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DIY Book Page Botanical Art

From the minute we finished our foyer shiplap wall, I was determined to smack some giant wall art up there. (That makes total sense, right? To cover part of the pretty wall you just put up, I know.)

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

But the usual problem came along. I’m not down with spending the going rate for oversized art. Even large picture frames alone cost a pretty penny. So it was the usual scene around here…the Shaver Three skipping off to Walmart.

And then we frolicked home with these happy finds:

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I found these huge wooden poster frames for $25 each, knowing I wanted to give them the usual weathered treatment.

Supplies used:  (Affiliate links are included below noted with asterisks. For more information, see my disclosure policy here.)

The Steps:

I still wanted some of the wood finish peaking through on the frames, so I whipped up a batch of homemade liming wax. I just mixed 1 tablespoon of white paint with 3 tablespoons of clear soft wax in a cup for a minute or two until smooth.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I brushed it on pretty thick with a paint brush and used a clean lint-free rag to rub off only a little. You can control how much wood you want showing depending on how well you rub off the liming wax.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

The whole process was done in a matter of minutes. Here’s a little side-by-side action:

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I love that lime/drybrush weathered finish!

Ever since I hung up our botanical print window in our master bathroom, I’ve wanted to find another place to use more of my botanical prints somewhere else in our house.

A few years ago, my mom gave me this old thrifted Audubon Birds of America book that I’ve pulled pages out of to frame around our house. The bird prints remind me so much of Robert’s and my wedding day, which had a bird theme (and one day I should probably show a recap of the big day here for y’all to see).

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

This sad book is falling apart but it is filled with gorgeous biology illustrations from the Victorian era that I just had to rescue.

I picked out 18 of my favorite prints, nine for each frame, to fit on the cardboard backing of the frame. I had to trim some of the edges of the pages to fit onto the cardboard piece.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

Then, I sprayed each sheet down with some spray adhesive.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

Once I had all of the book pages glued on, I realized I didn’t really like seeing the edges of the paper. It looked homemade. And I wasn’t a fan.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

So I hid the edges of the paper with jute burlap ribbon to make a grid. (My mom’s and mother’s-in-law idea actually.)

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I lined up my ribbon first and glued it down with a line of simple school glue. Mod Podge could work too, but I was out.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I placed my ribbon vertically first.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

Then horizontally.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

Once the ribbon was dry, I placed the whole cardboard piece back in the frame, and that was it!

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

They turned out so much better than I originally planned! I love all of the textures with the burlap ribbon and lime waxed frames.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

They’re perfect with our shiplap wall too.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

It seems right at home with all of the thrifted pieces on our foyer table too. I found that cute scroll lamp at Goodwill for $2.00!

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

Our foyer has just about come together, and I’m putting some final touches on it this week.

DIY Book Page Botanical Art | Bless'er House - So pretty and cheap!

I cannot wait to show off this happy little space! It’s so much brighter in here than it was just a couple of weeks ago. It’s amazing how art can make a room feel so much more complete.

Have y’all been working on any room makeovers lately that are so close to being finished? Or any fancy schmancy thrifty wall art that you’re super proud of? Or maybe sing and dance in the aisles of Walmart like we do? I’d love to hear all about it!

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68 Comments

  1. Love how the artwork turned out…..especially the burlap ribbon to “frame” everything!! Can’t wait to see the full reveal of your foyer!
    Blessings,
    Lanita

  2. I love your poster sized art!!! What a great idea… I will definitely be on the lookout for an old bird book like the one you used…love the old prints. This would just go so nicely in my home where I already have many “bird” pictures and figures.

    1. So glad you like it, Karen! This little book as gone a long way for harvesting art prints. Hope you find one! I found several of the same books on Amazon for around $5 that I linked in the supply list of this post if you don’t find one while thrifting.

  3. Beautiful art! And I love the liming wax trick and adding the trim between the prints…great ideas! May have to borrow them at some point! 🙂 ~Rhonda

    1. A few problems here 1. is those are not cheap throw away print. They have value, especially if this truely a Victorian edition. 2. Glueing them to cardboard is a GIANT no no. Use mounting tape and adhear them to 100% rag board (available at framing shops) the acids in the cardboard will leach through and stain the paper. Even though the results are pretty I feel we need to honor the beautiful materials that we are using.

      1. Thanks for the concern, Susan. However, this book was completely falling apart before I got my hands on it and it was published in 1950. It was bound for the trash before it was rescued, so however I use it is an improvement. There are lots of this same book for sale on Amazon for around $5, so it’s not a high value item. My goal was to make this project inexpensively, so the poster frame with the cardboard just made sense for our budget. So far, there aren’t been any bleeding issues. I’d rather display these beautiful pages than shove this tattered book into a closet never to see the light of day. It’d just be more clutter to take up space in our house. If you ever come across this book though, you could certainly treat it how you wish.

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