Big Art Love

A fellow Curbly poster recently raised a question concerning large, vacant walls void of not only art but color. This is such a common complaint, the query seemed to deserve a post all of its own.

Filling vast wall spaces with multiple framed pieces of art can be expensive, and the busy look might not be what you’re going for. So how about one big piece of art? Still too expensive you say? Read on you doubting Thomasinas....

It’s a Frame Up!

Big Art Love


For a relatively small investment, pick up some 2" x 2" pine at your local home improvement store. Menard's currently has 8 foot lengths available for $1.59 each. Then, using the wood strips, assemble a "frame" in the size of your choice as illustrated. Drill pilot holes where indicated by the arrows, and then screw or nail the frame together at the pilot holes. Note: if using wood screws, I’d suggest countersinking the holes to prevent the wood from splitting.


Fine Fabric

Next, visit your local fabric store for decorator fabrics that suit your design aesthetic. A geometric print for the modern perspective, or toile de Jouy for the more traditional set, perhaps? Using a staple gun, "upholster" the frame with the fabric of your choosing, stapling on the backside of your frame. Note: you’ll want to stretch the fabric over the frame snugly, but not TOO tightly or you may rack the frame.

Bonus hint: Every homeowner and DIY Maven wannabe needs a good staple gun. I suggest a forward action stapler such as one of Craftsman’s "Easyfire" guns.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Decorator fabrics usually measure 54" to 60" in width, so that is the limiting factor in size for this project, but remember, a really huge frame will probably need a stretcher–another piece of wood at the midpoint– to make it stable. To eliminate this worry, you could assemble three frames of equal size and make a triptych with coordinating or matching fabrics.

For those of you a bit more adventurous, tune in tomorrow for a wild ride on the Jackson Pollock side in "Big Art Love, Redux."

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lestye on Jul 24, 2011:

Also, check out Spoonflower.com to design your own fabric, if you want. Or purchase other amazing designs.

DIY Maven on Nov 15, 2006:

Here's some follow-up notes for those opting for the Shiny Robot, lauan, idea. Lauan will add significant weight to the project, so keep this in mind if you plan to hang your big art on the wall. Also, if you do use lauan and want to use paint as your medium, prime it well, as lauan soaks up paint like a sponge.

shiny robot on Nov 14, 2006:

There's lot of ways to hack the basic idea detailed above.  I've glued lauan (thin plywood) to the basic frame and then attached my color elements to that so your largest size could be 4 x 8 feet.  You could find almost anything in the 2-D realm and build a frame to size and mount it on that.  If you look at http://www.shinyrobot.com under john Alspach you can see loads of stuff assembled this way.

jfrascati on Nov 13, 2006:

You can also find nice posters at World Market for pretty nice prices.  Make your own frame and you've got affordable art!

wideopengate on Nov 13, 2006:


wideopengate on Nov 13, 2006:

I did this a few years ago with some home dec fabric I found while visiting my sister in Texas.  I really love it and I think it added a lot of flair to my little apartment!  I got a pre-stretched canvas at Michael's and then stapled over it with the fabric.  Fabric Wall ARt

creede on Nov 13, 2006:

Love love. Check out http://reprodepot.com/ for good fabrics.

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