Monday, June 27, 2016

DIY Gemstone Wall Art: Turn A Plastic Shopping Bag into a Large Wall Hanging


Do you collect random odd free things just because you like the design? A cocktail napkin here, free lighter there? Bottle caps, perhaps? If you're afflicted with magpie-designer-artist-brain you can't help it. On my recent trip to the gorgeous Black Market Minerals in St. Augustine I asked if I could have an extra one of their small plastic shopping bags so I could turn it into art print. (After asking if they had prints of their own to purchase, of course.) I thought I'd share my process for turning the object into a print on the wall for my fellow magpies. Use it for vintage bottle caps or anything else you'd like enlarged.


First I took a picture of my shopping bag and opened it in Photoshop Elements 12. I didn't worry about making sure the lighting was perfect right since I knew I'd use a few quick clicks to fix the white balance and edit away the bag's wrinkles. The image is a massive RAW format photo at 5184 x 3456 pixels because I knew I wanted a large print so the resolution needed to be 300 DPI or higher.



From there I hit "Command + L" and the white dropper icon (highlighted in the pop-up window on the left) and clicked on the white on the bag  in a couple of spots until the background was smooth and solid white.


From there I did a small color tweak and drew lines to fix the white line across top of the design created by the crease in the shopping bag.


I submitted the final file (2856 x 3161 pixels at 600 dpi) to Office Depot for a 16x20 print, the smallest poster size mine had available. It fit perfectly in an old frame I already had. The dark brown didn't work with the thick black outline of the design so I sprayed it with two coats of Krylon Cover Maxx Ultimate Coverage in Black / Matte to make the final result exactly as I'd envisioned it the moment I saw the shopping bag.


The design is my current muse, I love the matt black and white of the print and the retro feel of the design. Try this project for anything you'd love to enlarge, it's so fun to have a gorgeous print that makes an impact on your wall after the press of a camera shutter and a few computer clicks!
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16 comments:

  1. What a cool idea! I too am a magpie and still have little collections from years ago that I can't part with. This is a great way to display fun/special pieces!

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    1. I have a little box of keepsakes too :)

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  2. Oh how cool is that!! It looks awesome in your home office! I do collect stuff, but I haven't yet turned any of it into wall art. Must check out my stuff again :)

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  3. There's a term for it! :D
    This is awesome, and I'll have to check out the shop next time I'm there. I'm a total crystal and rockhound.

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    1. The prices are quite low, definitely stop in, it's such a fun place!

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  4. I had no idea that I was a magpie. It's so much more real to me than being a hoarder or a clutter bug. Maybe I should start storing my treasures in jewelry boxes so others will understand.

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    1. I keep mine organized in a box and- though it was hard- to get rid of some of the broken stuff (a broken souvenir from Japan was the hardest) I made myself do it via Kon Mari method/Feng Shui recommendations and friends being over to peer-pressure me, haha. Glad I'm not the only art-brained-magpie here :D

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  5. this is a great idea! thanks for sharing!

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  6. This is awesome. I'm OBSESSED with gemstones :D

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