April 3, 2013

DIY Large $7 Typographic Wall Art

UPDATE: We finally got some chairs and a rug for our loft! Click those links to see them :)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again – we need a lot of art for our house. Unfortunately, sometimes a lot of art can equal a lot of money and since I just became credit card debt free (finally!), I decided to make a few pieces over the weekend:

I chose a set of numbers that have meaning to me but you could always choose letters or symbols instead. Maybe your address, your child's birthday, or your anniversary? Or maybe the initials of family members? Pick whatever you'd like, there's no wrong answer!

You'll need the following supplies to make some art of your own:

• A cutting mat
• A ruler
• An X-acto knife (or something else to cut with)
• Your glue of choice (mine was rubber cement)
• Canvases (18" x 24") // Feel free to buy a smaller size :)
      - I got 2, 2-packs of canvases at Michael's. They were originally $14.99/pack
        but Michael's was having a buy one, get one 50% off sale so I paid $22.48 for both 2
• Black and white prints (18" x 24") // Adjust this size if you buy smaller canvases
      - $1.65 each at Office Max, 4 x $1.65 = $6.60

TOTAL: $29.08 or $7.27 per canvas wall art

To start, I created an 18" x 24" document in Illustrator that I laid the numbers out in. I enlarged the numbers to 1200 pixels before outlining them so I could make them even larger:

I wanted the numbers to be placed 2" from the top and bottom of each canvas so I made sure they didn't go any higher/lower than that in Illustrator. I saved each number as a separate PDF, copied them to a USB drive, and then took them over to Office Max to have them printed on their black and white printer for $1.65 each.

If you don't have Illustrator, you could always create your numbers/letters/symbols in a Word document or even Paint Shop Pro. Just remember to make your document size the same size as your canvases so your prints don't end up too small/big!

I used my ruler and X-acto knife to cut a tiny bit on the inside of the number's edge so none of the white paper would show on the final cut out:

You're #1! ;)

Keep cutting everything out:

Until you're left with solo, background paper free numbers/letters/symbols:

If you want your canvases to have spacing at the top and bottom, measure that out before you start gluing things down.

Once you have that spacing marked, place a glue-free number/letter/symbol on the canvas and move it around until you have the right amount of spacing on the left and right hand sides. This spacing will differ from canvas to canvas depending on the width of the number/letter/symbol.

When all of your spacing has been determined, start gluing things down with your glue of choice:

I chose to use rubber cement because it's pretty much all we used in college and I'm comfortable using it. It's also very flexible and gives you plenty of time to make adjustments before it starts to dry:

If you decide to use rubber cement too and happen to get some excess glue on your canvas outside of your paper print, don't worry, it's easy to fix!

Let the rubber cement dry a little bit and then gently rub your finger across the glue spot. The rubber cement will start to ball up so you can wipe it away, kind of like this:

Repeat the same process until your canvas is rubber cement free!

After you've glued all of your numbers/letters/symbols to your canvases, hang them up and photograph them for your blog! ;)

I hung ours in our loft:

The numbers ended up being a little wrinkly:

But it doesn't bother me too much! I just say they have character :)

The canvases help fill the big blank wall space and look better than the single mirror we had hanging there before:

Wouldn't you agree?

I flanked the canvases with two new candle sconces I got at HomeGoods over the weekend:

They were only $15 each and their brassy/gold color looks great against the navy:

We're planning on adding a slim console table below the art:

We'd also like to add some chairs, a rug, a new light fixture and maybe some additional art for the other walls in the room. Hopefully that'll all happen soon! Until then, we're enjoying our new art :)

What do you think of the art? Not too bad for a little more than $7 each, huh?!

I'm sharing this project on House of Hepworths!

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  1. I think the art is awesome! It makes a big statement for a few .
    I love using Illustrator for a lot of my projects as well!
    And I also love the Grecian bust with the stash and the mask!

  2. I love the look of cut out letters and numbers. I have exactoed my way through many titles in my life :) I love the contrast between the black and white and the scale of your numbers with the size of the canvas. That looks really great. Those sconces are awesome!! I feel I need them, although, I have the opposite problem of yours. I am running out of wall space...

  3. I love the font you chose to use, and those sconces flanking it are perfect! What a beautiful combo! :)

  4. Oh my gosh I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS! I love bold graphics. This is seriously amaze-balls. Like, I would touch it inappropriately. And I love how it looks with the blue.

  5. Thanks Julia! Haha we added the stash and mask on him a few Halloween's ago and liked the quirky look so much we never took them off :)

    Thanks Katja! The sconces aren't very wide (I think 8" maybe?) so I bet you could find a spot for them at your house too!

    Thanks Gabbi! :)

    Thanks Kenz! Inappropriate art touching may or may not have happened already haha I'm pleading the fifth though ;)

  6. How cool is that?! Really neat idea, and I love how it came out. This room is awesome!

  7. This looks so neat! Love the big impact it makes and it looks so professional. You are quite the arteeest.

  8. Those look awesome! I also love the sconces. Great score!

  9. I always loved that mirror but these really do fill the space!! I like it!!

  10. Very cool! I love large scale art, especially the meaningful stuff. And those new mirrors look KILLER on that navy wall!

  11. Umm... this is adorable! Definitely going to do this with my anniversary!!

  12. Very nice! Love the big numbers ~ you did a great job!
    I'm visiting you today from Hepworth's. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and comment, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Tile Photo Coasters ~ Gift Idea

  13. Thanks for stopping by Megin! Glad you like the art :)

  14. I have some vintage gas station sign numbers on the wall just inside our front door. Your number art reminds me of those. From afar I actually thought yours were painted, which would have been a good option too. They are super-cute, and I think the font you chose is perfect. The white and black are great against that lovely dark blue wall. I can't get over your statue with the mask and moustache too. So quirky and just so right!


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