little paths so startled

living, decorating, and eating in hattiesburg, mississippi

DIY art

with 2 comments

As much as I would love our condo to double as a well-curated art museum, I know that collecting quality art on our budget will take years and will be well worth the wait.  In the meantime, we had to put something on these 14-foot walls to make the space feel less stark.  But on this scale, it’s go big or go home.  Enter our photo library and a frames sale at Hobby Lobby.  For the living room wall, we decided to go for a mish-mash of colors, textures, shapes and sizes for an eclectic, homey feel.  Daniel created the final arrangement and was the mastermind of (painstakingly) hanging each frame.  (We decided not to attach the frames permanently in that configuration to allow for flexibility in the future.)  All the photos are of places we’ve traveled – from California to Istanbul – and they function as great conversation pieces.

We stair-stepped the right side of the arrangement to follow the lines of the stairs and bridge the spaces.

When we travel, Daniel likes to take panoramic shots sans panoramic/wide-angle lens.  He carefully positions the camera and takes a succession of photos until the scene is covered.  Our favorite panoramic is the one he made of the Golden Horn in Istanbul (from the Galata Tower).  He printed all the images and taped them together, then mounted them in another frame we got from Hobby Lobby.  It wasn’t originally a double-glass frame; we had to get another piece of glass cut and remove the original backing/matting.  (By the way, we got the idea for this from some friends of ours who did the same thing with a panoramic of the rooftops in Florence, Italy, and in a way-cooler frame.)  The Istanbul vista now graces the dining room wall.

We LOVE Istanbul.

Our upside-down bottle tree was inspired by a similar (but much larger and more complicated) art installment at the Jackson Anthropologie about a year ago.  Since the bottle tree was our first project here (even before the furniture got moved in), I don’t have images documenting the how-to, so I’ll do my best to explain.

Materials used: empty bottles and rope. That's it.

That large beam has holes spaced across the lip on one side, so we doubled some rope through that hole and created a large loop for hanging.  Then we cut various lengths of rope and paired the bottles by equivalent size/weight.  Each length of rope has a pair of bottles, one on each end of the rope; we loosely formed square knots on each end, stuffed them through the necks of the bottles (a tedious, frustrating process) and pulled the knots tight.  We draped each bottle pair through the main hanging loop, staggering the bottles to create the clustered look.  I’d love for it to be even bigger, but we can’t fit any more bottles through the hanging loop and are afraid to add more weight to an already-heavy structure.  In short, it was a painstaking process, but well worth it.

The installment at Anthropologie had lights hanging among the bottles, and while I would have loved to do that with ours, it wasn't logistically possible. I do love, though, that the light from the windows and overhead lights catches the bottles and makes them shimmer.

Finally, I wanted something on the wall over our headboard in the bedroom/study.  Once again, cheap frames to the rescue.  Instead of having a large wedding portrait framed (as is customary in these parts, it seems), we opted for a more economical option.  We simply selected our favorite images from the CD we got from our wedding photographer, printed them in black and white 5×7’s, and put them in these matching frames from Target.  I wanted to contrast the living room photo collage by having uniformity in the bedroom/study collage.  Once again, Daniel patiently measured, spaced, and hung each frame.  Et voilà.

Since the collage is also visible from the living room, I like that the wedding-ness of the photos is muted by the uniformity of shapes and colors.

But I do love a good wedding shrine.


Written by Ann

May 26, 2011 at 4:27 am

2 Responses

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  1. I love all of it–especially the bottle tree! One thing we did was bought some Marimekko fabric. Then Bech built a frame and stretched it like canvas. It’s huge (probably 3 by 4 feet or so), and only cost about $65 total. Plus, people always ask us who painted it!

    p.s. I am completely in love with y’alls apartment!


    May 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm

  2. Thanks, Marley! That is a fabulous idea. I was just thinking I’d like to add some color to the exposed brick wall in the living/dining room, and a fabric stretched like canvas would be perfect. And economical.


    May 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm

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