Remember that grid of eight Ribba frames above our sectional (that we got right the second time around)?
Well, we figured out some in-the-meantime “art” for them (so we don’t have to stare at those brown squares every night). You know, until we come up with something better. And it only cost us five bucks. Okay, $5.17 if you’re being picky. So worth it.
We’re still not 100% sure what we want there in the long run, but we’re leaning towards something graphic and colorful. And since the brown frame back is the opposite of that, we wanted to at least put something in there temporarily that wouldn’t cost much or take any time to toss together. Enter one of our favorite solutions: 12 x 12″ craft paper from Michael’s.
We picked out eight sheets that complement Sue (aka: our inspiration napkin). They were the perfect size to slip in our 12 x 12 Ribba frames and at about 60 cents a pop it was kind of a no-brainer.
We tried a few different arrangements on the floor before putting anything in frames. Since we had picked a couple of duplicate colors, we wanted to keep them far enough away from one another, so we ended up with this grouping:
The frames definitely helped them feel less like sixty-cent craft paper and more like something worthy of being displayed behind glass (seriously, what can’t you slap in a frame for a more polished look?). It definitely added that temporary injection of color we were looking for, and it was kind of reminiscent of the cool art that we saw – and loved – in this House Crashing adventure from back in the day (aka: a month ago).
It’s kind of like a simplified version of Sue the napkin now lives on our walls, eh?
We’ve been living with them for the last 24 hours and might be in danger of falling in love with them as a not-so-temporary solution. Uh oh.
They just look so much nicer than the brown frame backs they covered. Actually, what we’re thinking that we might do is try to build on the concept somehow, like adding some modern white doilies, stencils, or layering some other pattern in front of them so we still can enjoy the color scheme that “shows through” while creating something a little more graphic. Almost like a custom version of those Classical Symmetry prints from Crate & Barrel (this set of six retails for $369, btw).
Or we might still consider doing the personal photo thing by using the colorful paper as large mats around small square black & white pictures. Sherry even mentioned sticking tiny fortune cookie fortunes in the center of each colored sheet of paper. So you have to get really close to read them. ‘Til we decide on anything, we’re kinda loving the cost-of-a-Subway-footlong solution for these eight frames. And of course we’ll keep you posted when we finally get around to updating them for the long haul.
Do you guys have any colorful art that you’re loving? Or affordable sets of images that you’ve spotted? Oh and how cool is this solution to empty Ribba frames that Krissy posted on our Facebook page? As Sherry says (way too much) “um yeah, love it.”
Psst- We announced the winner of this week’s giveaway. Click here to see if it’s you.
Cute! Love it :)
Hilary @ My So-Called Home says
Love all the color! It’ll be fun to see how those frames change as time goes on.
Wow! These look great guys! A temporary solution that looks permanent. Love it :)
sarah k. says
looks great. adds color.
Love it! I’m really impressed that you went to Michaels and came out with only 8 pieces of scrapbook paper!
megs & bacon says
Hubby and I just did this in our hallway! Picked up three black ribba’s and tossed in some old scrapbook patterned paper that co-ordinated with the pale blue wall colour. Since the frames were a birthday gift at the beginning of the month, the entire thing was FREE.
He wants to put in photos but I am loving the pattern. We’ll see where we end up :)
Mallory @ R. Simple Life says
Oh wow! I actually really like that :-) And I LOVE the fortune cookie idea too. I want to “borrow” that one…
Brilliant solution! Simple and so easy to tie in any splashes of color you add to the room.
Ok, that’s awesome!
I LOVE it! I may just steal your idea and do it in my next apartment! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no?
Love it with no changes at all!
That is genius. I might copy you for my dining room. Love it! I like the more embellished ideas you’re considering, too. But really, this looks great if you ask me!
Great idea! Super affordable and definitely chic! Love the colors too!
Jessie from http://www.mixandchic.com
This looks great! Love the colors, and love the idea of putting white design paper on top. So many possibilities!
Oh, and if you do the fortune cookie idea, I think you shouldn’t center them. Just an idear.
Ooh, I like that idear.
I was thinking the same thing when I read that.
If you put them in the right place then they might look like paint swatches from far away!
Love the colors! I was thinking about doing something similar with patterned paper but I love the idea of the solids!
liz @ bontempsbeignet says
ooooo very nice ‘temporary’ solution. Very fun!
perfect way to tie in your painted light shade in the corner over the game table…love!
speaking of games, i’m reminded of candyland when i see this grouping.
This is brilliant! And it looks so awesome!
I was at Michaels the other night and I found some scrapbook paper that I thought would look really cool framed, and I thought of you guys!
I get paralyzed by the idea of decorating our walls, and as a result, they mostly stay blank. I’m not sure how to get over the “Starting” hump and just START.
sue at nobaddays says
How lovely and restful. Yay for $5 art!
Oh this looks so good! My “cheat” for fun, cheap art is to buy fancy paper (Paper Mojo is my favorite store) and frame it. I especially love the prints from Snow & Graham.
Sally M. says
I fell in love with your site! I have a question- where did you get that yellow patterned rug in your living room? I love it!
That’s the Moorish Tile Rug from Pottery Barn (they no longer sell it but maybe try ebay?).
<3 Love <3
When you guys come up with things like this, I have a total “why didn’t I think of that” moment. Except I do know why. Because I have not one creative decorating bone in my body. The paper looks amazing in the frames!! Great idea!
The colors are so perfect it would be a shame not to have them. You could find some geometric stencils similar to the C&B Symmetry prints and use white or dark grey paint to compliment the walls/frames. That way you still have the geometric look with those brilliant colors!
I love this idea! Or like a clear varnish on top of the stencil. In one of your frames it looks as though the trees from outside are being reflected…that would be cool to do like an nature/organic theme.
Bobbie Brown says
Whoa… it is amazing what a little sheet of plain paper will do for a room!
so great! i love how one tiny napkin is transcending into each room of your home. i think i might need to replicate this idea in our toddler’s bedroom… thanks for the cheap art idea!
This looks great, you guys! After I first saw that same art from Crate and Barrel many months ago, I decided to create something similar over my fireplace mantle. I also ended up using 12×12 scrapbook paper!
Using nine pieces, I made a Spring/Summer arrangement with blue/tan/cream glued to wood framed canvases with the canvas edges painted. I also made a Fall/Winter arrangement where I took flocked black and cream papers and put them in black frames with no glass. Big impact for little $. xo
Wow it really pulls the room together.
If it were my house I would consider doing family silhouettes in them. I know you guys have a lot of silhouettes in your house already. But I don’t so that is what I would do. :)
Brooke Buckingham says
I actually think they look great as-is! Loving this idea!
Cait @ Hernando House says
Cute! I think patterned paper version of the C&B prints would be a good solution – and cheap!
Love this! I’m adding this post to my favorites now. I’m going to steal this and do this in my dining room. I have a huge blank wall that’s staring at me and asking me to do something with it, and this is super clever! :)
I like it. It is simple, clean and refreshing. I love all of the colors together.
cute! speaking of ‘free’ art, inspired by some of your previous posting about what to hang on the walls, I got some Ikea frames (10 smaller white ones) and wanted to do something that meant something to my husband and I. We are both from the same small town (somewhat historic), and I came across a collection of antique postcards from the 1930’s- 60’s. I printed out the ones that we would recognize or have some meaning to us. Ta-da! “Free art”. Just the cost of printing them ourselves and the frames themselves.
And for the map lovers, you could also do topo or street maps from important areas in your relationship. Print free topos (in color!) from usgs.gov
Amazing tips! Thanks for sharing! Both the maps and postcards sound like lots of fun.
I thought you were going to frame your set of Sue the Napkin. Love this, though. It looks so bright and fresh.
Oh, stenciling the design you had on your old sunroom floor might looks cool on two or three of them.
I thought the same thing! Sue in a frame!
megan e says
I support the framing of Sue
Maybe we’ll make her a pillow!
Rebecca @ Smiths in Progress says
I was excited about the idea of framing Sue, too! I have even seen someone do high-quality color photocopies of fabric. They made party invitations with the paper, but you could certainly use the same idea to make art for a frame, without having to use as much fabric (or as many napkins!)
Love it! I like how it is a kind of in-your-face reminder of the napkin colors too. I am totally tempted to do this in my house just to keep me on track when it comes to picking out accessories/drapes/pillows/etc.
If you are looking for something more graphic that is on-hand, I bet some of the clara picure project fabrics would go great in there.
Julia M says
I DIYED all the art for my daughter’s room and I am a huge fan of framing fabric, Hanna! I picked up some of Ikea’s adorable fabric and framed it for my daughter’s room. Cheap and beautiful!
megs & bacon says
Kaitlin With Honey says
You guys are SO creative and inspirational! I’ve been trying to figure out a cost-effective way to have colorful art and you definitely just inspired how I am now going to decorate the living area in my apartment. Seriously, you guys are awesome. Thank you!
Brilliant as usual. Before I saw it done and read that you were putting those squares up, I was skeptical, but it’s bold and beautiful! I wonder what a gallery would charge for those?
I LOVE this! You guys are so consistently right on, I love that about you. I like to frame gift wrap. Kate’s Paperie is my current favorite, they have a lot of beautiful paper that doesn’t look like traditional gift wrap.
Kate’s Paperie is HEAVEN.
Wow, the paper adds so much to that space! I’ve started using scrapbook paper I already own to make new art for the house. When I’m feeling blah about the house I whip up some free new decor when I can’t afford a trip to Home Goods.
I love the frames! They look great. If you really are interested in those Classical Symmetry prints you can get them from art.com for $29.99 (without a frame)a piece. They will also give you 15% off your entire order today if you use the promo code SPELT… just thought I would share!
Woah- I love how on top of that you are! Thanks for the info.
Amanda Gail says
BEST NEWS TODAY!!! They even have more options to choose from – you ROCKETH.
That’s exactly what I did with the same Ribba frames to get those great classical symmetry shapes onto our walls for less $. Art.com rocks!
I love it… I think you should keep them. They’re a great, contemporary punch of color. Can’t wait til y’all bring in a new rug.
I was looking at that picture and thinking how great a cool chandelier would look hanging over Karl.
I likey! I likey a lot!
Pefer your solution over C/B version (price aside). Your solution seems to have more drama/impact!
Allison Suter says
This looks SO GOOD. Period. It’s an open canvas to do much, much more if you choose to. However, if you choose not to, it’s perfectly simple. Love.
Lisa @ Room by Room says
Nice color! I made my own artwork with scrapbook paper and silhouettes. http://lisasroombyroom.blogspot.com/2010/11/artwork-diy.html
You guys are so creative. I am new to your blog and am enjoying it immensely. How about adding some text/font in the form of signage to your pieces? Something that uses the graphic element in the rug would be nice too.
Look forward to reading more!
We do love words! Definitely a possibility!