Making your own art might sound like a questionable idea at best, but armed with tips and encouragement from Martha Stewart… well, now suddenly it’s the obvious choice. Your moment to shine! Come five o’clock you’re hustling to the craft store after work, spreading out newspaper and measuring spots on the wall. As the DIY doyenne herself told AD in an exclusive interview, one of the best things you can do is equip yourself with the right supplies: “Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques, tools, and surfaces. One of the most helpful tools to ensure projects look professional is a good stencil. This results in a beautiful end product for those who may not want to risk freehand drawing.” It might be slightly biased advice—Martha Stewart does have a line of stencils, multisurface paints, and the like at Michaels—but it’s an important point: DIY art doesn’t need to be a freehand drawing.
After you’ve made your art, there’s one step left to ensure that it looks its very best: “A well-chosen frame dignifies its contents and allows even the humblest picture, from vintage playing cards to a child’s drawing, to have more presence in the room,” Stewart told us, adding that it should “never overwhelm its contents.” (So maybe pass over the big gaudy, gilded antique frame for your latest splatter-paint creation.) “For homespun artwork with dimension, a simple shadowbox is always a great option,” she says. “For quieter drawings, photographs, and prints, try incorporating them into a collection of smaller frames… Together, they should create a rhythm or pattern that has a greater presence than each one would have individually.”
“I love text as art whether it is handwritten, painted, or applied lettering,” says Saavedra, who painted the “I forgot I was looking for you” quote piece after a meaningful trip to Mexico City.
Less confident hand-painters might go the more traditional route, as Ford did for this piece she crafted using a typewriter. “I typed it up on the ol’ typewriter, took it to Staples to blow up as large as they could, then had it professionally framed,” she says.
Using “two to three colors max,” Saavedra makes abstract watercolors that can be placed in matching frames to a much more elevated effect. For the pair below, he used India inks.
Magazine and book tears
For a project in upstate New York, Ford relied on the tools on hand (not many) to come up with art for the walls—and ended up ripping out and tacking up these pages from an old atlas book as a collage. “I don’t feel bad, though. Those pages found new life!” she says of the project.
Mirrors as art
While not exactly a get-messy DIY, the grouping of a few mirrors in an artful arrangement can do the job of art on many walls. “These are IKEA mirrors,” Saavedra says of the below grouping he designed. “How easy is that?”
Ford worked with the daughter of one of her clients to make this piece of art by using her spin art toy with black paint. They then blew it up at Staples, mounted it on wood, and painted over the shape to make it more pronounced.
Marbled or splattered paper
“You’d be surprised how professional the results can look,” Stewart says of this idea, [http://www.marthastewart.com/1055341/method-marbling) dolloping craft paints into a basin of water and chemicals and then dipping a sheet of paper in it to grab the swirls.
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