Weekend DIY: Affordable Art

Ever have a wall to fill and not sure what to put on it?  Here's an easy DIY wall art project that you can do in just one afternoon. Wall Art, using colorful pins

I made these cute frames for my nephew and niece's bedroom at my parents' place - what do you think??

What you'll need:

  • Your collection of items to display
  • Shadow box picture frame(s)
  • Ruler
  • X-acto knife
  • Pencil
  • scissors or paper trimmer
  • thick cardstock for template
  • 1 white Bristol board
  • Silicone or any strong (clear) glue

Step 1:  Decide on what collection to display.

I used some adorable pins with owls and retro flowers that I found at the Buttons and Badges shop on Etsy, but you can use anything that can fit inside a shadow box frame, such as buttons, bottlecaps, seashells - whatever tickles your fancy, really.

Pins, by Buttons and Badges

Step 2: Pick a pattern.

If you're making more than 1 frame, decide on how to arrange your collection.  For my pins, I had a few options: by type (owls, flowers), by color scheme, or randomly mixed.  I went with color scheme: orange, blue, and green.

Green pins

Step 3: Prepare the frame.

I bought 3 white RIBBA shadow box frames from IKEA for $10 each.

IKEA RIBBA frameBecause the frames come with a pre-cut mat, I had to make my own backing without a hole.  Instead of paying a pretty penny for something custom-made, I bought a white bristol board and cut it to size, using the existing mat as a template.  I used a paper trimmer to get a clean cut, but scissors work just fine.

Backing for the Frame

Cutting the Mat for the Frame

Step 4: Make a template.

To avoid pencil scribblies all over your new mat and simplify the placement process for each frame, I strongly recommend that you make a template.  I took some thick cardstock and, with a rule and pencil, played around with the spacing and alignment until I was happy with the layout.  I opted for a simple and symmetrical layout: 4 pins X 4 pins.

Pin Placement Template

I then traced my pins and used an X-acto knife to cut out the circles.

Cutting Template

Step 5: Glue the pins to the mat.

With template superimposed on the matte side of the cut bristol board, I siliconed the back of a button and carefully placed it in the template hole,  holding the pin down for a few seconds so that it adheres to the mat.  Again, I used silicone because I had it handy at home, but any strong and clear glue should do the trick.

Glue the pins

Repeat for all pins, until the finished sheet looks like this:

Template On Completed Sheet

Step 6: Wait, then assemble.

You're almost done!  Lay the completed sheets flat and let them dry for a couple of hours.

Completed Sheet

Then place the sheets in the frames, and voila!  You now have custom wall art, ready to hang and and show off to your friends and family :)

Total Cost: approx. $63

I had a lot of the supplies handy, but this project basically cost me $30 for the frames, $30 for 75 pins (they came in packs of 25, though I only used 64 of them), and $3 for the Bristol board.