With a sharp razor blade or exacto knife, you can fill piles of picture frames cheaply and easily with just one picture book!
Because the collection of illustrations are from one book, they’re easy to mix and match as you wish–each are the same size and of the same subject.
Use a sharp razor and a careful hand to separate the page from a book neatly along the binding (but not into the binding), you’ll be able to keep the rest of the book intact.
Illustration Theme Ideas
- Flower, Plant & Herb Illustrations
- Kitchen Fruit & Vegetable Illustrations (both retro designs & artistic works)
- Pen Drawings or Pencil Sketches from Famous Artists
- Copies of Vintage Product Advertising
- Vintage Magazine Covers
Tips For Choosing Books & Supplies
- Dig around in a bookstore’s bargain bin or online bookstore clearance section (Amazon.com and Bookcloseouts.com are good starts), amazing book finds with dozens of pictures can be found for just a couple bucks. You can also score big by browsing through used bookstores.
- Collect frames cheaply from garage & estate sales, bargain bins, etc., and replace the pictures with the ones you’ve chosen from a book. Paint the frames if they need sprucing up.
- Select oversized books with illustrations of good quality, printed on heavy paper and lots of full page illustrations to choose from.
- If you’re painting frames, choose colors that will work well with future picture choices and any decor color changes (black, white, neutrals).
Tips & Ideas Using Framed Pictures
- Hang a series of framed botany prints from straps of ribbons (say three to a strap)
- Outline lone pieces of furniture (such as a hall chest) with framed prints
- Decorate the wall along a stairway with an assortment of framed illustrations
- Arrange a block of framed pictures in rows on the wall space behind a sofa or on a bare wall
- If arranging the pictures in clusters, you can create a uniform look with frames the same size, color and finish. If you’d like a charming display of pictures that gives the impression of a collection grown over time, try frames of different sizes and colors (that compliment each other nicely). You’ll need a book that has different sizes of pictures to accomplish this (or a few different books in different sizes on the same theme).
- Stick with simple frames and mats that don’t compete with the illustrations, these can be used again and again without worrying about design conflicts with any new book picture selections.
When you’re tired of the “art” currently displayed in your home and need a change, just switch out the illustrations with pictures from a different book. Updating decor doesn’t get any easier (or budget friendlier) than this!
Inspired by the article “How To Use A Book With Decorative Pictures”, House Beautiful (1946)