20 Nov 2014 DIY holiday art with a vintage look
Story and photos
by Donna Benton
Think beyond the tree and mantle and spread Christmas cheer to your walls and bookshelves with unique holiday art that you can make yourself. You can create your own art with pages from a vintage book and your printer. It is easy and inexpensive and you don’t have to be an artist to make one-of-a-kind holiday prints that wow your walls!
You can find an old dictionary or a vintage book at a thrift store or flea market. They practically give them away. Look for one with large pages and an interesting print style or pages that show some age. Make sure the pages are thick enough that your printer won’t eat them.
You can dismantle the book by cutting away the spine and gently pulling the pages apart, or you can simply cut a page right out of the book with your razorblade knife and a straight edge.
You can find great holiday art on the web. Some of my favorites are old Christmas cards and vintage botanical prints of evergreens and hollies. Try an image search or find copyright-free clip art and images on curator sites like thegraphicsfairy.com. Unless you are good with your photo editing software, choose an image with a white background. If you select images that are as large as your computer screen when opened full size, they should print clearly.
You can use photo editing software to crop the image or remove unwanted text. Don’t be scared if you have never edited a photo. Basic image editing is easy, and if you don’t already have photo editing software, you can do it right on the web at sites like picmonkey.com.
You can use a word processing program like Microsoft Word to place the image where you want it on the page.
Once the image is ready, simply load a page from your book into your printer and print the image onto the page. It may take a few tries to get the look and placement just right so experiment first.
Frame the print alone, or for a dramatic effect, do a grouping of prints in matching or complementary frames. For a colorful holiday display, affix the paper prints to a larger painted board using an easy decoupage technique. Hang them on a wall or lean them up on a bookshelf to display.
Donna Benton is a maker of custom home furnishings. Check out her website at waterhousemarket.com.