Thursday, November 21, 2013

MODify: Three Thrifty Ideas for Hanging Artwork In Your Home. Think Outside the Box!

A room is not complete for me without artwork to contemplate and inspire on the walls. When I worked in the corporate world my corner of the office was filled with an explosion of artwork and color! I need it to focus, blank walls make me crazy! You don't need expensive custom framing or conventional expensive store-bought frames to hang your artwork in style, here are five thrifty MODified methods I've adapted over the years moving from apartment to apartment and office to office:


1) Black or White (Dollar Store) Foam Core: I want to custom frame my Batman (pictured above) and Dragon Ball Z calendar pages someday, in the meantime I have them mounted on cheap black foam core I cut out seven years ago. It gives a similar affect without the cost! I used sticky putty to adhere the pages to the foam core and there they've stayed without falling for nearly a decade.


2) Vintage Wooden Pant Hangers: I've been asked about my high-tech designer-looking "wooden picture hangers" by apartment visitors, customers, or blog readers who see them in photos. They're simply wooden vintage pant hangers. (I have some for sale on Etsy here.)


3) Thrifted Binder Clips: Vintage binder clips are another way to hang art prints, records, or other pieces creatively. I bought a huge bagful for cheap at thrift store and often see them at yard sales for cheap, too.


4) Thrifted Frames: When you're patient and hunt enough you can often find frames of any size for your pieces. I'm still holding out for another poster-sized frame, I found one for my transformers poster above for around $5.00.


5) Dollar Tree $1.00 Frames: This isn't such a creative option but when I need a frame for an 8 x 10 art piece (standard paper size and the size of many art prints)  and can't find one for months while thrifting I will rely on the dollar store for some. Most Dollar Trees will have these available although the stock does vary from store-to-store. (Eight of the pieces pictured above are hung with dollar store frames.)

Past MODify posts: File Organizers

Got Any Creative Artwork Hanging Tips to Share? Let's discuss ideas in the comments.
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34 comments:

  1. Very cool I have a lot of old pics and dog snap shots and I love hanging them. Thanks for the ideas
    Urban hounds

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    1. Get 'em up there! :D I have a LOT to get hung, too..

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  2. How are you attaching the paper to the foam core? Are you gluing? I would be afraid of damaging the item if I glued it. I like the look of the foam core very much. Do you have a trick to attaching the art without gluing, or is that just part of the deal?

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    1. I used that tacky putty type stuff, I forgot what it was called because I bought it perhaps over a decade ago? It's blue. Nowadays I'd have not been so wise and used tape or something ;)

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    2. Oh and on that note considering I made those like 7 years ago none of the poster pieces have fallen and they're still not damaged. Worked like a charm.

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  3. I love the pants hanger idea!!! It really does look designer-y. I am not above a Dollar Tree frame either! Thanks for the cool ideas!

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    1. No problem! People always ask me about the magic pant-hangers whenever they see them.

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  4. I don't like Goodwill. I have ones close that always get the Target close outs. They always get the large poster frames that are new for 5 bucks.

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    1. It's super rare to find poster frames around these parts second-hand for $5.00, usually they're way more expensive. Still on the look out for more and wish our Goodwills had Target closeouts. Even if I dislike the high prices of most Goodwills, sometimes you'll still manage a score here-and-there.

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  5. My boyfriend is a huge record nerd and I think he needs to display some of his lovely rare album covers, but he is such a weirdo about it that I dont think he would go for the binder clips, because they might dent the cardboard. Oh well. Maybe I could convince him to display some of his cooler looking, yet less valuable pieces that way. Also, I gotta say I LOVE THE MARGARET KEANE PRINT that you hung with the skirt hanger. I was kinda obsessed with Keane when I was in high school. I was an odd kid.

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    1. It was signed as Walter Keane, are they related or the same artist? They can bend the album art so I can understand why he'd be picky about that. I want record frames for each of mine but that'd be pricey, I used to hang them with clear thumbtacks, not piercing the record but to where the plastic part keeps it on the wall with pressure.

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    2. Walter Keane was Margaret's husband, who wrongfully took credit for her work. There was a trial about it and everything---finally she prevailed. She is still alive and still makes art :)

      I love the pant hanger idea too and think its funny people think they are special hangers. Great reuse of a classic item!

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    3. Thanks for the info Tilda!

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    4. Yeah, my grandmother died when I was is HS and I inherited a weird plate and statue of the Keane work The Baloon Girl. It was so 60s and amazing and the internet was new to my life so I became completely obsessed with her. I printed a bunch of her work off and hung them in my locker. All the other girls had Leo Dicaprio. Ha. But yeah, I did a bunch of research on her and the Walter/Margaret copyright debacle is actually really interesting. I believe she lives in Hawaii. Some of her stuff is really cheerful and some is SUPER DUPER dark and haunting.

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  6. Love how you have your photos staged!

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  7. They look fab! I love all your retro prints, my boys would love them too :-)

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    1. Thanks! Some of them are creative displays, the speed racer "print" is a shirt in a shirt picture frame I found.

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  8. Van, I'm so glad you posted this. We just re-did my daughter's room in an art-studio theme, (she's really into art) and need to hang a bunch of her work. That black foam core idea will save me a ton of $ and it will make it easy to change things out when she brings new work home from school. Thanks!
    I've been wanting to ask you, do you have any advice about selling vintage on Esty over eBay? I'm already set up on eBay but notice a lot of people use Etsy instead, wondered if there's a reason. (eBays fees maybe?)
    Thanks- Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

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    1. Love the art studio theme for her, will keep her creative!

      On Etsy, I get that question a LOT! haha :D I choose Etsy over eBay because it's an artists marketplace where success will often depend on creative photo composition over quantity, it keeps it stimulated as n artist, the buyers are more friendly, and it's quite simple to use. I just tried to use eBay for the first time yesterday to start listing my manga collection. HATE it. I have ample Etsy-tips and online selling tips here:

      Online reseller's checklist with lots of links to detailed articles for getting started: http://www.thriftcore.com/2013/07/online-reseller-starters-and.html

      More Etsy tips: http://www.thriftcore.com/2013/02/adventures-in-etsy-selling-some-tips.html

      Product photo tips: http://www.thriftcore.com/2013/02/product-photography-basics-boost-sales.html

      It's a good alternate way to sell but I think it's best for people trying to create a brand/virtual boutique. For those who don't want to bother with that, eBay is best.

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    2. Oh another things, sales are likely much slower on Etsy than eBay with the smaller marketplace so it's up to you to interact in the community to market yourself and brand yourself to bring traffic to your page.

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  9. I love your pant hanger idea Van.

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  10. I love home-inspirations - great! :)

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  11. I'm so tickled about seeing new ways to hang art! Thank you so much!

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    1. Thanks Jeannie, more MODifies shall come!

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  12. Awesome ideas! I have some dollar store frames too and they do the trick in a pinch. I love the vintage pants hanger! It has such a cool modern look.

    xo, Michelle
    Neon Rattail

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    1. I always get a lot of positive feedback on that method :)

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    2. Dollar store frames are the absolute best. I buy all my frames at The Dollar Tree or at Goodwill.

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