Creative Clip Art

When I found out that I was moving into my first adult…ish apartment I was totally giddy.  I had a blank slate to make my own, but unfortunately my bank account was also blank. I knew it was time to move on from the sorority themed pink and green room decorations, so I desperately needed to find some creative options.

Luckily, I heard about a new thrift store that I should check out. My co-worker told me about the Goodwill Outlet store. Yes, you heard me correctly, there is an outlet store for Goodwill. Who would have ever thought that there was a thrift, thrift store. All the merchandise is just kind of thrown into bins, so it is a huge treasure hunt to sort through and find some things with potential.

After about 2 hours sifting through the bins I was sneezing up a storm, but I had some potentially awesome items. Note to future Goodwill Outlet shoppers: wear gloves. You have to touch an unreal amount of items and who knows where they have been. I also saw some of what I refer to as the ‘professional thrifters’ wearing SARS-esque masks. While very practical for the abundant dust, there is just something about them that freaks me out a bit.

I made it out alive and with some goodies in tow. Here are the ugly frames I bought for just pocket change. They sat in the closet for 7 months waiting for me to make them beautiful and useful and the time has come.

See these ugly beat up frames. I mean, who really ever thought they were cute?

These are the silhouette prints I found from free clip art websites and printed for my own decorative purposes. I wasn’t sure which way I wanted to hang the frames on the wall, so I made sure to print both images landscape and portrait on 11×17 paper. You know me, just thinking ahead.

I initially wanted to paint the frames white, then I realized that wasn’t my best idea. So the only thing I used in this picture was the spray primer and it worked perfectly.

Since the frames, didn’t have any glass, I started the project by removing the picture board in the center of the frame. I just leveraged the staples backwards and popped those babies right out.

Here we go. A naked frame, with no weird tacky picture inside. 

Another nakey photo.

After I disassembled the frame I put 2 coats of spray primer on the frame insert to cover the ugly pictures. These inserts will serve as the backboard and mounting surface for my clip art prints.

I set the backing aside to dry and gave 2 coats of primer to the frames. It doesn’t look perfect, but that’s because it’s not done yet silly.

Instead of painting the frames white, I decided to go with gray and I used the left over paint from desk project (which I will tell you about here). Here comes the paint parade with a few more looks at the exact color.

I used a sponge brush I had leftover from many, many sorority projects to paint the frame. This is only after one coat. (Note: I think my mom is probably loving how well I am using leftovers.)

I used regular old scotch tape to attach the prints to the formerly disgusting pictures/backing board/frame insert. Please excuse my lack of technical terms. Then I placed the insert back into the frame, bended the staples back down to hold it in place and voila.

Now here is where Matt comes in. I don’t think measuring, or fractions, or really math in general has ever been my thing. I am a fan of just “eyeballing it”. I wanted these pictures to hang in the proper place above my desk, so Matt took the liberty of doing the measuring. I can’t really tell you what he did or how he did it, but somehow the pictures got hung in the right spots and level. Kudos to him.

Just focus on the frames and the measuring and all that jazz. No need to notice all the holes in the wall above. Those are from a previous project that has since been taken down and replaced. One day I will get around to spackling and repainting them…one day.

Have you gotten distracted? Have you glanced down at my beauty of a desk? Well, no worries. As I promised, I will tell you about it here.

Here is the finished product. 2 custom art pieces for seriously next to nothing. Who doesn’t love a nearly free craft? Can you tell which frame represents me and which one represents Matt?

Intrigued by that light hanging down above the frames? More info coming your way on that shortly.

Have a great rest of your week!


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