbird said...

You've Betsified them! Thanks for the tip! I wonder what else they have there at the Library. I'd love to find some Neuw Amsterdam prints. How long are you going to stay in Flerida? Are you near any of the big markets like Renninger's? Ann

Nutbird said...

You have probably just ruined my life. My husband's family were ship chandlers in New York City for over a hundred years, so I was looking at waterfront images. Then I went to Nieuw Amsterdam prints because one of his ancestors was one of the first Sheripins(like a sheriff or judge.) Then I clicked on flags and all sorts of antique American flags popped up in Full Color. I will probably run through cartridges and cartridges of ink in the printer. I haven't even got to the plants or the Audubon mammals. So thanks! Ann

Cindy said...

Awesome! They look amazing, and expensive! And, i'm glad you didn't fall down and kill yourself in the tub too!


Kelly Villanueva said...

Betsy you make everything look beautiful ! I do not even like ferns, but know, I want to jump up and start downloading pictures of ferns ! I believe that you could make dirt look good. Thank you for taking time out of your day to teach and share with us.

Maki said...

WOW, these prints look wonderful!!! Who else
could come up with this great display?....just
YOU, dear girl!!!
Thanks for all the free lessons. I love your style!
Now if I could just get moving maybe I could get something pretty done to my home. You have
provided a wealth of info.
Many thanks & hugs are winging your way!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Betsy, you are the cat's pajamas!

(Not to mention my daughter is a Betsy, too, and is also the cat's pajamas!)

Anonymous said...

Very nice website. I just finished mine and it was looking for some ideas and your website gave me some. hot deals online

Di said...

What a great look I'm going to pop over and check out these free prints, thanks!

Amy Chalmers said...

This is awesome! Another great how to by YOU! When and if I have time I want to go right over to your library link and check out some prints for myself...then go to Picmonkey and play around.

kathyr said...

I remembered some other prints that you used in a showhouse bathroom, framed with plexiglass and mirror rosettes on the 4 corners. I took the way back machine and found the post on Feb 2, 2012. The free prints are a bonus!

Anonymous said...

Great! I love botanicals too!

Pondside said...

Thanks for the tip about the library site - on my way over........

Janette - The2Seasons said...

My daughter who is also my blog partner used the New York Public Library's digital library to make floral prints that she matted and framed for her dining room. I think that source is a well-kept secret that more people need to know about. We blogged about her project, and you are writing about yours which is great. I didn't realize you can use picmonkey to "age" something. That's a good tip. Thanks!

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