Arts & Crafts Magazine

Inspired DIY: Pretty Words, Golden Birds

By Linsibrownson @CleverSpark
Pottery Barn Inspired Wall Art

I’m currently finishing my last six months of interior design classes and it always happens. My Muse visits me at random intervals and this time she whispered in the form wall art. I was flipping through a Pottery Barn magazine and I happened upon a layout with these amazing hanging pictures of golden birds painted on pages torn from a book. They were classy but also understated, and I knew immediately that they had to be mine. I’m always up for a creative challenge and they looked simple enough to make myself. I already had some of the materials and I knew that my favorite store was having a frame sale, so I really had nothing to lose. The universe was practically begging me!

The project was devastatingly simple and only took three or so hours. I spent roughly $20 on supplies and plan on doing several variations of this with the aim of using them in the master bedroom. I thought it would be interesting to stain some pages with coffee or to tear up the pages and paste them together in interesting ways, playing up the shapes and textures that the blocks of text make. I also want to try using black paint rather than gold, or maybe using a more tarnished shade of metallic paint for a more bold visual contrast.

This idea could also be geared toward a child by using pages from a classic story (The Velveteen Rabbit, perhaps?) and adding the simple silhouette of a bunny. Or do several iterations using various characters from nursery rhymes or poems, perhaps even painting large letters instead of animals. A colored mat and large white frame would complete the look and make a nursery a very happy place indeed.

Whatever theme you choose to use, don’t forget to make it personal. If it is meant for your own home then incorporate words and images that resonate with you. If it is a gift for someone else make sure the thoughts that are conveyed in the final image are a reflection of your feelings for that person. Those are the most important aspects of giving and they transform a whatever they touch into a something sentimental and lovely. By no means is this DIY meant to be followed to the letter. Be creative and let your inner Muse speak to you. You never know what can happen when you let her words fall lightly upon your ear.

Enjoy and Happy Crafting!



Supplies Needed:

Paint Brushes
Metallic Acrylic Paint
Pencil For Sketching
Pages From A Book
Clear Tape
White Craft Paper

The supplies needed for this DIY are easy to find and inexpensive.

Most of the supplies were already in my possession, so it was pretty easy to convince myself to get started. I chose specific pages from Love In The Time of Cholera, a wonderful book, but one I am not likely to read again. The pages reflect the stages in the relationship between the main characters and contain some of the more poignant lines. I chose a mat and frame to add an informal feeling to the finished piece.

Step One: Choose Your Pages

Make sure to use a book that you don't plan to read. Nothing spoils a plot quite like missing pages.

Choose pages that speak to you in some way. The meaning of the words and the type used are important factors. Carefully tear them from the book so there are no ragged edges.

Step Two: Decide On The Layout

Using a mat with a colored edge provides a defined edge and draws attention to the text on the page.

Take a few minutes to play with the layout and placement of the pages, placing the mat on top to help your eye focus on the desired area. Once you find a design that you like, lightly trace around the inside edge of the mat with a pencil to create a guide for taping.

Step Three: Tape It Down

Clear tape is the best option, but be sure to keep the placement in mind so as to avoid it showing around the edges of the mat.

Carefully tape down the pages to a sheet of white craft paper. Any type of white paper will work as long as it provides some type of thickness and heft. In my case, I used to pieces from a thick sketch pad. Tape down just the portion of the pages that will be hidden under the mat, but not the portions that will be seen in the final image. Be sure to cut off any excess that is hanging over the edge of the craft paper.

Step Four: Sketch Your Design

If you're unsure of your freehand skills, find a picture online and print it. Cut out the image and use it as a template. This also allows you to play around with the placement before you begin sketching.

Using light pencil strokes, sketch our image onto the pages. If you're afraid of making a mistake, don't be. Part of the beauty of art are the little nuances that are unique to each individual's style of drawing or painting.

Step Five: Bring On The Gold

If you prefer your birds on the blingy side, try applying gold leaf over the top of the paint after it has dried. This would make the finished piece extra luxe and very eye-catching.

When it comes to painting, less is more. Apply thin coats and allow them to dry before beginning another. A variety of paint brushes are helpful, but I only used three round sizes and got very precise results. To secure the edges that are overlapping, take a small amount of glue on the tip of a brush and apply to the backs of the edges, creating an even and flat surface.

Step Six: Mat, Frame, Done!

The end result is a simple and elegant piece of art that can be used in practically any room in the house.

Bring it all together by adding the mat and frame and you have a completed piece of personal art that will bring warmth and sophistication to any environment. For extra protection of the image, add a piece of glass to the inside of the frame. Display on a table or on the wall and let your creation do it's thing.

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