October 10, 2012

DIY Custom Art Prints

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.

Not buying.

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!


19 thoughts on “DIY Custom Art Prints

  1. Carrie

    I have had SO much fun following along on this transformation!! I love every.single.detail. Your hard work and exceptional taste show, for SURE! Well done =)

  2. Megan

    I am in awe of your living room… can’t wait to see the rest. I love the artwork!!! I am debating making my own, but would it be weird if 2 dates were the same? We had twins, and I like the idea of them each having a line. I will have to play with it.

    Two things:
    1. You should open up your own Etsy shop – you have such great taste making your signs.
    2. My husband and I are both in love with pallet walls, but we are thinking that we will move in the next year or 2, I am a “love it while you live in it’ type of person, but in your opinion will this cause issues for buyers? Would love your opinion!

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks Megan!

      I like the idea of having a separate date for each of the twins, not weird at all! You could also consider working in the times of their births if that would better differentiate them. Just an idea 🙂

      I would LOVE to open an Etsy shop, although time is limited right now and not exactly sure how we’d fit that in. We’ve definitely discussed it though, and even had a few other Etsy shop ideas as well. We’ll keep everyone posted if we take that route!

      We absolutely love our pallet wall, but I would say that it’s a pretty personal choice. You’re definitely going to have people that don’t like it, as with everything I suppose. Personally, if I were selling a home I’d wait for the next home. But like you said, “love it while you live in it”. Plus two years is a long time and plans always change! Hope this helps!


  3. Felicita

    Love those 2 artworks! I need to try to make my own. Do you think you would ever do a photoshop tutorial/walkthrough? I have PSE but I’ve never used it(my hubby uses it).

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Thanks Felicita!
      I’ll definitely consider doing a tutorial. Although, I’d be lying if I said I was anywhere close to an expert at this stuff. Still learning every day 🙂

  4. Jenna Pitt

    You did such a great job- I’m the same way… always looking for some way to make it myself. I guess that’s half the fun, right? Glad I’m not alone at least 🙂

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Oh no, you’re definitely not alone! And totally right about it being half the fun. I think I enjoy making things more than I actually enjoy the piece sometimes haha.

  5. The Drumgoole Family

    Okay, you’ve piqued my interest. The significant yellow numbers- what are they? Or are they of secret significance? So curious! And thanks for the PS Elements tip. Maybe I will ask Santa for that…

    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Great Santa gift! And yes, the yellows number are of “secret” significance, haha! Have to keep a few things under wraps around here 🙂

  6. Jennifer

    I am so glad I found your blog on Young House Love! This blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites. We close on our first house in a few weeks and your blog has my mind swirling with so many ideas!

    P.S. I showed my husband your prints and he loved everything about them including the font. We were up late last night as we came up with ideas for the prints and I personalized them!


    1. Jessie R. Post author

      So glad we could inspire you to create a few prints of your own! Love that 🙂 Congrats on the new home!

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  11. Aimee

    Not sure if you will see this since it has been so long since you wrote this blog, but when you go to FedEx Office what printing choice did you do? I see posters in the large size, but they are $59 each…Thanks for any help!!


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