Sometimes, don’t you wish you could just move into a magazine photo? I want that WHOLE living area to be mine. But especially that awesome vintage Paris street map on the wall. The map itself is so unique, with cherubs and so many flourishes that add to the specialness. But then they’ve broken it up and mounted each piece in a gold leaf frame. I love everything about it, except for the $999.00 price tag.
I remember seeing a post awhile ago on the Dollar Store Crafts blog about recreating a Pottery Barn tiled mirror using individual frames and thought I could use a similar technique here.
Now, the original wall art is comprised of nine 20″x 24″ frames, meaning the piece itself is about 5′ x 6′ if you hang all of the frames together tightly. If you spread them out, as the site suggests, even bigger. I don’t have either a space that big, or the budget to buy nine 20″ x 24″ frames – which starts to get a little pricey. So I decided to scale it down to nine 8″ x 10″ frames, which is about the perfect size to hang on the wall above my dresser. You could always break the picture up into twelve, sixteen, twenty five, or more pieces and use more frames, but I liked the look of three rows of three.
But first, I needed to find a map. I started Google-ing vintage Paris street maps and found a few that would work. The hitch here is that they had to be pretty huge to blow up to a decent size without looking pixelated. I found a few that could have worked:
But I really liked the original – looking into the product details I found it was a replica from the 17th century map created by Albert Jouvin de Rochefort. Adding the artist’s name to my search found a copy (that was labeled for free use), and with some minor color and lighting tweaks done in a photo editor and I had my image.
I separated it into nine pieces and each of them to 8″ x 10″ (available here if you’d like it) and printed them in color.
As for the frames, I found nine identical frames at the dollar store. Unfortunately, they were silver, so they’d need a touch of spray paint.
I had a small can of gold leaf spray paint that I’d picked up for under $2 at Michael’s at some point that I figured would work just fine.
I laid all the frames out on my makeshift tarp and got to spraying.
After letting them dry for a few hours they were gold and ready to go.
After cropping all the photos and framing each one, I got the first glimpse of what this would look like when finished.
I was planning on hanging this like they did in the photo, as one single piece – so these needed to be connected somehow. Like the tutorial suggested – duct tape is always the answer here.
I turned all of the frames over (keeping in mind to put them in the correct order facing down) and started taping all of the frames together.
Then taping down the seams and diagonally.
Now, I planned to hang this by the three hooks on the top three frames, but if you wanted to lean this up against a wall, you’ll need to attach a piece of foam board to provide stability.
Three nails, a level, a measuring tape, a hammer and just a few minutes later, the frames went up pretty easily.
I’m ridiculously happy with how this turned out. It’s such a unique piece of wall art that was really SO easy to replicate. I only had to buy the nine $1 frames and everything else I had on hand. I especially love how it looks hanging above my dresser.
You could really use this technique with any picture or print you find that fits your style. If the resolution is high, it’s simple enough to split it into printable sheets, you can even use Block Posters – a website that will do it for you. Find some cheap frames that will either work as is, or apply a coat of spray paint to customize them. All in all, even if you have to buy paint and tape, this should cost less than $15, which is SO much better than the original at almost a thousand bucks.
Wisteria Je T’aime Paris Wall Art:
– Nine frames ($1 each, $9 total)
– Gold spray paint (on hand, $2 at Michael’s)
– Duct tape (on hand)
– Printed out print or photo
Wisteria cost: $999
Total cost for me? $11