One way to save a boatload of money when decorating is to print and frame your own artwork.
You don’t need to be Picasso and paint your own artwork, although you can if you want.
I’m talking about digital artwork.
There are so many amazing digital print shops around that you are bound to find something you love.
I realized that I never really posted on this topic, despite the fact that 90% of the art in our house was a digital print AND despite the fact that I own my own digital print shop.
So, this post is long overdue!
I’m going to walk you through all the steps, tips, and tricks for selecting, printing, and framing your own digital artwork. I’ve included a roundup of some of my favorite digital print shops as well.
Let’s get going!
Selecting your DIY Art Prints
You don’t need to buy digital artwork, you can find a print you love on free online photo depositories, such as Unsplash, and through public domain works.
Then you just download the art to your computer and print it yourself!
However, there is one HUGE advantage to buying digital artwork.
And that is that it’s high quality and ready for printing.
That means it’s been digitally resized and retouched to ratios and sizes suitable for printing. A lot of times, the artwork you see on the web will print out blurry or just be too small to even print right!
Digital print shop owners take careful consideration to resize, crop and retouch each image so they look professional when you print them out in larger sizes.
You may see some print shops resize artwork into certain ratios. Here is the breakdown of those ratios to their common print sizes for your reference.
|2:3||4×6, 8×12, 12×18, 20×30, 24×36|
|3:4||6×8, 9×12, 12×16, 18×24|
|4:5||4×5, 8×10, 16×20 (and 11×14 with minimal cropping)|
|16:9||Landscape Frame TV|
When buying digital art, you want to make sure the art has been specifically resized to your needs.
Here are some of my favorite digital art print shops:
There are so many more of these shops on Etsy and in so many art categories – you can have a lot of fun going down that rabbit hole. 🙂
Downloading and Printing your Artwork
How you print your DIY Art Prints will make a huge difference in the final product.
Here are a few tips, as well as my favorite places for professional printing.
Smaller sizes, such as an 8×10 or 5×7 can be printed at home. You want to print on a heavy matte or textured paper, these ones listed below are my favorite:
For larger art sizes, there are a multitude of places you can print at.
My favorite is Mpix. They are always running a sale and they have amazing options for printing and incredibly fast shipping.
Here’s how I set up my prints on Mpix:
- Go to Prints —> Giclee Prints —>Create a Giclee Print.
- Upload the DIY Art Prints and Photos you want to be printed and select OK.
- I enable Basic Auto Crop – this will tell you where your print will be cut off if there is any excess. Helpful when printing portraits.
- I choose Fine Art Photographic Paper and then the appropriate size I want to print. They have so many sizes to choose from!
- Then, just checkout and be sure to put your coupon code in there, if there is one available.
The fine art photographic paper is slightly textured and matte, so your prints end up looking like real artwork. It’s amazing!
While I mostly use Mpix for printing, here are some of my other favorites:
- Walgreens – you can pick up same day for a lot of these stores!
- Amazon Prints – cheap and fast turnaround
- Framebridge – a little pricey but very high quality and one stop shopping, you can frame too!
How to Frame your Art Prints
Alright, now that you have your art it’s time to frame it! Did you know that you can find really nice frames for not a lot of money?
I’m letting you in on my favorite sources for nice, cheap frames, plus some of my favorite picks below.
My first stop when looking for a new frame is and always will be my local thrift stores.
Even if there’s already a picture in the frame, most times you can simply remove the print and add a new one, preserving the glass front and all.
I use painter’s tape for keeping photos in place when there is a mat involved or for securing the art when I had to rip off the back paper of the frame.
If I don’t find what I need at thrift stores, then Michael’s is my next stop.
They are always running incredible sales there, such as BOGO deals. They also have a great selection, so whether you need a vintage looking frame or a simple black frame, you will definitely find it at Michael’s.
Amazon also has a great selection of frames, but they can be a bit pricier and of course – no coupons which is always a bit of a bummer.
My two favorite Amazon stores for frames would be Craig Frames and UpSimples. I also really like this Gallery Wall Set, which I used to frame these pretty botanical prints. (And you can also download them free from that post.)
Below are some of my tried and true favorite frames, just click on any picture for more information on that frame.
Target also has some nice frames when they are not sold out (which is a problem I always run into there.)
So there you have it! With these tips for DIY Art Prints, you will be amazed at how inexpensive and how good your artwork can turn out. No one will know it all started at your computer.