I love me some good artwork. However, if you were to take a walk throughout our home, you would never know that. I can count on a single hand the amount of original pieces we have in our house. No wait. None of them are original, they’re all prints. So, we have zero. I would LOVE to buy some amazing originals and support the artists that are oh-so talented, but we’re on a tight budget around here and art isn’t cheap. When I do actually buy a piece, or even browse, it’s usually on sites like Etsy or one of my personal favorites, Society 6. I like how you can still find quality pieces that are unique and affordable. (Again, not paid just sharing what we love.)
The catch? I’m a DIY’er at heart, and if I think for one second that I can replicate something, or even enhance it to make it more “me”… Not buying. Sometimes I may even spend a little more (although not much!) just for the satisfaction that I made the piece. It’s actually probably a blessing that I struggle with sewing, or I may not buy a thing for our home, or the kids for that matter. So, as I was browsing Etsy one evening and ran into these two prints (from separate shops) you can imagine what went through my head.
First piece, whoa… that’s amazing. I absolutely adore the custom dates. Such a personal piece to have displayed in your home and I’m digging the way the numbers are arranged… But I wish there was a touch of color… and I would change up the font a bit… and remove the names… and align things a bit differently. See where I’m going with this?
Second piece, instantly inspired! I could not possibly come up with a quote that better motivates me to do good things with my life. It’s straight to the point and easy to read as I walk by throughout the day. I also love the thought of the girls growing up to someday read this quote and hopefully being just as inspired to be the best them they can be. Cheesy, but true. Next thought. Hmm? I have similar fonts in photoshop… and I could pick the exact colors used… and the size… and I’ve DIYed large prints before in our previous home. Totally do-able.
This definitely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy their prints! They’re absolutely great pieces and I would be whipping out the mulah if I wasn’t so cheap. Not to mention overly particular (compulsive even) with every single detail that goes into them. Perfectionist, maybe. Controlling, ha. Tried to sugar coat that one.
Point of this ramble, I decided to make these prints myself. I used Photoshop Elements. Which, tangent – if you’re wishing you had Photoshop for a small business or even personal use, Elements is where it’s at. The $700 price tag for Photoshop didn’t sit to well for us, so I gave Elements a try. Mind blown. Everything I need for the blog, plus more. I think we got ours at around $60 with a coupon. The newer version is priced at $90 on Amazon right now, and I see coupons floating around all the time.
Anyway… I spent about an hour messing around with different designs and fonts before I finally settled. The font I used is “28 days later”, available for free download here. Then I uploaded them to FedEx Office, sent out the order for two large prints, and 48 hours later I had them at my doorstep. Love that. Also, if you’re looking to print your own artwork, know that I went with all the basic options when ordering online. Nothing fancy. I picked up two of Ikea’s Ribba frames to display them in and had instant custom art work.
My favorite part about making digital artwork yourself if the ability to go back at a later date and tweak it. Say we change up color schemes, want a new quote, or gasp.. have another baby to add to the dates print!
Speaking of, just for kicks I’ll walk you through the importance of the dates we used. They read horizontally and we used a dd/mm/yy format. Starting at the top.
07/0/07 – We closed on our first home.
04/24/10 – Our wedding date (my parent’s as well, awww).
11/05/10 – Zoey’s birth date.
02/10/12 – We closed on our second home.
03/12/12 – Lizzy’s birth date.
And yes, I’m fully aware that those dates are not in “correct” order, haha. For example, closing on our first home three years before getting married. Or Zoey’s birth only seven short months after we married. What can I say? We do things a bit different around here.
Also, in case anyone is wondering, the yellow “7,5, and 2” have very significant importance to us and just happened to be perfectly aligned diagonally. Gotta love that.
I really impressed with the quality of the prints. They came out perfectly, although I did end up trimming them down just a bit. We’ll definitely order just a tad smaller than the recommended frame size next time. We ended up paying about $50 for both prints including shipping. Not bad considering they measure about 20″ x 28″.
We’ll have one more living room update for you tomorrow (that has yet to be seen!) and then we may just be calling this room D.O.N.E. Well, other than me constantly switching up decor. We all know that will never end 🙂
Update: A new post with a detailed tutorial can be found here for the custom art prints!